Odds are Anthony’s Cross Can’t Get No Respect

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 45

In scanning the latest 2011 Kentucky Derby Future Odds released Sunday by Lucky’s, I was struck by the number of underlays among the top choices. This is nothing new for Derby futures, but now as we hit the 45 day mark from the big event, it is clear that the top choices offer little to no real value. Uncle Mo 5-2? The Factor 4-1? Dialed In 6-1? To Honor and Serve 9-1? Thanks, but no thanks. Many of these horses will actually be higher when the field enters the starting gate. I think of the big names, it might be Premier Pegasus at 10-1, or Mucho Macho Man at 20-1 that offer the best value in my book, but still with so much that can happen in the next 6 ½ weeks, these odds are not good enough for me to consider them a wise investment at this juncture.

Still I scanned on. It’s just fun to see where an odds making expert from Vegas rates the multitude of horses listed on the Lucky’s list, and then compare that to my feelings on each horse. Soldat 13-1? No. Jaycito 15-1? Not quite. Stay Thirsty 20-1? Not for me. There must be horse in there that I like that still has juicy odds. Elite Alex interests me, but at 20-1, he is just too low to take the plunge. I took a long pause when I saw the well bred son of Distorted Humor, Machen is still listed at 40-1. Surely his odds would plummet with a big performance in Saturday’s Louisiana Derby, but I still can’t help wondering if he wants to beat top horses going ten furlongs. I will not play him, but with that find, I was becoming more interested in seeing what other possible hidden gems I could find. Another horse in with a chance in the million dollar Louisiana Derby, is an Al Stall trained gelding named Left. At 125-1 for Kentucky, the odds are certainly juicy, but when I weighed all the factors … with only two races under his belt, and the fact that the gelding would need to be a late supplement for the triple crown, meant that even at those odds, Left has too much to overcome for me to play him.

Working my way back up to the top of the list, a name suddenly jumped off the page at me. Anthony’s Cross is at 50-1. Talk about no respect, I was surprised. I like this horse quite a bit. Trained by the excellent horseman, Eoin Harty, the colt by Indian Charlie, out of Screening, by Unbridled is every bit as high on my personal list as several horses in the 20-1 or lower range. Not a star at two, Anthony’ Cross got a strong foundation as a juvenile. He rallied consistently against well thought of youngsters before hitting pay dirt in his fourth lifetime start. That first win just happened to be his only race under the twin spires of Churchill Downs, and he defeated the talented Tapizar that day to boot.

Tapizar would turn the tables when winning the Sham Stakes, as Anthony’s Cross spun his wheels a bit in his first race at three, and his first race over the superspeedway of Santa Anita. Harty equipped the bay colt, owned by Arianne de Kwiatkowski, with blinkers for the first time in his next start, and the improvement was obvious. Winning the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes in a spirited battle over Riveting Reason, Anthony’s Cross displayed both heart and the ability to handle nine furlongs. Since given a solid rest, he has been working up a storm of late over at Hollywood Park, including a recent bullet work in 46 4/5. It was the fastest work of the day by a long way, making me believe he should be in tip-top shape for an engagement in the April 9 Santa Anita Derby. As you can tell there is a lot about this guy, currently ranked #10 on the HRN 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders list, I like, and at 50-1, you can consider me in.

He may not be getting much respect on a national level, but I got my future horse, now I just need to find that phone number of my guy in Las Vegas.


Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to HRN, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing webcast HorseCenter, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars and is a Vox Populi committee member. He is a voter for racing's Hall of Fame, as well as a weekly NTRA poll voter. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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