Finally its Derby Day! For some reason it seems like this spring Derby prep schedule took forever to get through, but we re finally here. All year long we have been waiting for a 3yr old to leave his mark, run a huge race, or do something that tells us he is the clear number 1. It hasn’t happened (in my opinion) yet but lets hope that the derby can clear this division up for us. That being said, it leaves this Derby as one of the most wide open in recent history, which makes for an exciting betting race. Truth is, the entire day has great betting opportunities so lets dive in and look at the card.
Race 1 3-5-1
Race 2 3-1-8
Race 3 1-3-10
Race 4 11-10-1
Race 5 10-12-2
Race 6 9-1-5 In the Distaff Mile Tepin will be a huge favorite and a deserving one at that. If you want to try to beat her, Rainha Da Bateria first time for Chad Brown might be the choice to pull the upset. Might get some pace to run into, Bureau de Change also looks interesting at 30-1
Race 7 3-1-5 The Churchill Downs Stakes. I’m leaning towards Calculator here to turn the tables on Salutos Amigos, who doesn’t run as well away from Aqueduct. I think this 7f to a mile distance is his best trip, should get some pace to run into but if not can be a little closer then my second choice Kobe’s Back who needs a meltdown upfront to get to the wire first. Limousine Liberal should hang on late after setting the pace.
Race 8 10-9-8 The Humana Distaff looks like it sets up perfectly for Wavell Avenue. Probably needed the race in the Madison and still didn’t run bad. Gets Rosario back on her whos had great success with her. Should be coming late. Birdatthewire goes back to Romans who did great work with her and should also be coming late.
Race 9 10-3-4 The American Turf Going with a longshot here at 15-1, American Patriot has a devastating turn of foot, might not get a hot pace to run at, but has shown he can close into a slower one, getting red hot Geroux to ride is also a bonus. Converge had a bad trip last out when getting beat by Shakhimat at Keeneland, with a clean trip he will be tough in the stretch
Bonus, all stakes pick 4 3-4-8-10/9-11-13/3-12/15-16-17
Race 10 13-11-9 The Pat Day Mile Lots of interesting plays in this race. Looks like there will be some speed here so I’m going to play a few horses that have shown they can come from behind. I land on Star Hill who had an eye catching maiden score at Gulf, and ran a good race against the grain in the Bluegrass. American Freedom coulnt have looked any better breaking his maiden at Santa Anita on Derby day and should be tough as well. Fellowship always runs his race and should get up for minor awards.
Race 11 3-12-11 The Woodford Reserve Bolo has always been a better grass horse then dirt horse. After they moved him back to the green he has rarely run a bad race. His race 2 back was a beautiful race and was to far back in his last. Should get a nice stalking trip and Mike Smith knows him well. Big Blue Kitten is dangerous as always, because he just doesn’t run a bad race. Only flaw is the layoff.
Race 12 16-15-17-19-5 The Kentucky Derby The big daddy is finally here. As of early wagering I am shocked that my top choice Shagaf is 74-1, but I am not swaying. Ive liked him all year and his last 2 works over this track have been great. Hes been galloping beautifully over the track all week. I don’t think h liked the Mud in the Wood and had some trouble. Love the move to Rosario here. Should sit close and make a move on the turn. Outwork, who won the Wood should get a nice stalking trip as well right behind Danzing Candy, just don’t know if hes good enough to hold them all off. Mor Spirit has never been worse then second in his career so you know he will run his race. Seems like a plodder to me without a huge turn of foot, should be around at the end. Of all the closers, I’m leaning towards Brodys Cause to be running late.
Good Luck everyone!