April 30, 2009 § Leave a comment
I realize this is lazy, but below is the full text of the horse-by-horse analysis I wrote along with Justin Dew for the official Kentucky Derby site. You can also read it here. (If you haven’t been following Justin’s blog all Derby season, but you’ve been reading this site, you’ve truly been missing out.) Tomorrow I will have another link, which is an in-depth piece I wrote for a non-horse racing site about Jenny Craig and her Derby hopeful, Chocolate Candy. But that’s coming tomorrow. Wait for it.
Now that we know which horses are breaking from which post under which jockey, we can start to give thought to how our wagering will shake out. You really need to go horse by horse before you can come to any wagering conclusions, however. Superfan Meredith and I debated the merits of all 20 starters. Here’s what we came up with, in a blatant ripoff of Daily Racing Form’s Derby Watch feature….
West Side Bernie
Justin: An honest enough horse who’s probably not on the same level as the top guns.
Meredith: I have to agree – I don’t think Bernie will hit the board here.
J: I hope this race doesn’t ruin him because I think he has a nice career ahead of him.
M: Agreed, again. He’ll have a nice career against horses of a lower quality.
Mr. Hot Stuff
J: I think he’s 3rd-best….among the WinStar horses.
M: Ouch! There’s something I like about this one. He’ll be in my wagers somewhere.
J: He’s getting good at the right time, but would need to step it up even more to win.
M: I had no thoughts on Advice before the Lexington and I still don’t. I defer to you.
Hold Me Back
J: The way he’s looked this week, he might be bet more heavily than you would think.
M: He’s the last one standing of my sentimental favorites. I’ll have bragging rights.
J: Clearly a talented horse, but with the layoff I won’t be using him.
M: The layoff doesn’t bother me. I would love the see him get that happy ending for Larry Jones.
J: Good, but I just think others are better.
M: I just can’t drum up any interest in this one in spite of the Arkansas Derby.
Mine That Bird
J: At least he didn’t take someone else’s spot. We almost had a field of 19.
M: I wish he had stayed local.
Join in the Dance
J: He’ll be your early leader, and then likely finish 18th or worse.
M: He’s not one of my last-place picks but, agreed, he doesn’t have the chops for this distance.
J: I see him on the lead at some point in the final 3/8 of a mile.
M: And I know you think he might hang on – but I think he’ll fade. To 10th or so.
J: While I don’t think he’s as good as some, he has every right to win.
M: He hasn’t been as good as some … yet … but might be sitting on something explosive.
J: I know it was a year ago, but let’s not forget he debuted for a $20k tag.
M: My other upset favorite. If he pulls it off, my 80-1 futures wager will be a lovely consolation prize.
I Want Revenge
J: If you can stomach taking 3-1 in a 20-horse field, have at it. Regardless, he’s good.
M: Luckily, I don’t need to stomach him at 3-1 – I locked him in at 54-1 in Pool 1. This favorite is my favorite.
J: Considering the owners have another, I’m surprised he was entered.
M: My bold prediction here is … last place!
J: Might be a superstar, but with a lack of evidence to support that theory, I’ll pass.
M: Uh oh. You’re going to take a lot of heat in the comments for that one.
Pioneerof The Nile
J: The only multiple Grade I-winner in the race. And look who he’s beaten. Top pick.
M: He’s only beaten them by a length, or a length and a half … or a nose. And revenge is sweet.
J: Let’s be honest. This would be an absolute shock.
M: I think he’ll have to battle Atomic Rain for last place.
Nowhere to Hide
J: I have a feeling Zito wishes he has somewhere to hide.
M: I’m not going to say an unkind word about this horse. But only because I think Zito is kind of sexy.
J: It’s still too hard for me to pick a Dubai horse on top. He’s a player, however.
M: You wrote a column earlier this year how there’s always a horse you wish wasn’t running in a race – Desert Party is that horse for me. I’m worried he might be a monster.
J: Those who like Lukas will get a big price.
M: I do like Lukas, and as much as I’m tempted to make a ‘flying home coach’ joke, but I will restrain myself.
Superfan Meredith’s analysis and wagers…….
One horse in this year’s field has stood out to me since the CashCall Futurity in December; the wire photo from that race – where POTN is stretching his nose past IWR – was imprinted on my brain for weeks. But unlike Justin, I’m pulling for IWR — I love a good comeuppance story, which led me to make that 54-1 Pool 1 bet. He finishes first, I get a new Louis Vuitton bag. Since the price tag on those isn’t cheap, I’m also playing a few exotics, just in case there’s no revenge to be had — detailed below.
I Want Revenge, Friesan Fire, Pioneerof The Nile
Those 3 plus Desert Party, Dunkirk
Those 5 plus Hold Me Back, Chocolate Candy, General Quarters, Mr. Hot Stuff