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HRN Original Blog:
Race Talk with the Girl Next Door

Ready to Make My Derby Selections

 
Yesterday was the Kentucky Derby Post Draw so I guess that means that I can’t put it off any more. I have tried to wait till the very last moment to announce my top 5 Derby Picks, but the time has come. There are so many horses in this field that could win the Derby picking out five of them as your favorite is no easy task, but here they are.
 
#5 Wood Memorial runner up, Alpha- I always thought this horse could be a strong contender in the Derby if he figured out his gate issues and it looks like he has. Pulling post 11 is the worse post for this son of Bernardini because he will be the first to load along with Daddy Long Legs. I was thinking about tossing him after the draw, but I think he was very good in the gate last time out and I am sure McLaughlin has been schooling him. I also think that the pace of the race may set up for exactly what Alpha is looking for. So with all that, I am keeping him on my ticket.
                           
#4 Spiral Stakes Winner, Went the Day Well- This horse was never on my radar but after watching him win the Spiral and seeing such a great post position I put him in my top 5. I was not a fan of his because I was never that big on Animal Kingdom. The connections tell us he is a few strides better then Animal Kingdom but truth be told, he better be because this year’s field is better than the one faced by Animal Kingdom. I don’t think he will find much trouble with his draw, I don’t think distance will be an issue; I think the horse is fresh and relaxed and ready to go so for that reason I am putting him on my ticket.
 
#3 Sunland Derby Winner, Daddy Nose Best- I went back and forth on this horse but checking out the pace that should be in this race, I think he could be your winner. This race should set up for his hard closing style with the likes of Hansen and Trinniberg speeding off early. I think you may have a perfect storm brewing for a Daddy Nose Best Derby win. You have a horse that is getting over the track impressively, with a good post (not that it matters with a closer), in a race that is going to have a very fast pace for this closer to run at down the stretch and what I think is the best closing jockey in the nation. I will gladly take my 20-1 chances on this horse.
 
#2 Arkansas Derby Winner, Bodemeister- The way this horse won the Arkansas Derby says it all, how can you not like this horse? He was so relaxed when he won the Arkansas Derby, he looked like he was just floating over the track at his leisure and he just happened to be in a race. I never saw his jock really ‘ask’ for anything from this horse so it is all saved up for this Saturday. But, I think he is going to need it. In the Arkansas Derby he had things his own way, out on the lead, setting the pace, no trouble…I don’t know if it will unfold that way for him this Derby day. That being said, this horse is a very talented horse and should be able to overcome whatever is thrown at him. That is what I am betting on anyway. I know he doesn’t have the experience, but not only do I think this horse has the chance to break the long standing Derby rule but if he stays health there is no telling what other 34 year old droughts he may break.
 
#1 My pick since last November, Union Rags- I know that when we are placing our money on horses there is no room for emotional bets, but I don’t care. I was so impressed with his second place finish in the Juvenile. He was so close and covered SO MUCH ground. I thought for sure as he stretched out longer, the better he would be. I thought, ‘if they could just teach this horse to run straight down the lane, he would be dangerous’. They must have taught him just that because he won the Fountain of Youth going straight. He was impressive, but this is a game of ‘what have you done for me lately’ and that win has been forgotten a little. Then came the Florida Derby, where he was sure to win but Castellano would make sure that didn’t happen. My Union Rags was boxed in right out the gate and had nowhere to go. Once he found a hole, he started with his long strides toward the finish line, it was too late but I think that may have been his most educational race. He was put in a position that you just can’t train for, but he knows what it is like to find trouble and his jockey definitely learned something that day.  
 
So there are my favorites for the Derby, till next week I wish you all the best of luck!

 

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Older Comments about Ready to Make My Derby Selections...

I'm heading to Louisville, third Derby - live. Good luck to everyone wagering the two day cards. One horse scares the S*** out of me and I will be using him in all my exotics- Daddy Nose Best !!! Best foundation of any 3YO in this field, he loves CD track.
I've been high on I'll Have Another for so long, but I'm scared off by that bad post draw... Is that silly?
Dullahan-Union Rags- El Padrino- Bodemeister- Creative Cause & long shots Trinnberg + Daddy Long Legs
Icy...i would throw out CC put in Alpha in...
My early picks are in no particular order with the exception being Bodemeister will win or be out of the money. Union Rags, Bodemeister, I'll Have Another, Gemologist, Creative Cause

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Meet Angela D'Amico
My horseracing journey and my quest to learn more about it has brought me to the University of Louisville Equine Program, but it began before I was born. My parents met when their parents shared ownership in a few racehorses. Although they did not own any horses when I was growing up, my grandfather still took me to the racetrack all throughout my childhood. In 2007, my stepfather introduced me to different racetracks and handicapping techniques, but it was not until the 2009 Preakness that I was really hooked.
 
A filly, Rachel Alexandra, venturing into a man’s world caught my eye and I fell in love with her completely. This was when my life changed. When it comes to racing and choosing my favorite horses, I have always seen perfection in what others would characterize as flaws. With this blog, I hope to show everyone that horseracing is not just a gamble, it is a passion.