The most exciting 2 minutes in all of sports will take place this weekend with the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. Five days ago this years version looked to be a one horse race with Eskendereya clearly head and shoulders above this years crop of 3 year olds. Unfortunately a leg injury forced his connections to withdraw their golden ticket. Awesome for us. This race is now wide open with tons of prices. Check out the breakdown and lets spend Saturday night making it rain.
Churchill Downs-Race 11-Kentucky Derby-G1
Lookin at Lucky (3-1): ML favorite with the departure of Eskendereya. Dreaded 1 post hasn’t finished in the money in the Kentucky Derby since 1988. Champion 2 year old always fires but has encountered troubled trips throughout the prep season including last time out finishing 3rd in the Santa Anita Derby. The setup is sure to suit this one but any trouble breaking from that position and Lookin at Lucky will not be a factor. I try to avoid favorites especially ones with in tough spots. Working out well but not worth it at 3-1.
Ice Box (10-1): Coming off a huge effort last time out winning the Florida Derby returning $20.70. With the pace sure to be hot, Ice Box figures to be in contention down the stretch. Seems to have a nose for the wire as witnessed by outdueling rivals down the stretch on multiple occasions. Doubters question the class of the Florida Derby. I see the pace to be similar and this one having a shot.
Noble’s Promise (12-1): Quality horse that is nothing but conistent. However you have to question the distance here especially after coming off a minor procedure to fix a lung problem. Has lost ground down the stretch in 3 of the last 4. Possible as he’s a warrior but the red flags will make me look elsewhere.
Super Saver (15-1): Calvin Borel aboard who has won 2 of the last 3 Derby’s. Match that with Super Saver having success at Churchill winning last years Kentucky JC and you have alot to like. Broke his maiden by 7 lengths on a wet track last September at Belmont. If Borel can keep him away from contesting whats sure to be a hot pace, I think Super Saver can last the distance and steal one at 15-1.
Line of David (30-1): Have him ranked as a Top Speed horse along with Sidney’s Candy and Conveyance. I usually throw out Top Speed horses if more than 2 are present. Will set the pace but no way goes gate to wire like he did last time out in the Arkansas Derby. Not touching.
Stately Victor (30-1): Shocked in the Blue Grass on the synthetic returning $40.10. Has everyone scrambling to see if that effort was a fluke. Stood out during his workouts and could be a Mine That Bird from Derby 135 candidate. Needs to prove he can repeat that effort on the dirt. Pedigree suggests turf but this closer is worth a sniff.
American Lion (30-1): Illinois Derby winner in his dirt debut although with the slowest fractions of all the prep races. I rank him as a Speed horse slightly below the Top Speed category. No way Saturdays race sets up like the one in Illinois. Can’t see him having the gas in the tank to finish that 10th furlong. Will lean elsewhere.
Dean Kitten’s (50-1): Throwaway. One dirt start in 11 career races finishing 33 plus lengths back. This one’s a turf horse. No way.
Make Music For Me (50-1): Snuck in last second when Endorsement fractured his right front ankle during Wednesday’s final workout. Making his dirt debut after a poor effort last time out in the Blue Grass. Asking alot.
Paddy O’Prado (20-1): Opened up eyes with a bullet workout over the slop last Friday. Ran out of gas in the Blue Grass and pedigree suggests the turf but worth some love in the exotics play.
Devil May Care (10-1): Pletchers filly will try her luck against the boys. Tough call. Might be alot to ask for but she’s handled herself well during workouts and has had success on the slop breaking her maiden going away. Last filly to win was Winning Colors in 1988. Im going to monitor the line and take a flyer on her fine ass if she’s an underlay.
Conveyance (12-1): I already stated I throw out Top Speed horses if there’s more than 2. I like the horse but have to stick by my guns. You’ll see him battling out front probably to the stretch but would have to run the race of his life to survive that 10th furlong.
Jackson Bend (15-1): 9 starts. 5 wins and 4 places. All on dirt. You have to respect the fact that he fires every time out but some of those 2nd’s might be deceiving seeing as he placed 8 and 9 plus lengths back behind Eskendereya in the Fountain of Youth and Wood Memorial. Might be a victim of the pace.
Mission Impazible (20-1): On the board in all 5 career starts including a strong finish taking the Louisiana Derby last time out. The distance seems right and with a clean trip this one could give Todd Pletcher his first Derby title. Intriguing.
Discreetly Mine (30-1): Nice horse but wrong race. I just don’t like speed horses in this one. Will be contesting the pace but just can’t see him being a factor. Like other long shots better.
Awesome Act (10-1): My pick to upset Eskendereya in the Wood which ended up going over like a fart in church. Encountered a troubled trip and couldn’t overtake Jackson Bend for the place. However I liked him in that one for a reason and still like him here. Won the Gotham at a pace he’s sure to see in the Derby. Also made his way though traffic to prevail. Making his 3rd start off a layoff so very possible we get a big effort. Sexy pick but I have to find it within myself to forgive him for the Wood.
Dublin (12-1): Looks to be regressing after a some poor workouts this past week. Battled tested and trained by D. Wayne Lucas are positives but too many red flags for me to consider. Wouldn’t be considered a shock but I’m laying off.
Backtalk (50-1): Might take to the wet track well but a big step up in class for this one. Career high Beyer of 87. Probably should not have been entered.
Homeboykris (50-1): Enters the Derby having not run since late February and has yet to race past 2 turns. Like him out of all the other 50-1’s due to his connections. Will give him a sniff. Remember Mine that Bird won last year at the same odds.
Sidney’s Candy (5-1): My boy Smokin’ Joe Talamo on board. I like the horse and I don’t look at the 20 post as a red flag. Big Brown won from 2o back in 2008 with ease. I just can’t see top speed horses, or any speed horses for that matter winning this race. The fractions are sure to be hot which sets up the race perfectly for the closers. He’s been the most impressive horse during the prep season (with the exception of Eskendereya) winning his last 3 races going gate to wire. With the short price and the fact that I have I’ve had success in the past with my speed rankings, Im going to be passing on this one. I hope Talamo doesn’t defriend me on the Book.
Hope you find my analysis to be helpful. I’ll post my official picks sometime Saturday. I need to see the condition of the track. Looks like rain.