Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
It’s almost here
! The first Saturday in May
upon millions of dollars
are wagered on the biggest race of the year! As my
friend Eric always says, there are many ways to slice up the handicapping pie. Are
you a pace ‘capper, a trip ‘capper, a speed ‘capper, or do you just pick by
name? Do you prefer gray horses or jockey silks colors? Well I’ll give you my
analysis of this year’s Kentucky Derby – Dark Horse Style! Here we go (and good luck
(Run For The Roses - Dan Fogelberg... a nice way to set the tone)
First, before we get into the race analysis, I’d like to mention
hOw prominent the letter ‘O’
is in this year’s derby. WhOa. Look, we have Orb,
OxbOw and Overanalyze. Then we have VerrazanO, Black Onyx, RevOlutiOnary, GOlden
SOul, NOrmandy InvasiOn and GOldencents. Play all of them in a $0.10 superfecta
box and that will only cost you $302.40.
Now the extended weather forecast is also calling for a bit
. And when I say a bit, there could be as much as one inch of rain throughout
the day on Saturday. Sure the track has an amazing drainage system but I am
expecting a good to muddy track come post time. There isn’t a lot of data on
these horses previously running in the mud so an off track could break things
wide open. A $1 exacta ALL over ALL will cost you $380.
HORSES THAT I THINK HAVE THE BEST CHANCE TO WIN:
#16 – Orb
. I really think Orb is the real deal and deserves
to be the morning line favorite. He has won four in a row, and as my good
friend BSM always says, “winners win.” He was impressive in both the Fountain
of Youth and the Florida Derby and seemed to have a lot left in the tank
afterwards in each race. Joel Rosario has been ON FIRE
so far in 2013
absolutely dominating the Keeneland spring meet and is already hitting at 47%
so far at Churchill. Orb has the jockey, the pedigree, and the shortest name in
the field. With only three letters he’s not carrying that much weight
#8 – Goldencents
. Here’s a horse that has a ton of graded
stakes experience. In fact, the only time this horse did not run in a graded
stake was in his maiden race…which he won. The 1:48.3 time he posted in the
Santa Anita Derby was most impressive. Trainer Doug O’Neill has been working
this horse at six furlongs for some time, attempting to build up the stamina to
go the full ten furlongs. And for the type of year that co-owner Rick Pitino
has been having, a win here would be the icing on the cake.
#5 – Normandy Invasion
. In 1944, allied forces invaded the shores of
Normandy, France in Operation Overlord in what would be one of the larger
amphibious landings in World War II. The allied forces…oh, you mean the horse? This
lightly raced three year old has just one victory out of five races. Don’t let
that deter you from putting a few bucks on him though. He juuuuust missed in
the Grade 2 Remsen late last year and hasn’t missed by much in his two races
this season. He is coming into his third race off the layoff and the extra
distance should suit him well.
#6 – Mylute
. So 60 Minutes
just did a special on jockey
Rosie Napravnik so you’d think that would give Mylute an even better chance to
win, right? I mean, what a story! Well she and trainer Tom Amoss team up to win
at an amazing 33%. The horse was very game in the stretch battle with foe
Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby, losing just by a neck. I expect to see
some improvement from Mylute in this race and I wouldn’t be surprised if he
hits the board. A $10 win bet on Mylute will cost you $10.
If the track comes up muddy or sloppy
, you have to give
considerations to the following horses:
– 424 Tomlinson.
– Bo”rail” - near the rail - in the mud. Also
has an off-track victory.
– Already has an off-track victory.
HUGE LONG-SHOT THAT CAN WIN:
In recent history there have been two horses that have paid
more than $100 to win. Giacomo in 2005 and Mine That Bird in 2009 both had enormous
payouts and made some people quite wealthy. In the 2013 version, a horse that I
expect to out-run his odds is #1 Black Onyx
. While his time in the Grade 3
Spiral wasn’t too impressive, he has improved in each of his last few starts. His
only run on dirt wasn’t so great, but if you draw a line through that race, he
has three wins and one place in four other starts. That’s not too shabby! He is
running third off the break and trainer Kelly Breen is no stranger to winning a
triple crown race in the mud (see Ruler on Ice in the Belmont). I know it’s
been tough to win from the rail as of late, but with an anticipated faster pace
scenario, Black Onyx can sit off the pace and try to squeeze through traffic. At
50-1 it’s certainly worth a shot.
Here are a few horses that, unless they run the best race of
their life, really don’t have much of a shot to win…
#4 Golden Soul – In over his head here. Maybe 4th
place in a superfecta.
#7 Giant Finish – Probably won’t have a giant finish. Would
be a surprise.
#11 Lines of Battle – European-ish runner on dirt? No.
#13 Falling Sky – More of a sprinter, could have trouble
with the distance.
#15 Charming Kitten – Good pedigree…for turf…
#18 Frac Daddy – Maybe could get a piece, would need to run
…but then again it’s the Derby and ANYTHING is possible!
For years people have been attempting to develop systems and methods
to pick derby winners. I say, when in doubt, always pick who Drive On’s Garnet Barnsdale
picks! In this case he picks Orb over Revolutionary ($4 for a
$2 exacta box). The Little Dark Horse
likes Orb, and the Dark Wife likes Golden
Soul (chosen by the name only). All of the HRN team’s picks can be found HERE
the Derby is too difficult for you to pick, and you can spare $20, perhaps try
a pick 3 with two singles and an ALL in the Derby. Hey, that doesn’t sound like
a bad idea!
Getting some Oreos also seems like a good idea. OreO alsO starts with O.
Well there’s your Derby preview, Dark Horse style! Who do
you like in the most classic of all American races?