We asked nine of our experts to provide their top four selections for tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby.

Our group included the winners of the first two legs of the Maryland Handicapping Series, Tony Mohutsky and Maryland Jockey Club racing analyst Gabby Gaudet.  Also on the list were The Racing Biz reps Nick Hahn, Ted Black, and Frank Vespe; former Colonial Downs analyst Derby Bill Watson; Horse Racing Nation writer Gary Quill; horse owner Michael Horvath; and pro handicapper Bobby Zen.

Among our nine players, they named five different horses to the top spot.  But, interestingly, not one named morning line favorite California Chrome as his or her top play.  Eleven of the 19 Derby runners received at least one vote.

Our group uniformly thought that the pace would be, as Bobby Zen put it (here), “wicked.”  As a result, all nine picked horses that have shown the ability to rate off the pace, at least a bit, and then make a run.  As regards the favorite, the ‘cappers appeared to worry, conversely, that a) California Chrome had done his best running on or just off the pace and b) what’s fun about picking the 5-2 favorite in the Derby?

When the dust had settled, the consensus (based on a 4-3-2-1 scoring system) was:

  1. Intense Holiday — 20 points, 3 first-place votes
  2. Danza — 13 points, 3 first-place votes
  3. California Chrome — 13 points, 0 first-place votes
  4. Wicked Strong — 12 points, 1 first-place votes
  5. Samraat — 7 points, 1 first place vote
  6. Candy Boy — 6 points, 0 first place votes
  7. Medal Count — 6 points, 0 first place votes
  8. Dance With Fate — 5 points, 1 first place vote
  9. Chitu — 4 points
  10. Uncle Sigh — 3 points
  11. Wildcat Red — 1 point

And below are the voter-by-voter selections:

[table id=50 /]

Good luck to all!