- SELECTIONS: Sloppy Derby Looking Likely
Oaks Day a success from the wagerng vantage point with opportunity to grow further from live Feature Double plays to 10 Derby starters. But tough to endure weather and likely fatal injury to Chelokee made the afternoon a bit of a downer overall. Saturday forecast not nearly as hopeful as promised 24 hours ago, with prospects for thunderstorms making less than fast track for Derby more likely. At this hour (4:30am), thunderstorms with teeming rain, and that changes an already muddled picture for the rose run, with go early prospects like Big Brown and Bob Black Jack possible to lead a merry chase if surface a sea of slop. Suggestion is always to handicap for a fast track and adjust as the day indicates. Remember as well selecting the Distaff Turf Classic and Woodford Reserve that turf course will be yielding at absolute best.
Hope you did well Friday and enjoyed Derby Week coverage on "At the Races"!
5th: 74th Churchill Downs (Gr. II), 4+, 7f (P6, P3, DD, Super)
Most Likely: #4 Junior College 5-1: Owns form edge, is good here and OK on wet..
Next Best: #3 Noonmark 4-1: Asmussen vet an earner; Has CD and wet W's..
Best Value: #9 Spotsgone 8-1: Event not top heavy up front; Threat..
Exotics Add: #5 Island Warrior 20-1
6th: 53rd La Troienne (Gr. III), 3yo-F, 7.5f (P3, DD, Super)
Most Likely: #4 Game Face 7-2: Pletcher warming; Return to Old Hat scores..
Best Value: #1 Sectret Gypsy 5-1: Werner red was brilliant in Spa debut..
Next Best: #5 Informed Decision 4-1
Exotics Add: #7 Alina 5-2
7th: 19th Distaff Turf Mile (Gr. III), F&M-3+, 1m-T P4, P3, DD, Super)
Most Likely: #9 Dreaming of Anna 9-5: Tough spot but soft going OK by her..
Best Value: #4 Lady Carlock 15-1: Nafzger finds way to win on Derby Day again?
Next Best: #3 Danzon: Would like more but yielding, etc., a big negative..
Exotics Add: #8 Ventura 4-1
8th: 22nd Humana Distaff (Gr. I), F&M-4+, 7f (P3, DD, Super)
Great edition of this race with Hollendorfer's rail runner the deserving favorite. Classy affair however, with at least 4 others eligible to upset..
Most Likely: #1 Hysterical Lady 9-5
Best Value: #3 Graeme Six 15-1
Next Best: #5 Sugar Swirl 5-2
Exotics Add: #7 Miraculous Miss 6-1
9th: 22nd Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Gr. I), 3+, 9f-T (P4, P3, DD, Super)
Most Likely: #5 Einstein 3-1: Stretches back off good Maker's Mile try..
Best Value: #4 Thorn Song 5-1: Hard trying type behind Maker's top pair..
Next Best: #1 Out of Control 5-1: Frankel Brazilian a Cali OK with cut in ground..
Exotics Add: #3 Golden Balls 9-2: Cassidy's Irish-bred flopped (York) in heavy going..
10th: 134th Kentucky Derby (Gr. I), 3yo, 10f (P3, DD, Super, Super High 5)
NOTE: "(X-1)" are overnight odds at close of betting Friday...
1 Cool Coal Man (Leparoux/Zito) 20-1 (33-1): First of Zito pair something of a forgotten horse this week but big fig FOY winner has cut impressive image; Mineshaft son should keep running and wet would suit..
2 Tale of Ekati (Coa/Tagg) 15-1 (45-1): Tagg keeps returning to scene of Funny Cide score, and this year brings pair; Hard to imagine Wood winner going off at price noted, but slow finish staying in many people's memory; Expect solid try..
3 Anak Nakal (Bejarano/Zito) 30-1: 2nd Zito runner has struggled since calendar turned to move forward off juvy form that showed promise and ended with Gr. II win over this strip; Has that going for him but would need big jump up to impact this..
4 Court Vision (Gomez/Mott) 20-1 (14-1): "Other" IEAH runner in field getting early attention at windows; Mott trainee may be getting better at the right time and addition of blinkers could be tipping point as he couldn't get to War Pass and Ekati in the Wood despite set-up; Have never been impressed with this son of Gulch and will let him beat me here..
5 Eight Belles (Saez/Jones) 20-1 (9-1): Clever conditioner got his Oaks win Friday with super nice stablemate of this grey daughter of Unbridled's Song and now tries for rarest of doubles here; Bred nicely for off-going, gets 5 pounds from boys and certainly fast enough to compete, but have concern about stretch from 8.5f to 10f without intermediate stop; Not discounting her chances to run well, but not overusing at underlay number either; Saver on exotic tix..
6 Z Fortune (Albarado/Asmussen) 15-1 (16-1): Ran a very good 2nd to Gayego at Hot Springs and has looked superb since arriving in Louisville; Siphon offspring not great in the slop, but NY-bred has good style for race shape; One of the toughest use/exclude choices in the lineup for me and suggest he be on a few tickets of your tickets as a saver..
