THE KENTUCKY DERBY
This race will all come down to how the first 1/4 is run, who gets position in this 20 horse field. Most of the top contenders drew ok post with maybe No. 2 Carpe Diem drawing to the inside. J.R. will get him out good and he is a must use especially at 8/1 when the highest odds he has ever been was 2/1 in the Grade I BC Futurity at Keeneland, a race in which he won. His stablemate No. 3 Materiality 12/1 must overcome the curse of Apollo, as he did not run as a 2yo. No. 6 Mubtaahij 20/1 on the morning line is a must use as his last two wins have come at 1-3/16. He has a top euro trainer and jock, he will be coming late to round out the trifectas and supers. On the surface Baffert holds the two aces with the undefeated No. 8 Dortmund 3/1 who owns a win over this Churchill surface and No. 18 American Pharoah who many say is the second coming. No. 10 Firing Line almost took Dortmund down two times and we will be using at 12/1 with big race Gary Stevens in the irons. 8-18 with 2-3-6-10
We get eight runners going five furlongs. No. 2 Magna Warrior is in top form and gets the hot riding Tyler Baze, he has won 5 of his 10 starts here. No. 1 My Slew gets his second off the layoff and first off the claim. No. 8 Shakahari will be blasting out of the gate and is the speed of the speed. 1-2-8
No. 4 Miss Boom Boom ran against Grade III company in her last race, she is spotted perfectly today. No. 7 Star Act finally got the maiden breaker off the layoff and looks set for another big effort. 4-7
No. 2 Derby Glass is the hunch play today, he comes off a nice win despite trouble and gets his first start off the O’Neill claim. No. 7 Spin Forty got the win off the layoff going the tough distance of 7 furlongs, he could pop right back. 2-7
No. 10 Positivo was claimed for $50k last year, he came back and ran for that same price tag. He showed some early speed and tired. He drops in for 20 today as they try and cut their losses, he has little to beat. 10
Down the hill they go, No. 3 Bench Warrant is a perfect 2-for-2 down the hill and is on a win every other race pattern and this is his win race. No. 6 Richard’s Boy won in his only start down the hill, he will be blasting from the gate. 3-6
Exacta box 3-6 and win and place 3
Trainer D’Amato can bring a runner back ready to roll and he sends out comebacker No. 1 Good Samurai. No. 6 Maximinus drops into a good spot and gets the hustling Maldo in the irons, look for more early speed today. No. 10 Sidepocket Champ just missed last time out and gets a much stronger rider today, he will sit and pounce turning for home. 1-6-10
They go down the hill again, No. 2 Divine Vision takes the blinkers off today. No. 3 Incline Village exits the same race and these two could finish one two. 2-3
No. 2 Iron Fist was last seen going off at 4/1 last year in the Del Mar Futurity vs the likes of American Pharoah, he finished 3rd and there are no Pharoah’s in this race. 2
No. 2 Nowalking has been bet like a champ and finally got the maiden breaker at even money last time out, he has a super work since. No. 7 Big Tire lost by a nostril last out and now is in the third race of his comeback and the one to beat. No. 9 Anxious Times exits our HTW list off a better than looked effort last time out. 2-7**-9
THE GRADE III PRECISIONIST
No. 2 Fury Kapcori had his prep at the Gate and now gets back to going long on the dirt. No. 5 Catch a Flight was not embarrassed in the Santa Anita Handicap finishing 3rd behind Shared Belief. 2-5
Maidens go down the hill to end the day, No. 2 Moussed Up is better than his first and has a nice work for this. No. 6 Unusual Alex is a first time starter who is bred for this trip and its ironic that he draws the services of Alex Solis. No. 7 Unusualy is another Unusual Heat colt and he ran big in his first try down the hill. No. 10 Los Gatos is another Unusual Heat he comes off the layoff. 2-6-7-10
No. 2 My Discretion looks to be sitting on the win. No. 3 Our Brother B. A. and No. 6 Rojac both exit the same race. 2-3-6
No. 1 Miss Centerfold was eased last time out on the grass at Santa Anita and now comes here for Hollendorfer and it’s a good sign she stays claim proof, her stablemate No. 6 Lucy in Diamonds also ships in. No. 7 Belle Hill was bet down to .60 cents on the dollar in her first start finishing 3rd. 1-6-7
No. 4 Cat McLish ships in from Santa Anita and gets the big drop in class and finds little to beat. No. 6 Lucky Jack comes off the layoff for Martin and gets the hot riding David Lopez. No. 8 Zenyandthejet gets a little drop in class and could be the speed. 4-6-8
No. 1 Trifecta shipped in from the Fairgrounds and got the win, he is looking for his third straight win on the grass. No. 2 Rye Patch ran good in his two turf starts here. No. 3 Private Joke is a perfect 2-for-2 on this turf course. 1-2-3
They finally give up on No. 6 He’s On His Toes, they drop to the bottom. No. 7 Matzoh Ball Magic ships in and drops and gets Baze. 6-7
No. 7 Compari not the animal he once was but still has some run and gets his first start off the claim and Baze gets back on. No. 5 American Aristocat will try and take them wire-to-wire. 5-7
No. 6 Preacher’s Bluff drops to the level of his claimed price and his win. No. 10 Kochees gets Gonzo on first off the claim, look for a big run. 6-10
No. 2 Dr Williams is in top form and has a bullet work for this. No. 6 Papa’s Trashed exits the same race.
No. 3 Jackpot Joe is perfectly spotted off the maiden win. No. 7 Tribal Waters is the horse to beat on the drop to this level. 3-7
No. 10 Eleven Zip can grass, he will be flying late and can pop at a nice price, we will take our shot.
Win and place 10
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Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].