LOUISVILLE, KY - Uncle Mo runs during the morning exercise session in preparation for the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

2011 Kentucky Derby: Uncle Mo Scratched, Dialed In Favored

The 2011 Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday and the post positions are set after Wednesday's draw. Stay with this StoryStream for the latest on the race, including previews and odds leading up to the race.

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Kentucky Derby 2011 Picks: Predictions For Saturday's Race At Churchill Downs

The 2011 Kentucky Derby should last less than two minutes on Saturday at Churchill Downs, but it's the buildup to the race that creates the excitement. In the week leading up to the race, the field is analyzed, contenders are chosen and odds are set. It's not just for fun: Betting the Kentucky Derby is a big business. And will the race right around he corner, it's time to make a few picks.

Here are a few horses to keep in mind when picking a winner for the 2011 Kentucky Derby. In addition to the picks below, check out SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream for more on the odds and picks.

Dialed In (9/2): This one is obvious as Dialed In is the favorite heading into the race. But being the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, especially in a field as weak as this year's doesn't mean as much as you'd think. With 19 horses set to enter the starting gates, a lot can happen.

Twice the Appeal (7/1): This horse gets thrown into the mix thanks to Calvin Borel. But Twice the Appeal isn't all that appealing, at least on paper. When the morning line was released, he was at 20/1, but was bet down quickly on Friday thanks to the mount; Calvin Borel has won the last two Kentucky Derbies and raced them masterfully. Still, the odds shifting as they have is odd, and doesn't add up considering the horse.

Nehro (7/1): Nehro is a legitimate 7/1 and though he'll have to come from the No. 18 gate, he could have a shot. Nehro has the speed to get after it and make a late run and is, rightfully, listed among the top contenders.

Soldat (17/1): Could be an intriguing value bet at 17/1. In the morning line, Soldat was listed at 12/1, but has slipped since and the odds seem ripe for value.

Mucho Macho Man (12/1): The name is awesome and the horse is a good one, as well. Starting in the No. 13 spot is decent, and puts Mucho Macho Man right in the middle of the pack. He's one to watch and root for, if only to hear an announcer screaming his name down the stretch.

Midnight Interlude (10/1): I watched Midnight Interlude run at the Santa Anita Derby and came away liking his chances. It helps Midnight Interlude is a Bob Baffert horse and Baffert is trying for the Churchill Downs double after winning the Oaks on Friday. I wouldn't be surprised to see Midnight Interlude make waves on Saturday.

Pants on Fire (9/1): There's two reasons to keep an eye on Pants on Fire: The name and the jockey. Rosie Napravnik is a jockey to root for and could become the first woman to win the Kentucky Derby. In the Kentucky Oaks, she ran an excellent race from the outside, but came up just a hair short at the wire. Oh, and Pants on Fire is a great name for a horse.

ArchArchArch (13/1): Again, a great name for a horse. ArchArchArch is a legitimate contender, but starting on the rail creates even more difficulty at the Kentucky Derby. Everyone wants the rail and with space at a premium, traffic could be a problem. Nevertheless, keep an eye on ArchArchArch on Saturday.

Pick: I honestly haven't got a clue here, and this field is mind-boggling. I'm tempted to go with chalk and pick Dialed In, simply by default. I wouldn't be surprised to see Midnight Interlude and Mucho Macho Man make a run, as well as Nehro if he can overcome the outside starting position, which I don't think will be a problem.

Let's go with Dialed In to win, with Midnight Interlude and Mucho Macho Man coming up just short.

The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Kentucky Derby 2011 Odds: Morning Line Shifts After Uncle Mo Scratches

It's the calm before the storm at Churchill Downs, with over 100,000 patrons expected to mull around in anticipation of the 2011 Kentucky Derby on Saturday. It's also the calm before the storm at the betting windows, where the odds are expected to move around all day as a ridiculously high volume of betting takes place on the race. The morning line is set and early betting has forced some changes as action has come in heavy on a few horses and not so heavy on others.

