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Road to Kentucky Continues

R2KThis is likely the last Kentucky Derby prep race for those entered in Saturday’s Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby. As the saying goes, its time to fish, cut bait, or go ashore. For many this means win or forget about the first Saturday in May.

The featured track for this week’s Road to Kentucky contest is Aqueduct plus the Santa Anita Derby is an added bonus race. Post time is 11:30.

In The Wood at The Big A we have a showdown between two undefeateds in Verrazano and Vyjack, both who have 50 Derby qualifying points and have secured a spot in the field. In other words, they do not need to win. Verrazano has been impressive in all three wins and has back to back triple-digit Beyer figures. None of the others here have approached a 100 fig, hence Verranzo is 4/5 on the morning line. He has pushed around mediocre competition and finally faces a legitimate threat in Vyjack.

Normandy Invasion went favored in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds and never threatened. He has 4 points and must either win or run again before the Derby if the connections intend to party in Louisville.

I’ll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby last year and went on to win the Kentucky Derby. This year’s edition attracts an interesting group. Super Ninety Nine was the double-Beyer Figure advantage horse when he went postward at 6/5 in the Rebel at Oaklawn. He flashed and faded to fifth so keep that in mind before declaring Verrazano a slam dunk in New York. Super Ninety Nine has just 10 points. Bejarano abandons ship to ride Power Broker, a very live prospect who has been away since running fifth in the BC Juvenile at 5/2 odds. This colt has 10 points as well. If 50 is the assumed point level needed to make the cut then a top 2 finish is required. Baffert is asking a lot from Power Broker but at a fair price you might lean this way.

Goldencents has 29 points. A big finish Saturday would land jockey Kevin Krigger in the Derby for the first time. Hear the Ghost, a Hollendorfer trainee , has a passport to the Derby with his win in the San Felipe but Flashback, another Baffert runner, finished second in that race and needs more than the 30 points he has thus far acquired.

Must Pay in the Gulfstream Rainbow 6 on Friday

Assuming the Gulfstream Pick 6 does not get hit today by a single ticket, the carryover will be $2,000,000 and the pool is estimated by some optimists to reach as high as $8 million on Friday when it must be paid on the final day of the meeting. This diabolical bet normally works like this: 10 cent base wager but the only way to win the pot is to hold the lone winning 6 of 6 ticket. If there are multiple winners then they chop a percentage and the rest goes into the carryover. It works like that until the final day which is Friday. The bet is still a 10 cent per combo minimum but Friday all holding 6 of 6 tickets get a share. Pool your money with friends and swing big, and as always, bet it at Canterbury Park.

Keeneland Opens Friday

This is a sure sign of spring. First post is noon.