Lexington fair odds: Disarm's Derby dreams face stiff challenge

Lexington fair odds: Disarm's Derby dreams face stiff challenge
Photo: NYRA

Steve Asmussen already was talking Kentucky Derby for Disarm before the Gun Runner colt had returned to be unsaddled following a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, but best-laid plans and all that as his 40 points is currently on the outside of the 20-horse field for the May 6 race at Churchill Downs.

Disarm is the lone Derby hopeful in the Saturday's Lexington (G3) at Keeneland, and he needs a top-three finish to qualify for America's most famous horse race. His name recognition is sure to attract money, which makes this an excellent betting opportunity as the morning line (7-2) projects an underlay given my fair odds of 8-1.

No. 5 First Mission and No. 8 Empirestrikesfast intrigue me most. I give a slight edge to First Mission, who I estimate wins this race 28.57 percent of the time (i.e. 5-2 fair odds). I leaned slightly in his direction because of more experience and with the somewhat inside draw (especially relative to the other top contenders all drawn to his outside), he should get the best run.

Empirestrikefast was determined on his debut over Dreamlike, who, while still a maiden, finished third in the Wood Memorial (G2) last week. He's clearly good enough to win and might be the better bet versus our top pick, given final odds.

The long shot who intrigues me most would be No. 9 Prairie Hawk, who exits what has turned out to be a productive Tampa Bay Derby. Certainly no disrespect to the rider colony in Oldsmar, Fla., but John Velazquez getting aboard this one intrigues.

 HorseEd's fair odds
1Baseline Beater40-1
3Demolition Duke30-1
5First Mission  5-2
6Disarm  8-1
8Empirestrikesfast  3-1
9Prairie Hawk20-1
10Curly Larry and Mo51-1
11Arabian Lion  6-1

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