If you're wondering what this all means and what betting on horse racing is all about, Matt Gardner explains how to bet on horse racing. It's a handy guide that should help, both if you plan to get in on the action or just want to know how horse racing works.

The morning line favorite is still Dialed In at 9/2. With Uncle Mo out -- he held 4/1 odds -- the field has fallen back in the odds, with no other horse at better than 7/1 as of now. Twice the Appeal jumped from 20/1 to 7/1, thanks to jockey Calvin Borel. We explained why Twice the Appeal's odds moved so dramatically here. The rest of the field saw small shifts, though nothing too dramatic, other than Twice the Appeal, has occurred yet.

Here are the latest odds, updated to reflect the field after Uncle Mo was forced out of the 2011 Kentucky Derby. The odds are listed by the post positions of the field.

Archarcharch 13-1
Brilliant Speed 30-1
Twice the Appeal 7-1
Stay Thirsty 17-1
Decisive Moment 42-1
Comma to the Top 43-1
Pants on Fire 9-1
Dialed In 9-2
Derby Kitten 29-1
Twinspired 21-1
Master of Hounds 18-1
Santiva 30-1
Mucho Macho Man 12-1
Shackleford 19-1
Midnight Interlude 10-1
Animal Kingdom 24-1
Soldat 17-1
Nehro 7-1
Watch Me Go 29-1

The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Kentucky Derby 2011 Contenders: Twice The Appeal Sees Odds Improve Thanks To Calvin Borel

Twice The Appeal opened with 20/1 odds to win the 2011 Kentucky Derby after Wednesday post position draw, but much has changed in the two days following the announcement of the starting order. On Friday morning, Uncle Mo was forced to scratch with a gastrointestinal infection, leaving the field behind Dialed In, Saturday's favorite, wide-open. Twice The Appeal's odds have improved dramatically, moving from 20/1 in the morning line odds to 8/1 at present.

But it's not just Uncle Mo influencing the odds. In fact, much of it has to do with the jockey set to mount Twice The Appeal on Saturday. Calvin Borel has the honors, and inspires confidence wherever he goes. With two-straight Kentucky Derby wins, and three wins in the last four years, Borel has a knack for navigating the crowded field at Churchill Downs unscathed, and bringing home a derby victory in the process.

And with Borel on the mount, bettors believe Twice The Appeal will make it three-in-a-row for Borel. He's got a solid post position -- No. 4 in the starting gate -- and has the know-how to make a run, especially if Borel can get to the rail. And Down The Stretch They Come's Matt Garnder had a word of warning for the other jockeys that may be foreshadowing the race on Saturday.

Jockey Calvin Borel, who is riding 3-Twice the Appeal and has won the Derby three out of the last four years, will be down inside once again. If the riders give him the rail again this year they should all be banned from the sport!

We'll see if Borel can ride Twice the Appeal to victory on Saturday as the 2011 Kentucky Derby gets underway. Post time is 5:24 p.m. EDT, live from Churchill Downs.

The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Kentucky Derby 2011 Contenders: Uncle Mo Scratched Leaving Dialed In As Heavy Favorite

Friday morning's news that Uncle Mo has been scratched from the 2011 Kentucky Derby was expected, but still disappointing. Uncle Mo has been battling back from a gastrointestinal infection that limited his performance in the Wood Memorial, as well as zapped the thoroughbred of its energy in the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Throughout his racing career, Uncle Mo has been dominant, only losing once at the aforementioned Wood Memorial.

It's unknown what Uncle Mo's prognosis may be in the long-term, but the mysterious infection has had a significant impact on the horse. Veterinarians seem unsure of what's ailing him and the illness simply won't go away (via And Down The Stretch They Come).

Pletcher and Repole said the horse is physically sound but that the internal problems he has have not exactly been diagnosed. Pletcher said the colt improved when he was on medications but that he regressed when vets began to withdraw medications.

With Uncle Mo out, Dialed In should become an even heavier favorite for Saturday's race at Churchill Downs. Dialed In was already installed as the morning line favorite as the post position draw was announced on Wednesday, though Uncle Mo was close-behind.

