It’s time…

Months of waiting and anticipation that begins basically when the Breeders’ Cup Classic becomes official ends on Saturday as 20 three year-olds will contest the 135th Kentucky Derby.  It’s an eclectic group, from the lightly-raced Dunkirk to the griseled old (9-race) veteran General Quarters.  We have synthetic surface superstars like Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy but also bona fide dirt monsters I Want Revenge and Friesan Fire.  We have a championship caliber three year-old in his stall at Belmont with two quarter cracks and the best 3YO in the country may be relaxing from a facile tour of the Churchill oval on Friday afternoon.

No matter how you approach the game, the Kentucky Derby is the greatest race of the year from a gambling perspective and from a fan perspective as well.  The value available with 20 betting interests is unmatched and in many cases, you may get the best price ever on a horse with a bright future (Curlin). 

As far as this year’s Derby, it’s tough to tell you exactly what I plan to do in terms of wagering given the weather situation.  At this moment it looks like nothing more than light showers are going to fall in front of the Twin Spires, so let’s plan on a fast track.  In that case, I will play the race as if there are four win candidates:

  5. Hold Me Back- This son of Giant’s Causeway is going 3rd off a layoff and exits a Blue Grass effort that was better than it looks on paper.  He is improving, has proven he matured into his 3YO season and represents a positive trainer-jockey combination.

 13. I Want Revenge- There isn’t a horse in the race with better credentials than this guy as his last two wins are arguably the best two races run by any runner in here.  He is working well, excels on dirt, and is strictly the one to beat with a fair trip.

16. Pioneerof the Nile- The pride of Bob Baffert’s stable will be trying dirt for the first time and from all accounts he seems to be handling it quite easily in the morning.  That’s not a surprise given his pedigree and expected talent level.  He’s a win candidate because he’s a winner and he simply has too much going for him to leave him off a Pick 4 ticket.

19. Desert Party- If the Dubai “curse” is broken my money’s on this guy doing it.  He and his stablemate Regal Ransom have been handled with care and the preparation that has gone in is quite different from what they’ve done in the past.  This guy is training beautifully and seems set to fire a big shot according to his trainer.

There are legitimately six more fringe players that some would argue are win candidates.  However, when push comes to shove, these are the four I’ll have on my multi-race plays with no exception.  Who do you like?

Good luck and enjoy the Kentucky Derby!

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One Response to “It’s time…”

  1. equestrian equipment Says:

    wow…really helpful post, thanks for sharing.

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