Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs
Saturday May 1st, 2010
Estimated Local Post Time: 6:24 pm
Name: Kentucky Derby Grade: 1
Purse: $2,000,000
Distance/Restrictions: 1 1/4 Miles, Dirt, 3 Year Olds, STAKES

Lookin At Lucky          3/1           1st Rebel Stakes
Ice Box                       10/1          1st Florida Derby
Noble’s Promise         12/1           2nd Rebel Stakes
Super Saver                15/1           2nd Arkansas Derby
Line Of David             30/1           1st Arkansas Derby
Stately Victor              30/1           1st Bluegrass Stakes
American Lion            30/1           1st Illinois Derby
Dean’s Kitten              50/1           1st Lane’s End Stakes
Make Music For Me    50/1          3rd Cash Call Futurity
Paddy O’prado           20/1           2nd Blue Grass Stakes
Devil May Care           10/1           1st Bonnie Miss
Conveyance                12/1           2nd Sunland Derby
Jackson Bend             12/1            2nd Wood Memorial
Mission Impazible       20/1            1st Louisiana Derby
Discreetly Mine          30/1            4th Louisiana Derby
Awesome Act            10/1            3rd Wood Memorial
Dublin                       12/1            3rd Arkansas Derby
Backtalk                    50/1            3rd Illinois Derby
Homeboykris             50/1            5th Holy Bull Stakes
Sidney’s Candy           5/1             1st Santa Anita Derby

For the second consecutive year the prospective Kentucky Derby Favorite has dropped out of the race – last season it was I Want Revenge and this season it is Eskendereya bowing out.

Last year the result of a rainy, muddy Kentucky Derby without it’s star three year old – resulted in a 50-1 longshot (and personal headache to yours truly) Mine That Bird slopping his way to the winner’s circle and sending those with winning tickets into a delirium.

Well this year many believe that a relative “longshot” could once again bring home a victory in the rain. Weathermen are reporting that it could be a very wet track on Saturday – and to be honest that’s the most confidence anyone is showing in regards to what might happen on the track this Saturday.

Usually I break these races down by listing the horses and their accomplishments however I attempted to cover that in the horse listing above.

To keep things shorter I will start by writing that I don’t believe horses 13 thru 20 (Jackson Bend – Sidney’s Candy) will be able to seize the first “jewel” in the Triple Crown.

Awesome Act may be the most comfortable with his starting position – however I’m just not sold on him being the best closing horse in this race.

Sidney’s Candy certainly has the talent to win this race – but the 20th spot really goes against his strength of being able to run with the leaders and then break away in the end. I wouldn’t be surprised if this horse ends up going very wide in the first turn which could result in him having absolutely nothing in the tank in the final stretch. Very tough post for this immensely talented horse – hopefully he’ll have a better spot in the Preakness.

Another horse who has received a less than stellar starting outlook is the favorite Lookin At Lucky. Here is what his Trainer Bob Baffert had to say about his opening spot –

“This horse, he can’t catch a break," Baffert said. "We named him wrong. You know what? You can’t worry about that. We’ve made it this far. Nothing surprises me with this horse. He just can’t catch a break. He’s either inside or outside. It is what it is. You can’t worry about that. You’ve got to break well. If he doesn’t break well then you’re screwed."

In short, the best horses are either not in the race or they have lousy starting spots. And on top of all of that weather will probably be a factor in this race…i.e come this Saturday….

Here’s how I see the race unfolding – Line of David (#5) will establish the lead and in my estimation will hold that lead throughout most of the race and into the final stretch. Conveyance (#12) will challenge that early lead and ride on Line of David’s shoulder in the early going.

However while the camera is following the lead horse – this race will be won or lost several lengths behind him coming out of the second turn.

*If Ice Box can find an open lane without going well wide in the final turn – I think he could catch Line of David. Ice Box has those great late strides that could help him close this race out.

*If Lookin At Lucky can find an open lane without going well wide in the final turn – I know he has the talent to catch Line of David – after two sub-par rides on this horse Jockey Garrett Gomez kind of owes ownership and this horse the ride of his lifetime – and that may be exactly what he’ll need to pull off a victory here.

*If Stately Victor isn’t just a Synthetic Track horse, and he actually can run on the dirt then….if he can find an open lane without going well wide in the final turn – I believe he could challenge Line of David. Incidentally Stately Victor finished dead last in his one and only appearance here at Churchill Downs – might have been a fluke, might have been a trend.

*Super Saver will be ridden by last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness winning jockey Calvin Borel – and when a jockey has won two out of the last three Kentucky Derbies I think you have to give Super Saver some consideration. Super Saver gave Line of David everything he had in a second place finish in the Arkansas Derby, however Line of David showed more heart last time out….we’ll see if the added distance makes any difference.

Horse Racing Nation’s David Crone likes the Filly Devil May Care


He and I disagree on the early pace of this race, and also perhaps on the importance of the post position – but in the end I think we’re both just shrugging our shoulders and in his case saying “why not Devil May Care?”

Because again in this race –

From everything I’ve seen this season – I like Line Of David in this race, and here’s why:

He’s shown improvement with each of his last three races, he should be able to set the early pace and by doing so avoid a “mess” of traffic coming out of the final turn. He defeated four pretty solid horses on the dirt in the Arkansas Derby – so unlike an American Lion or even Stately Victor – I feel this horse has risen to the kind of challenge he’ll see in this race.

I can’t help but think that one of these powerful closers is going to catch him from behind – like we’ve seen in previous Kentucky finishes with Street Sense or Mine That Bird (both ridden by Borel). But come this Saturday I’ll be rooting for Line of David to pull off a victory.

Closing Speed likes: 5-4-1

That’s not how I would bet this race – I think if you bet $10 to win on 2,3,4,5,6,10,11,and 12 that would be $80 and if the odds stayed the same at the very least you would win about $120 at the most you’d probably win (again if the odds stay the same) over $300 - provided one of those longshots wins of course.

Make sure to tune in it should be a fun one this Saturday - also I've attached a great Mint Julep recipe in the blog below. And of course the musical selection to get your weekend going.....Mr. Frank Sinatra & an odd 1930's Hollywood Montage with of course....Anything Goes.

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