Like my esteemed TBA colleagues, I feel somewhat dizzied from analyzing the myriad of information leading up to the Kentucky Derby. I got a nice (paying) gig offering my take on the Derby competitors over at Bettorsworld.com; if so inclined you can read my articles here and here.
I don’t want to rehash my arguments—I still dislike both Pletcher horses, Gayego, Anak Nakal, Z Humor, Recapturetheglory, and Big Brown.
What can I say—I refuse to drink the Big Brown kool-aid. He is not the second-coming of Curlin—that big chestnut never had foot issues—and the lightly-raced issue is very legitimate (Curlin did not win the Derby). This will be unlike any other race Big Brown or any of these horses have been in before—the huge jostling field, the massive crowd noise, etc. Dismissing his wide gate, newly-bandaged front legs, and serious experience issues is fool-hardy. Believe me, I grew up in the 1970s—I know how much we all want to see another Secretariat, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Spectacular Bid, et al. I just don’t think this one it is. And despite whatever psychedelic trip Rick Dutrow is on, his horse is not invincible—unless...well, we’ll leave it at that.
All things considered, include the possibility of an off-track, I’m not committing to one horse—gutless you say? Nope. Like many others, none of these horses have totally convinced me they are heads above the others. So, other than my futures wagers, I’ll be wheeling some trifectas (damn Churchill for eliminating the 10 cent superfecta for this race!). My futures wagers are:
• Tale of Ekati (33-1) Pool 1
• Smooth Air (30-1) Pool 3
• Visionaire (19-1) Pool 3
I love Tale of Ekati, but I’m just not “feeling” him here so I may pass on including him in my exotics. And I would love to see Bennie Stutts win with Smooth Air—but good guys rarely win the “big” race in this game, unfortunately. But wouldn’t that be a wonderful story?
Short and sweet—who do I like? Colonel John, Court Vision, Eight Belles, and Visionaire—not in any particular order, although I’ll be rooting hard for Eight Belles! Good luck everyone, and may all the horses run safely.
Kentucky Derby Betting Odds