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2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Gemologist

Horse: Gemologist
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Pedigree: By Tiznow out of a Mr. Prospector mare (Crystal Shard)
Career Record: 5-5-0-0
Career Earnings: $784,855
Notable Races: G1-Wood Memorial (1st); G2-Kentucky Jockey Club (1st)

Can He Win The 2012 Kentucky Derby?:

It's hard to find much fault with Todd Pletcher's Gemologist, a son of two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow. He's a perfect five-for-five in his career, and he was an impressive winner of the G1-Wood Memorial after it looked like Alpha was going to go right by him in the final furlong. He wins races and, at the end of the day, that's what this game is all about.

Gemologist has a good amount of natural speed but he's not a "need-to-lead" horse in any stretch of the work. In both the Wood and the Kentucky Jockey Club, Gemologist was able to stalk the early leaders before making his winning move as he came off the far turn. That's exactly the same running style that will suit him the best in Saturday's Derby.

If we are looking hard for negatives there are a couple that deserve attention. First, Gemologist has only raced twice in 2012, and his first race was really a glorified workout against allowance company at Gulfstream Park on March 16th. Second, he had to dig deep to fend off Alpha in the Wood, suggesting that the colt might lack the necessary foundation to run his best race on the first Saturday in May.

Gemologist is owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, the same connections of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.