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Road to Kentucky & Oscar Odds

side_oscarThe Road to Kentucky Handicapping contest continues this week with races from the Fair Grounds plus an additional bonus race – The Fountain of Youth from Gulfstream. Post time and entry deadline is 12:30pm.

We called on racing analyst Angela Hermann for her thoughts on the Derby prep races. Angela is currently serving as analyst at Hawthorne Race Course and will return to Canterbury for the spring and summer.

The Fountain of Youth:

There are some questions to be answered in this race, but certainly not by Violence. Unfortunately, he’s the only Grade 1 or Grade 2 winner entered, and off his smashing CashCall win should end up in the neighborhood of 1-5. Based on his three starts thus far he deserves those puny odds, especially after handling Breeders’ Cup runner-up He’s Had Enough the way that he did. Give Speak Logistics another chance to redeem himself and turn the tables on Falling Sky, as he was shut off cold on the rail while making his move past the latter and raced evenly from that point. He’s Had Enough has shown flashes of talent capable of competing with Violence, but needs to show he can put it together in the afternoon the way he does in the morning. At least his pilot and partner in crime Lava Man join him for the journey east, but 9 lengths are a lot to make up on a horse as sharp as Violence.

The Risen Star:

Contention runs much deeper in the Risen Star, but this capacity cast are an interesting bunch from a pace standpoint. Oxbow could get a very similar trip to the Lecomte but was that race really that good? If your answer is no then the options are many, but not many are stakes proven. Though it wasn’t a fast race, Proud Strike’s maiden win was a blowout from the outside post. He draws the rail for the ‘Star, and if Gary Stevens really does fly out to ride him you know he’ll utilize that ground-saving post while the rest will surely have to cover a bit extra in a fourteen horse field. Code West represents the Baffert brigade, but has lost to a couple of his stablemates in his last three races, and was tooth-and-nail at 1/5 to beat Dr. Spin in his only career win. A piece seems more likely for the son of Lemon Drop Kid. Of course Oxbow will be one to run down, but stretching-out Palace Malice probably won’t let him out of his sights. Give the son of Curlin a big chance in his first try around two turns for Todd Pletcher.

Bombs at the Gate

Last week Golden Gate was the contest track. The perception seems to be that Russell Baze wins every race and the prices are always short. Baze did boot home three winners in the nine-race card. He won the opener paying $2.80. Race two was his at an $11.00 mutuel and he won race 4 and paid $5.40. An average day for The Muscle.

Four races produced winners that paid more than $20 including Dice Flavor in the double-point El Camino Real and ultra-bomber Flying Marine in race three at $90.60.

Last week’s winner, Kimberly Larson, amassed an impressive 2046 points to win the $500 wagering card.

Oscar Odds

Sunday night is the 85th Academy Awards. Oscar pools and side bets are a staple for many Oscar viewers. And why wouldn’t they be?

Success in these pools hinge on nailing obscure categories like Best Makeup, Costume Design etc and Short Film but the major categories draw all the attention.

Argo is the prohibitive favorite for Best Picture at 1 to 7. Voters likely make up for snubbing Ben Affleck in the Best Director category and send it in on Argo. Lincoln is a sneaky mid-priced possibility at 5 to 1 and longshot players lean toward Silver Linings Playbook at 25 to 1.

Daniel Day Louis is 1/50 for Best Actor. Simple formula: Play Lincoln with Spielberg directing and receive Oscar.

Best Actress is contentious. Jennifer Lawrence is the 1 to 2 favorite while Jessica Chastain is 4 to 1. Chastain won the Golden Globe for Best Actress -Drama. Lawrence won for Best Actress – Comedy/Musical. Chastain’s film, Zero Dark Thirty has some content issues with Hollywood types but it was a superior movie technically and her performance brilliant. Play.

This blog was written by Canterbury Media Relations Manager Jeff Maday. Maday has filled multiple positions including Media Relations and Player Relations Manager since the track reopened in 1995.