A look at the Kentucky Derby ten days out!

The attrition continues as it was made official on Sunday that Deterministic was pulled out of the Kentucky Derby.

The New York-based horse that won the Gotham at Aqueduct, then ran off the board in the Wood Memorial, will be kept in New York, with all New York options made available.

Perhaps the Peter Pan or even the Belmont Stakes could be the next destination for the horse.

With the defection of Deterministic, that opens a spot for Grande Mo the First. The horse ran third in the Florida Derby on March 30.

At this point I am still leaning towards Sierre Leone as the horse to beat on May 4 but with the race a little under two weeks away, there is still plenty of time for change.

My big concern – and it’s a justifiable concern – is a 20-horse field is twice as big as the Blue Grass Stakes when he came from dead last to win it.

The horse is going to love the distance – all he needs is room to run and if that happens, he may very well be the winner.

As for a longer priced horse I have seen Stronghold, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby, at 25-1 on some sites. I may – or may not have – placed a few scheckles on that runner.

He is 2-for-2 this year winning the Sunland Derby before coming back to beat Bob Baffert’s Imagination in the Santa Anita Derby. Stronghold appears to be getting stronger as he gets older and has been looking good in the mornings.

I still am a believer in Fierceness as that romp in the Florida Derby was very impressive. But if you get a chance watch a tape of the race and see how perfectly it set up for him.

The race was devoid of speed, and he got away with very pedestrian splits. There is no way he gets that easy of a trip in the Derby as someone figures to press the pace. It could be Track Phantom, Dornoch, Just a Touch, or Encino.

Keep checking back here each week for updates on the Derby field, then look here on Thursday, May 2 for a Kentucky Oaks preview, and Friday, May 3 for the most extensive Kentucky Derby preview you can find!

Free Kentucky Derby Handicapping Contest on Derby Day!

The Pleasanton OTB is always the place to be on Kentucky Derby Day and this year, we have a free Kentucky Day Handicapping contest to sweeten the pot!

You are tasked with picking a winner in all the nine stakes races at Churchill Downs on May 4! It is a FREE contest, but you must be present at the Pleasanton OTB throughout the course of the day.

The prize pool is as follows: First place – $150 voucher; Second place – $100 voucher; Third place – $50 voucher; Fourth place – $25 voucher.

There are nine stake races on Derby Day and in between each race we will be giving away free prizes that are eligible to only those entered in the contest.

*Grand prize (given away before the Kentucky Derby): A named race at the Alameda County Fair live racing meet. This is on a space available basis.

*One winner will get box seats for six for one day at the Alameda County Fair live racing. These are also on a space available basis.

*One winner will get a Trackside Terrace table for six for one day, also on a space available basis.

*Finally, there will be five drawings for four tickets to the Fair, good any day.

Once again, the only qualifier is you must be present to win! If the person is not on site, then we will draw another name!

Please see the full rules and the official entry form at Kentucky Derby – Pleasanton OTB.