Uncle Mo's exit also moves Nehro into the No. 18 gate, previously occupied by the late-scratch. Keep an eye on the odds as Nehro, ArchArchArch, Midnight Interlude and others could all see a bump on race day. But with Uncle Mo out, Dialed In surely must be the clear favorite at this point, with just one day to go until the race.

The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Kentucky Derby 2011 Horses: Uncle Mo May Be Scratched On Friday

UpdateUncle Mo has been scratched

With the second-best odds in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo has an excellent chance of emerging the victor and entering the winner's circle at Churchill Downs on Saturday. That is, if he's healthy and if he even races. Both are questions with just one day to go until the race and it's no certainty Uncle Mo will even race in the Kentucky Derby -- his trainer will make the final decision sometime Friday morning after weighing the options and taking into account how he looks.

To see Uncle Mo falter down the stretch at the Wood Memorial, his final tune-up ahead of the Kentucky Derby, was a surprise to horse racing enthusiasts and casual observers alike. He had yet to lose a race and was dominant in steam-rolling the competition in every other race he'd entered ahead of the Wood Memorial. But a disappointing third-place finish took Uncle Mo from heavy derby favorite to question mark by the time he hit the wire, and nobody was quite sure why the dominant horse faded.

Turns out Uncle MO was dealing with a gastrointestinal infection that's required antibiotics and slowed his training ahead of the grueling derby at Churchill Downs. Because of the infection, and less than 100 percent health, there's about a 50-50 chance Mo may never get out of the gates in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. And if he does, nobody has a clue whether he'll be fit enough to mount a serious challenge.

Uncle Mo's veterinarians and trainer will reported make the final decision on whether or not to scratch him from the race on Friday. Owner Mike Repole said he had no intention of making a last-minute decision on Saturday, but also sounded less than confident Uncle Mo would be able to race in the derby (via Daily Racing Form)

“This isn’t going to be a Saturday decision,” he said. “We owe it to the racing fans, we owe it to the public; it’s not our intention to drag this out.”

We'll keep an eye on Uncle Mo's status as more becomes available. If he scratches, it will likely have a profound impact on the field and the odds, and Dialed In may become even more of a favorite. With a morning announcement expected, we'll know soon whether he'll be able to give it a go or not.

The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Kentucky Derby 2011 Contenders: Post Position May Hurt ArchArchArch

Kentucky Derby contender ArchArchArch drew the post for Saturday's race and though 12 winners have come from the No. 1 post position, it could be troublesome. In order to maintain position and not get squeezed out at Churchill downs, ArchArchArch will have to run smart, but may not necessarily have to come out of the gates with reckless abandon. The strategy involved, and how it differs based on post position, is interesting, especially when it comes to the contenders.

ArchArchArch can, and has, come flying out of the gate, though his starts appear to have been erratic. Additionally, ArchArchArch will be flanked on the outside by Brilliant Speed who only seems to show that speed down the stretch; not right of the starting gates. It would seem ArchArchArch doesn't run the risk of being squeezed towards the rail immediately by the horse in the No. 2 pole position, but there are 18 other horses bearing down from the outside, all with one goal in mind.

And therein lies the problem for ArchArchArch. With the rail on one side and the field on the other, there's little margin for error and no room to escape. Caught in trouble or fall a step behind early? There's nowhere to go but backwards, forcing him to navigate around the pack and away from the rail.

At 10/1, ArchArchArch has a good shot at winning the Kentucky Derby, but the pole draw didn't do him many favors. It's not a horrendous draw, but it's not great, either. Most of all, it makes the race that much more difficult tactically.

The Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Morning Line Odds Favor Dialed In

With the post position draw came a new set of odds for the 2011 Kentucky Derby on Wednesday. The top of the field is bunched together, with two horses holding the edge in the morning line. Dialed In will be your morning favorite for the derby, followed closely by Uncle Mo, though the two drew quite opposite pole positions.

