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Road to Kentucky Week 12

It’s Derby Day! The track is a sea of slop and a few of the early turf races are moved to the main track. Yesterday the Kentucky Oaks was dramatic as Blind Luck was up in the final stride but that was a fast track. There are as many opinions on the Derby as there are horses in the race. I like Conveyance on the front end to take them a long way for Bob Baffert at a giant price. Good luck with your selections!

Race 1: This is an OC100K/N2X for 3yo at 1m1/16. I selected lone speed Broken Tango (4-1) for Bob Baffert shipping in from Oaklawn Park.

The Result: Favored Stay Put closed for the win at 3/5 over Vow to Wager (6-1) and Kettle River (3-1). My selection set the pace and faded at 5-1.

Maximum Points: Stay Put 75
Maximum Score: 75
My Score: 0

Race 2: This is an Msw48K for 3+ at 1m. I selected Henceforth (ML 5-1) who should be lone speed again. The blinkers are added and Albarado gets the call.

The Result: Zimmer rallied for the win with Borel aboard at 7/2 over My Piano Man (12-1) and Spicer (2-1). The son of Empire Maker loved the off track today. My selection made the lead under pressure and faded at 6-1.

Maximum Points: Zimmer 204
Maximum Score: 279
My Score: 0

Race 3: This is an Msw48K for 3+ f&m at 1m1/16 originally scheduled for the turf. I selected Poplar Girl (ML 20-1) who is second off the layoff and had some trouble in her last but finished third. She has a bullet work in the holster at the Churchill training track.

The Result: Sheryl’s Melody stalked the early lead and drew off at 7/2 over Poplar Girl (10-1) and C.S. Royce (2-1). The winner stalked the leaders from about three lengths off the pace.

Maximum Points: Sheryl’s Melody 180
Maximum Score: 459
My Score: 144

Race 4: This is an OC75K/N1X for 3yo at 6f. I selected Bravo Whiskey (ML 15-1) who might take advantage of a hot pace in this race. My selection won his debut in the slop at Fair Grounds and should be moving on the leaders turning for homer at a square price.

The Result: Wise Dan closed for the win on the outside at 7-1. Macjoey was second at 8-1 and Good Lord (5/2) finished third. My selection was fourth at 7-1. The winner was lightly raced and exiting a 15 length win on the polytrack at Turfway Park.

Maximum Points: Gridiron 310
Maximum Score: 769
My Score: 144

Race 5: This is an OC80K/N3x for 3+ at 1m1/16 originally scheduled for the turf. I selected Anarko (ML 12-1) who appears to be lone speed on paper and has a win on a sloppy track.

The Result: Pickapocket won with authority at 6-1 over Rogue Victory (6-1) and Hymn Book (6/5). The winner really took to the off track in his first ever on the dirt. My selection set the pace and faded at 6-1.

Maximum Points: Pickapocket 250
Maximum Score: 1,019
My Score: 144

Race 6: This is the 55th running of the G3 Eight Belles for 3yo fillies at 7.5f. I selected Sister Resistor (ML 12-1) who should sit back off a fast pace and makes her first start for trainer Richard Dutrow.

The Result: Buckleupbuttercup stalked the pace and drew away late at 7-1. Visavis was second at 5-1 and the heavy favorite Hot Dixie Chick (3/5) finished third. This was another race where the winner closed and won with a wide run down the stretch. Speed doesn’t seen to be holding very well so far. My selection didn’t get involved at 12-1.

Maximum Points: Buckleupbuttercup 282
Maximum Score: 1,301
My Score: 144

Race 7: This is the 25th running of the G2 Churchill Distaff Mile for f&m at 1m on the turf. I selected Fantasia (ML 5-1) who is second off the layoff after closing for second on the Keeneland turf. She had won three of eight races in Europe last year and should appreciate the off turf course.

The Result: Todd Pletcher won the race with Phola at 6-1 over Hot Cha Cha (9/2) and Miss Keller (11-1). The yielding turf produced three off the pace itm finishers. Phola is the daughter of Johannesburg and has now won three turf races in a row. My selection broke a bit slowly and could only manage fourth at 5/2.

