Somebody will win the Triple Crown Twin Quinella at Lucky’s Race and Sports Books. We just don’t know when.
"Hopefully it will be this Saturday," said Dan Shapiro, Lucky’s director of marketing. "The $8,630 prize is the biggest twin quinella ever at Lucky’s. To be able to win that much for just putting a $2 ticket together isn’t a bad deal."
The Twin Q contest, available at the downtown Plaza and Terribles (off Flamingo and Paradise Roads), began at $5,000 for the Kentucky Derby. With Mine That Bird winning at 50-1, nobody hit the Twin Q and the carryover to the Preakness again produced no victor.
"For the Preakness we had another longshot win the previous race at Churchill Downs so only a few tickets were eligible to win the Twin Q," Shapiro said. "None of them had Mine That Bird and Rachel Alexandra."
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The Twin Q involves picking the top two horses in any order for two races, one of which is the Triple Crown event. Shapiro used a race at Churchill Downs prior to the Preakness because the earlier race card at Pimlico was not as strong.
"We haven’t decided which race we will use along with the Belmont Stakes," Shapiro said. "It looks like an 11 or 12 horse field for the Belmont with Mine That Bird possibly going off as low as 6-5. That surprises me a little as does Calvin Borel guaranteeing victory after Bird’s last workout at Churchill Downs. Big Brown’s people did the same thing at the Belmont last year and he finished last."
Shapiro is looking at several horses that skipped the Preakness to be factors. "I think Dunkirk and Chocolate Candy are going to run strong. I especially like the fact Chocolate Candy has the top rider in the nation in Garrett Gomez. Another horse in the mix is Charitable Man, who has early speed and can handle the 1½ mile distance."
Shapiro believes betting will be down both in Vegas and at Belmont with the absence of Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra. "I think the race loses some of its luster without Rachel," he said. "Still, Borel has a chance for a personal Triple Crown and we have had good response for our Twin Q. We do expect another nice handle."
Should nobody hit the Twin Q, Shapiro said that it would carryover to next Saturday’s race card and continue each week until there’s a winner.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Mark Mayer