7 Big Truck (Castellano/Tagg) 50-1 (21-1): 2nd Tagg and 2nd NY-bred in field kept up steady advance until annexing TB Derby; One of many that flopped at KEE, but paceless son of Hook and Ladder looks pedigree-challenged and over-matched versus top candidates here..
8 Visionaire (Lezcano/Matz) 20-1 (22-1): With Z Fortune, a tough read given that best effort came in the glomming at foggy AQU; Hard luck Matz and Team Valor get services of fine young pilot who will be looking to make a splash, but Grand Slam colt looks like one of many here that will be weary a step past the 1/th pole..
9 Pyro (Bridgmohan/Asmussen) 6-1 (5-1): With chief juvy rival out of the way and likely pace target up front, expect Asmussen-Winchell colt to come with serious late run; You know wet isn't an issue, and last workout was nearly as good as anybody on the grounds; Hard to believe that we all might be looking to Steve A. to save us from a "Brownout"..
10 Colonel John (Nakatani/Harty) 4-1 (4-1): West Coast star looks the part and is probably the 'right' horse; Unfortunately, he's not the right price given he may find a number of issues over this surface challenging; Suggest including on multis but trying to beat otherwise..
11 Z Humor (Douglas/Mott) 30-1 (67-1): Friday wagering making Distorted Humor bay out A.P. Indy mare the longest shot on the board, and at this price is a must use on exotic tickets; Bred to keep running.. Bred to go in the muck.. Moving in the right direction.. Not leaving Mott off tix at 67-1..
12 Smooth Air (Cruz/Stutts) 20-1 (41-1): Will freely admit sentimentality attached to selection of petite, common bay colt that has never missed the board in 7 career starts; Note that sentiment also produced $20 Hutch win and 16-1 FL Derby placement; Hiccup last week appears non-issue for 70 year old trainer Stutts who has been regaining confidence each day runner returned to track; Should sit ideal stalking voyage and will only be tougher if it comes up mud; Price shaping up righter than expected for once in a lifetime opportunity for a horseman that was born for this chance..
13 Bob Black Jack (Migliore/Kasparoff) 20-1 (27-1): Amazing story of modest Cal-bred makes it all the way to 4th and Central as Stormy Jack son has done everything 30-something trainer Kasparoff said he could; Has capability to mudlark on/near lead, and recall Mig led this race with eighth to run on Wheelaway; Keeps surprising critics, and is cleary taking money..
14 Monba (Dominguez/Pletcher) 15-1 (27-1): Team Todd standardbearer got good at right moment across state and needs to translate form back to main track to make noise here; Toss odd Fountain fiasco, note win over the surface last fall, and include off the radar runner from trainer that may have fashioned new approach this year; Using..
15 Adriano (Prado/Motion) 30-1 (22-1): With Cowboy Cal, an entrant that looks like he is here for the wrong reasons; Has been buzz horse from many respectable sources, but not has he shown he's ill-suited to dirt, hot-blooded A.P. Indy son is rather slow..
16 Denis of Cork (Borel/Carroll) 20-1 (26-1): Carroll and connections waited longest to get in to rose run but saw horse blossoming as they did; No one has had better pre-Derby preparations; Off-going a slight concern as Harlan's Holiday colt had to really work for that wet NoLa win; Rooting for..
17 Cowboy Cal (Velazquez/Pletcher) 20-1 (38-1): Like Adriano, Bluegrass runner-up appears well-suited for main track visits, but has kept to lawn; Steady performer, but unless TAP has been masking his interest for larcenous attempt, Stonerside homebred is tough to see..
18 Recapturetheglory (Baird/Roussel) 20-1 (46-1): Fun story as Risen Star connections indeed return to classic scene, but IL Derby victor has not looked particularly good since arriving here; Not for me..
19 Gayego (Smith/Lobo) 15-1 (23-1): Something appears amiss at Downs with Lobo's nice Gilded Time colt; May be feeling affects of big Arky Derby effort, but was a pass for me anyway..
20 Big Brown (Desormeaux/Dutrow, Jr.) 3-1 (7-2): Serious, legit ML fave but figures a play-against on many levels; Could get help from elements but needs to be as special as confident conditioner believes..
1. #12 Smooth Air
2. #16 Denis of Cork
3. #9 Pyro
EXOTIC VALUE INCLUDES:
#1 Cool Coal Man
#11 Z Humor
<$100 Middle P4 Play:
3x4x1x8 = $96
11th: ALW/N1X, 3+, 8.5f (DD, Super)
Most Likely: #1 Solemn Promise 5-1
Best Value: #8 Manager Boire 6-1
Next Best: #10 Sonoma Cat 7-2
Exotics Add: #5 Lemon Custard 12-1
12th: MSW, F&M-3+, 6f (Super)
Most Likely: #5 Maiara 7-2
Best Value: #2 E Major 12-1
Next Best: #3 Pious Ashley 5-2
Exotics Add: #10 Quiet Mover 10-1
<$100 Late P4 Play:
2x3x4x4 - $96