Maximum Points: Phola 268
Maximum Score: 1,569
My score: 144

Race 8: This is the 24th running of the G1 Humana Distaff for f&m 4+ at 7f. I selected Warbling (ML 8-1) who has the highest last race speed figure in the race at this distance at Gulfstream Park. She looks like she’s working well at Churchill Downs. She has to contend with Informed Decision who has won 11 of 15 career starts including 6 of 8 at 7f.

The Result: Another wide closer won as Mona de Momma got the money at 8-1 over Pretty Prolific (9-1) and Informed Decision (2-1). Speed is not holding well and the outside part of the track looks pretty good. My selection set a fast pace to the top of the stretch and tired at 3-1.

Maximum Points: Mona de Momma 536
Maximum Score: 2,105
My Score: 144

Race 9: This is the 76th running of the G2 Churchill Downs for 4+ at 7f. I selected Wall Street Wonder (ML 12-1) who won three straight at Aqueduct and returns from a layoff. He may not have the suited style of today’s track as he is an early runner.

The Result: Former Canterbury runner Atta Boy Roy pulled the upset at 10-1 over Warrior’s Reward and Musket Man. The outside runners did well again. The jockey’s are saying the track is changing race by race.

Maximum Points: Atta Boy Roy 362
Maximum Score: 2,467
My Score: 144

Race 10: This is the 24th running of the G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic for 3+ at 1m1/8 on the turf. I selected Blues Street (ML 6-1) who has won four consecutive races for Todd Pletcher. He ran well over a soft turf course at Saratoga last August.

The Result: General Quarters took to the soft turf and won at 8-1 over Court Vision (5/2) and Loup Breton (3-1). The winner was an also ran in last year’s Derby but got a big victory today.

Maximum Points: General Quarters 332
Maximum Score: 2,799
My Score: 144

The Kentucky Derby: This is the 136th running of the G1 Kentucky Derby at 1m1/4. This is the second consecutive year that the Derby has been run over an off track and last year we got a very surprising result. The favorite this year is Lookin at Lucky who drew the inside post and has Garrett Gomez aboard. The race has come up fairly weak by historical standards but it is a well balanced group. I thought there were three main threats to win the race: Lookin at Lucky, Conveyance and Sidney’s Candy. I thought there were four horses that were second tier contenders: Ice Box, Nobles Promise, Super Saver and Mission Impazable, and the rest I eliminated for various reasons. For the contest I selected Conveyance who I thought could lead them into the stretch, but the track hasn’t been kind to front end types today. Conveyance has only been beaten by one horse and that one was unfortunately injured prior to the Kentucky Derby. A correct selection in this spot might be worth over three thousand points!

The Result: Calvin Borel wins the Kentucky Derby for the third time in four years for the Pletcher trained Super Saver, who was bet down significantly from his morning line. Super Saver got a great trip in the second flight behind a quick pace set by Conveyance and Sidney’s Candy. Sidney’s Candy gave it up pretty early as he appeared to really not like the off track and the pace was too quick for Conveyance. Ice Box rallied late for second but Super Saver was too far in front. Paddy O’Prado finished third. The favorite Lookin at Lucky really had some trouble as he appeared to be pushed into the rail two different times the first time past the grandstand. He steadied back towards the rear of the field and that was too much to overcome. The rail draw did appear to hurt him today. Congratulations if you selected Super Saver. Maria’s Mon sires his second Derby winner as he had Monarchos several years back.

Maximum Points: Super Saver 984
Maximum Score: 3,783
My Score: 144

Race 12: This is an Alw52500N2X for 3+ at 7f. I selected Coronet of a Baron (ML 6-1) who has been running on the polytrack in California and rallies from off the pace.

The Result: E Z’s Gentlemen won it at 5/2 for Baffert over Handleman (3-1) and Omniscient (4-1). One race too late for Bob Baffert. My selection finished fourth at 9-1.

Maximum Points: E Z’s Gentlemen 144
Maximum Score: 3,927
My Score: 144

Summary: I guess it’s fitting that Pletcher won the Derby this year since he won just about every prep race out there. You had a 25% chance if you just picked him on the blind. Borel was talking Triple Crown after the race and this horse appears to have a good running style to try to pull that off. I wasn’t sold on him after his losses in the Tampa Bay Derby and Arkansas Derby against what I thought weren’t the best fields but today he did give a peak effort. A score in the 2,500 range is a contender for the week. That’s a wrap for this year’s Road to Kentucky, congratulations to the weekly and overall winners!!

The Oracle