So here it is…for those that have qualified through cheaper tournaments or those that have ponied up $175 per ticket, it’s time to play Derby Wars BIG $25,000 game with a top prize of $10 Gs! I’m not going to bore you with too much analysis, especially since so many Derby Wars players are better than I. So with just a few single picks per track, I’ll get to it.
Gulfstream Park Race 7, Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile on turf
It makes little sense, but I have the feeling that not everything race will follow form today. Lemon Drop Kid is a prolific grass sire; Chad Brown’s numbers on turf, with maidens and off short layoffs are all ridiculous. None of this makes Brainwash a lock. The post is a problem, and he didn’t exactly do a lot of running in his first start. But the odds will be right…
Not much of price available here. I believe Tackleberry may soften up favorite Mucho Macho Man on the front end. Who knows, maybe Mucho Macho Man doesn’t need the lead and will race just off Tackleberry. I bet on the former and take a small shot with Jackson Bend. You could do worst then taking the only Grade I winner in the field.
This is a sprint race almost devoid of speed. In my eyes there looks to be only two that make the lead: Every So Lucky, who really doesn’t seem to be cranked up for this race and Trinniberg, who constantly has hit the front in all but one of his five lifetime starts. The barn and rider will keep the price right, so I say take a shot.
With the defection of Take Charge of Indy, Spring Hill Farm is going to get a lonely lead and take it as far as he’ll go. He’s bred to make it at least 8 ½ furlongs and without a challenge, Javier Castellano gets the trip he wants.
Santa Anita Race 6, Allowance, 6 ½ furlongs down the turf
In the strange world of racing down Santa Anita’s turf, the outside post isn’t really a problem. With only two horses willing to go for the lead, take the furthest from the rail: Kumiva. He’s coming off a year layoff, in which he failed coming down the stretch in his first start back. With that race under his belt, Kumiva is almost a lock.
Bodemeister will take them as long as he can, but he’s likely to have company as opposed to his last win in coast-to-coast fashion. Toss. Creative Cause seems the one to beat, but if you’re shopping a price horse at this stage in the contest you could do worst than either Liaison or Midnight Transfer. Man this is a deep field, but if I have to pick only one in here it’s Liaison, coming second off a layoff, proven at the distance and a grade one winner…all for 6-1.