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Road to Kentucky Week 11

Historic Churchill Downs is home to the final two weeks of the contest, culminating with next week’s Kentucky Derby. Today the featured race is the Derby Trial and the connections of Pleasant Price and Eightyfiveinafifty have both expressed interest in entering the Derby next week if they get a win today. The last horse to go from the Derby Trial to the Derby was Don’t Get Mad in 2005, who ended up finishing fourth in the big race. It’s a muddy track at Churchill today and they are off the turf. Good luck with your selections!

Race 1: This is a Clm12500 for 3yo at 5.5f. I selected Big Jim K (ML 10-1) who is lightly raced and tries the dirt for the first time. He broke his maiden at Turfway Park two starts back in his career debut at 7-1 and was outrun last time at Keeneland at a higher level.

The Result: Dublin Da’bet won as the 8/5 favorite over second choice Poncirus (2-1) and Everybody Lies (7/2). My section finished fourth at 11-1. Logical opener…

Maximum Points: Dublin Da’Bet 102
Maximum Score: 102
My Score: 0

Race 2: This is a Clm40000 for f&m 3+ at 5f. I selected This Smoke Did It (ML 4-1) who gets Borel and appears to have the best early speed of this group. She ships in from Delta Downs. Two scratches leave a field of four.

The Result: Megawattie closed for the win at 5/2 over Mis Pardner Rules (9/2). The 3/5 favorite, This Smoke Did It (3/5) faded to third. Interesting that they paid to show in a four horse field!

Maximum Points: Megawattie 129
Maximum Score: 231
My Score: 21

Race 3: This is an Md20000 for f&m 3+ at 1m. I selected Susie’s Surprise (ML 12-1) who is a first time starter by Forestry. She’s well bred for the off track and debuts with Lasix.

The Result: Let’s Dream Again rallied to score at 5/2 over Tomisue Got Even (8/1) and Nikki Darling (22-1). The favorite Decantering (7/5) was fourth and my selection was far back at 13-1.

Maximum Points: Let’s Dream Again 158
Maximum Score: 389
My Score: 21

Race 4: This is a Clm30000N2L for f&m 3+ at 6f. I selected Raposa (ML 8/5) who ships in from Oaklawn after being wide in her last few starts. I’m breaking my rule by taking the favorite but I could find absolutely nothing else.

The Result: Raposa won as the heavy 3/5 favorite over Running Shoes (5-1) and Tight Jeans (9/2). Borel wins again.

Maximum Points: Raposa 75
Maximum Score: 464
My Score: 96

Race 5: This is a Md50000 for 3+ at 6f. I selected E T Go (ML 8-1) who is a first time starter by E Dubai and trained by Steve Margolis. Margolis is a sharp 25% with his first time starters.

The Result: Valerius won at 9/2 in his second career start over No Truth Told (2-1) and Flexthegoldenpipes (2-1). The winner made quite a bit of sense as he had a slow start in his debut and still ran a solid speed figure. He was also getting Lasix today. My selection trailed at 6-1.

Maximum Points: Valerius 194
Maximum Score: 658
My Score: 96

Race 6: This is a Clm15000N3L for 3+ at 1m1/16. I selected Devastador (ML 8-1) who was outrun against Allowance foes at Mountaineer but fit at this level at Turfway Park.

The Result: The favorite Forest Warfare went wire to wire easily at 3/2 over Bk’s Clearanceisle (13-1) and Sarkozy (4-1). My selection finished sixth at 8-1. Bk’s Clearanceisle got the most contest points for his second place finish.

Maximum Points: Bk’s Clearanceisle 156
Maximum Score: 814
My Score: 96

Race 7: This is an Msw48K for 3+ f&m at 6.5f. I selected Lily Meadow (ML 5-1) who makes her first start of the year with a strong work pattern. She showed early speed at Churchill last year before tiring.

The Result: Lily Meadow stalked the early pace and drew off late to win at 8-1. High Quality (7-1) was second and Catnandu (5-1) finished third. That was a nice price on the Dollase filly.

Maximum Points: Lily Meadow 338
Maximum Score: 1,152
My score: 434

Race 8: This is an OC80K/N3X for 3+ at 6f. I selected Cassoulet (ML 8-1) who is returning from a layoff with Borel aboard. He won at Churchill in a similar spot last year at 9-1.

The Result: Cassoulet drew away impressively at 4-1 over Lantana Mob (5/2) and Posse Cat (9/5). That’s Borel’s fourth win on the card.

Maximum Points: Cassoulet 190
Maximum Score: 1,342
My Score: 624

Race 9: This is an Alw50000N1X for 3+ f&m at 1m originally scheduled for the turf. I selected Hit It Rich (ML 7/2) who had two sharp outings at Gulfstream and Keeneland before shipping to Churchill. She fits the conditions as a lightly raced filly and is strictly the one to beat.

The Result: Hit It Rich prevailed at 3/5 over Lady Etienne (7-1) and Cruisin’nthebridle (5/2). There were only five in the gate with the move to the main track.

Maximum Points: Hit It Rich 79
Maximum Score: 1,421
My Score: 703

Race 10: This is the featured 86th running of the Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial. I selected Game On Dude (ML 10-1) who has a few angles worth considering at a price. He is a first time gelding, first time with trainer Bob Baffert and he was close to a hot pace in the Florida Derby.

The Result: Hurricane Ike won it fairly easily at 5-1 over Aikenite (6-1) and Pleasant Prince (9/2). Hurricane Ike was exiting a second place finish behind race favorite Eightyfiveinafifty and was making his third start off the layoff with Borel aboard. He had finished behind Lookin at Lucky twice last summer at Del Mar. Borel notches his fifth winner of the day! My selection loomed and faded at 5-1.

Maximum Points: Hurricane Ike 448
Maximum Score: 1,869
My Score: 703

Race 11: This is a Clm5000 for 3+ at 6f. I selected Prince David (ML 10-1) who ships in from Tampa and turns back in distance. He scored in a sprint three races back at 9-1.

The Result: Our Lucky Sox prevailed at 6-1 over Cape Town King (7/5) and Pacificator (42-1). He had been running at the Fair Grounds and was returning from a brief freshening.

Maximum Points: Our Lucky Sox 252
Maximum Score: 2,121
My Score: 703

Summary: Today was another good day if you are already near the top in the overall standings. There weren’t a lot of prices to be had. The weather might affect the Kentucky Derby once again as it was a very sloppy track today with heavy rain. There were no obvious track biases in play.

The Oracle