3 horses to toss from your Kentucky Derby tickets

3 horses to toss from your Kentucky Derby tickets
Photo: Chelsea Durand / NYRA
When wagering on
 the Kentucky Derby, bettors need to take firm stances against some horses unless they want to hit the all button in the underneath slots.
 Most people will want to save money where possible in a 20-horse field.
 
 
Here is a suggestion of three horses to toss in this year’s Derby. 
 
Bourbonic 
 
Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) winner Bourbonic has been complimented for turning into a different horse with blinkers.  
 
Maybe he did move forward after his lackluster career debut at Belmont last October, but he still lacks a fast race in terms of TimeformUS Speed FiguresFor capturing the Wood Memorial, he put up a career high of only 104. This is not a fast crop, but a 104 is embarrassing relative to the top Derby 3-year-olds 
 
Also, Bourbonic broke his maiden in a claimer at Aqueduct before winning a starter allowance at Parx Racing and finishing second in an optional claiming race on the same course. The fact that trainer Todd Pletcher and Calumet Farm put Bourbonic up for sale once is a red flag, as well as sending him to the lower-tier Parx Racing. Both moves indicate the connections never thought highly of this Bernardini colt.   
 
As a final strike, this is a deep closer in an era where coming from the clouds does not work as often in the Kentucky Derby. He needs an absolute pace collapse to think about completing the superfecta, and that is not likely on paper as it stands 
 
Bourbonic is a toss from the trifecta. It is understandable if superfecta players want to spread far and wide for the fourth slot, but even that is questionable for him. 
 
Hidden Stash 
 
Tampa Bay Derby (G2) runner-up Hidden Stash sports a consistent record on the trail with three superfecta finishes in three tries. However, none of his TimeformUS Speed Figures are fast. Also, he shows one obvious mechanical flaw in not switching leads in most of his races.  
 
In the Tampa Bay Derby effort, he made a closing bid to battle Helium in the stretch and lose by only 3/4 of a length. Hidden Stash even made a proper lead switch. Despite the improvement, Hidden Stash ran only a 107 TimeformUS Speed Figure.  
 
In the Blue Grass Stakes (G2), Hidden Stash finished a non-threatening fourth and 10 lengths behind the Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality. While failing to switch leads, Hidden Stash earned only a 106 for completing the super.  
 
Hidden Stash’s habit of not switching leads is frustrating. Switching leads gives horses a second wind in the stretch run, which is especially helpful at 1 1/4 miles, when most of the horses fold in the stretch run.  
 
Watching the Blue Grass replay, Hidden Stash made a mild move on the far turn and had clear aim on Rombauer in third. Without switching leads, though, Hidden Stash lost ground to Rombauer and ended up 4 1/4 lengths behind him.
 
In the Kentucky Derby, it is not hard to envision Hidden Stash making a move on the far turn, failing to switch leads and falling out of contention in mid-stretch.

This is a tough call, but Hidden Stash’s slow speed figures and habit of not switching leads make him a toss, even in the underneath spots.  
 
Get Her Number 
 
Last fall, Get Her Number won the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita over Rombauer, making him a Grade 1 winner on paper. But he went on the shelf afterward and did not return until a lackluster seventh in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn. In those two races, he ran a 103 and 104 on TimeformUS.
 
Get Her Number made a step forward in the Arkansas Derby (G1) by finishing a closing fourth and posting a 109 TimeformUS Speed Figure. But it seems the Kentucky Derby is coming up too soon for this runner to make a real impact.
 
For one, the 109 TimeformUS Speed Figure is 10 points off the kind of figure he needs to hit the board, let alone upset the field. The winning Derby TimeformUS figure seems likely to fall in the 120s.
 
Perhaps Get Her Number improves in his third start off the bench, but another concern is his sudden lack of speed. In the American Pharoah win, he made use of a pressing style to put away the other speed and get the job doneThis year, Get Her Number runs as a closer. Why? Today’s Kentucky Derby favors speed or tactical speed.

Watch the Arkansas Derby again. He ran fourth, but he also came under a heavy ride to reach that point against suspect horses. Almost no one is choosing the winner Super Stock to upset the Kentucky Derby. In addition, the runner-up Caddo River is uncertain to run, while Concert Tour is a defect already and waiting for the Preakness.  
 
Get Her Number is a toss from tickets, especially with his closer style. If the connections skip the Derby and wait for the Preakness like Concert Tour, it might benefit him. 

Meet Reinier Macatangay

My first time at the racetrack came as a 5-year-old kid at Santa Anita Park. For most of my younger life, that was the only track I attended other the occasional visit to Hollywood Park. 

Years later, after graduating California State University, Stanislaus with an English MA, I began writing for Lady and the Track. From late 2014-2016, my articles were seen on a weekly basis and covered handicapping, interviews with well-known racing personalities, fashion and more. 

The handicapping style I use concentrates on pace analysis. Some horses are compromised by the pace. Others are helped. Handicappers just starting out cannot easily see how pace affects the finish, so with this blog, I hope to help those unsure of how to apply pace into their handicapping and post-race analysis. 

On an unrelated note, I enjoy video games and attending anime or comic-book conventions. I am currently based in Kentucky, but spend a lot of time traveling between there and California.

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