We discussed the impact of the starting order, drawing upon historical winners and their pole positions on Wednesday, though it may not matter as much as we’d like to believe. Some of the draws that appeared to be unfavorable may, in fact, be the opposite, especially for the three-horse tandem of Soldat, Uncle Mo and Nehro, who all drew positions near the outside.

And a look at the morning line shows Uncle Mo may not be hampered by his No. 18 starting spot, at least if the odds are to be believed. Here is the latest set of odds, released along with the pole positions on Wednesday evening.

Dialed In: 4/1
Uncle Mo: 9/2
Nehro 6/1
Midnight Interlude: 10/1
Archarcharch: 10/1
Soldat: 12/1
Mucho Macho Man: 12/1
Shackleford: 12/1
Pants On Fire: 20/1
Stay Thirsty: 20/1
Twice the Appeal: 20/1
Master of Hounds: 30/1
Animal Kingdom: 30/1
Comma to the Top: 30/1
Derby Kitten: 30/1
Twinspired: 30/1
Brilliant Speed: 30/1
Santiva: 30/1
Decisive Moment: 30/1
Watch Me Go: 50/1

We'll find out whether it matters in the 2011 Kentucky Derby as the horses take to the starting gates on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Derby Horses 2011: Expert Picks Roundup After Wednesday's Post Draw

With the 2011 Kentucky Derby just two days away and the post draw in the rear-view mirror, handicappers are licking their chops and beginning to make a few early positions. With the post draw comes another set of odds, which we'll get to shortly, and another chance for predictions and picks ahead of the big race. Below, you'll find a few predictions and observations, leaning heavily on the happenings at Churchill Downs.

ESPN's Claire Novak went with the eye-test to judge the 2011 Kentucky Derby horses. By her standard, the way a horse looks, both in training and on the grounds at Churchill Downs, in the few days before a race says a lot. While there are still many factors that go into winning the Kentucky Derby, part of the equation is peaking at the right time. And these three horses -- Archarcharch, Shackleford and Brilliant Speed -- all passed her eye-test.

Although Archarcharch, Shackleford and Brilliant Speed might not be the top buzz horses of this year's Derby (they're all in the second tier of regarded runners), they've been three of the best lookers in the bunch this week.

While he stopped short of making a picks, And Down The Stretch They Come's Matt Gardner had a few observations about Wednesday's post draw. Where a horse start can have a significant bearing on where it finishes, making the post position a significant factor in the Kentucky Derby. And though Soldat starts near the outside, it just may be a good draw for him.

Is it just me, or is that a nice draw for Soldat?  Outside most the speed and Garcia can choose how he wants to go early on. Plus, if he's a bit outside and not on the lead, he can keep out of the kick back, something he hated in the Florida Derby.

Be sure to check out Gardner's full analysis for more on the post positions and what they mean.

We'll find out whether it matters in the 2011 Kentucky Derby as the horses take to the starting gates on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Kentucky Derby 2011: Post Position Analysis Reveals Plenty About Contenders

While starting position matters quite a bit in the Kentucky Derby, and on the inside-half of the gates is historical more favorable, there's much more to the equation than just the post draw. An outside draw isn't necessarily a death-blow to a horse's chances, and much depends on the type of horse and the race it prefers. So while it may look like a few of the contenders -- namely Uncle Mo, Soldat and Nehro -- received unfavorable draws, the opposite may be true.

And Down The Stretch They Come's Matt Gardner took a look at the post draw on Wednesday and compared the racing style of many of the contenders to their starting position. For example, Uncle Mo is in the No. 18 spot, but his starting position may be less of a factor than one would imagine.

Uncle Mo is okay at #18, but he could get caught a bit wide in that first turn and I think that could be his biggest issue.  At the end of the day, if Uncle Mo doesn't win I don't think it will be because of the draw, I think it will be because of his fitness

Jockey Calvin Borel has been a stud in the Kentucky Derby and drew the No. 3 starting position with Twice The Appeal. Gardner had a word of advice for the rest of the field, drawing upon lessons learned in Borel's impressive streak that includes wins in three of the last four derbies.

Jockey Calvin Borel, who is riding 3-Twice the Appeal and has won the Derby three out of the last four years, will be down inside once again. If the riders give him the rail again this year they should all be banned from the sport!

It's an interesting read and gives great insight into how the contenders like to run and how their post positions may affect them. Check it out over at SB Nation's horse racing blog.

We'll find out whether it matters in the 2011 Kentucky Derby as the horses take to the starting gates on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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Kentucky Derby Post Positions: Starting Order Matters In Crowded Field

With 20 horses entered in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, down from 22 after two horses were forced to scratch, space will be at a premium on Saturday at Churchill Downs. It's why the post position draw is so vital, and can make-or-break a horses chances. Start too far outside and the chances of a win significantly decrease, especially when looking at the Kentucky Derby history of horses in the No. 11 through No. 20 post position.

The style of horse -- be it front-runner, one who likes a late surge or one who likes the rail -- plays a role in determining whether or not it got a favorable draw.  But, ultimately, the draw matters and an unfavorable pole position can be crippling.

In the history of the Kentucky Derby, 12 winners have come from both the No. 1 and No. 5 post positions. The No. 4, No. 8 and No. 10 spots have each produced 10 winners, making them the second-most favorable draws. Essentially, a draw of No. 1 through No. 10 is an advantage and the chances drop from No. 11 on.

How bad is the drop? The No. 13 spot has produced four winners and no other starting position has produced more than three on the outside of the No. 10 position. A winner has never come from the No. 17 and No. 19 post position, as well.

For Uncle Mo, Soldat and Nehro, this is bad news. Soldat and Nehro, both among the favorites, will have to make history to win. Uncle Mo is racing from a pole position where only one horse has claimed victory before.

On the other side of the coin, Archarcharch (No. 1), Decisive Moment (No. 5), Stay Thirsty (No. 4), Dialed In (No. 8) and Twinspired (No. 10) all received excellent draws. Dialed In, the morning line favorite, made out like a bandit, drawing the No. 8 position while the rest of the contenders were thrown to the outside.

The full post draw can be found here.

We'll find out whether it matters in the 2011 Kentucky Derby as the horses take to the starting gates on Saturday at Churchill Downs. Stay with our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream for previews, odds and analysis up to and throughout the derby. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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2011 Kentuck Derby Post Positions: Dialed In Receives Great Draw, Uncle Mo Does Not

The 2011 Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday and the post positions were drawn on Wednesday afternoon. The post positions are a key part of the Kentucky Derby and can play a deciding factor in how many of the contenders run. A position on the inside creates a bunching situation as the horses break for the rail while an outside spot makes getting to said rail much more difficult. And after Wednesday's post draw, we have a better idea of which horses may have a clean-break on Saturday as they run for the roses.

Dialed In, the favorite in the early odds, received an excellent post position as he was drawn in the No. 8 spot. But a few other contenders weren't so lucky. Uncle Mo, second in the odds at 9/2, is way outside in the No. 18 hole. Uncle Mo will be flanked by contenders on his left and right, with Soldat at No. 17 and Nehro at No. 19. All three are among the favorites in the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

Here is the full starting order for Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

No. 1: Archarcharch
No. 2: Brilliant Speed
No. 3: Twice The Appeal
No. 4: Stay Thirsty
No. 5: Decisive Moment
No. 6: Comma To The Top
No. 7: Pants On Fire
No. 8: Dialed In
No. 9: Derby Kitten
No. 10: Twinspired
No. 11: Master Of Hounds
No. 12: Santiva
No. 13: Mucho Macho Man
No. 14: Shackleford
No. 15: Midnight Interlude
No. 16: Animal Kingdom
No. 17: Soldat
No. 18: Uncle Mo
No. 19: Nehro
No. 20: Watch Me Go

We'll be back with more on the race in our 2011 Kentucky Derby StoryStream. For more on the race, head over to SB Nation's Kentucky Derby StoryStream or check out And Down The Stretch They Come.

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