cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
On 05/01/2013 12:41 AM in Other Sports

Cnotes 2013 Kentucky Derby Scoops and Best Bets !

Derby Countdown - Part I

April 30, 2013

Part I - Part II

Welcome to the Derby Countdown, your source for anything and everything in the last days leading up to Kentucky Derby 139 on May 4 at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Anthony Stabile, best known for picking 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide at odds of over 12-1, will break down the top contenders for this years’ Run for the Roses, exclusively on, culminating on Friday, May 3th with an extensive analysis of every runner that steps into the gate for the most exciting two minutes in sports. On both May 3rd and May 4th, Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day, you’ll be able to purchase Stabile’s Pick Packs, full of selections and plays for two of racings’ most exciting days of the year. To purchase Anthony Stabile Kentucky Derby products, CLICK HERE.

With less than a week until the 139th Kentucky Derby, we’ll spend the next few days taking a look at the almost two dozen horses still pointing to the Run for the Roses. Of course, only 20 can run and who’s in and who’s out will be decided by the newly implemented points system that replaced the old graded stakes earnings disaster.

Normally when I write the countdowns and previews I try to cover the runners by region, and will do so to some degree from hereon in, but this initial edition will be dedicated to a trainer, Todd Pletcher.

When the first Saturday in May rolls around this year, there is a pretty good chance that Pletcher, a fairly dismal 1 for 31 in the Derby with Super Saver being his lone winner back in 2010, will be saddling a record-tying five runners in the Derby. He could have easily saddled eight or nine if it hadn’t been for injuries suffered by both Violence and Shanghai Bobby and for him showing prudence by not entering point qualifiers Winning Cause and Forty Moves. We’ll start with the colt that has the most points and who may in fact be sent off as the favorite, the undefeated VERRAZANO.

By the time this Derby is over, you’re going to wish you had a dollar for each time you heard that Apollo way back in 1882 was the only Derby winner to have not raced as a two year old. That tidbit, along with the fact that his pedigree suggests he may have distance limitations may be the only two bullets his naysayers have going onto the Derby because it’s hard to knock what he’s done on the track.

After toying with maidens on New Years’ Day at Gulfstream Park, Verrazano won an entry level allowance contest by over 16 lengths a month later at Gulfstream as well. Obviously a serious Derby contender, Pletcher decided to send the son of More Than Ready to the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs, a curious decision for such a lightly raced horse when you consider that the Tampa surface is considered one of the quirkiest in the country.

Verrazano passed his stakes and two turn debut with flying colors, essentially going gate-to-wire by a comfortable three lengths over eventual Blue Grass winner Java’s War. A trip to New York for the Wood Memorial was up next and while his ¾ length score wasn’t nearly as visually impressive as any of his first three starts it was probably his most useful and informative for Pletcher.

Sitting a couple of lengths off of a longshot pacesetter, regular rider John Velazquez, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom, set Verrazano down to grab the lead at the start of the far turn before gathering him back to keep him in a bit of a dogfight with the one-time pacesetter.

After disposing of the cheap speed, Verrazano held off an early stretch bid from the then undefeated Vyjack and the furious late rally of Normandy Invasion under a vigorous hand ride by Johnny V. While the early pace was somewhat pedestrian, Verrazano came home the last three furlongs in :36 3/5 and galloped out strongly past the wire.

Verrazano arrived at Churchill Downs in mid-April and has impressed everyone who has watched him train over the course. A five furlong move in 1:00 15 on 4/21 was followed up by a sparkling :59 2/5 move going the same distance on 4/27, his last major work before the Derby.

When Pletcher won his lone Derby three years ago, it wasn’t with either of his main riders, Johnny V. or Javier Castellano in the saddle, it was with Calvin Borel, racing’s newest inductee into the Hall of Fame, who this year will pilot REVOLUTIONARY. Oddly enough, Borel, who also took the 2007 running aboard the popular Street Sense and the 2009 renewal aboard 50-1 upsetter Mine That Bird, picked up the call after Castellano decided to ride Normandy Invasion instead of this colt by War Pass.

Sent off as the favorite in each of his six starts, Revolutionary burned an awful lot of wagering money in his first three starts, all around one turn, going off as the heavy chalk at odds of 7-5, 3-10 and 2-5. It wasn’t until his first try around two turns that Revolutionary finally got the job done, at a relatively robust even money, in a one mile contest over the inner track at late December.

His next start would come over the same course a little over a month later in the Withers. Revolutionary gave his backers fits again, breaking a bit slowly and trailing throughout most of the race before uncorking a furious late rally in the lane to get up in the last two jumps by a neck at a shade under odds of 4-5. Still, he overcame plenty of adversity that day and while the quality of the field was suspect and his speed figure was on the slow side many figured he’d be a colt that would make an impact on the Derby Trail.

Nearly two months after his Withers tally, Revolutionary faced his biggest test to date in the Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds and was the highest price of his career, 2-1. Again breaking towards the rear and last early, Revolutionary came five wide on the far turn and gamely won a deep stretch battle by a neck over longshot Mylute by the same margin he took his previous race by.

Anyone and everyone in Louisville agree that revolutionary has arguably been one of the two or three best looking on the track in the weeks since the Louisiana Derby. He’s worked a pair of half miles, covering the distance in :48 4/5 on 4/21 and :48 1/5 on 4/27 while scraping paint along the rail under Borel. Though neither of those times are as flashy as some of his competitors, it’s the way he’s doing it and training in general that has made him the talk of the town.

Sometimes that talk can be negative and that was the case with OVERANALYZE heading into his last start in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. Though he was flying a bit under the radar, the rumor mill still managed to churn out info that had him having traveled terribly to Hot Springs and not handling the track at all. The result: a rousing 4 ¼ length score off of a wise trip under new rider Rafael Bejarano, who was subbing for Velazquez, that thrust him right back into the Derby picture.

Coming into the season, Overanalyze was one of the winter book favorites after winning three of five starts as a juvenile, including the Futurity going six furlongs at Belmont and his last start of the year, the Remsen going nine furlongs where he battled gamely through the stretch before holding off Normandy Invasion by a nose.

In his only other start this year, Overanalyze got the worst of the draw in the Gotham, pulling the outside post 11 which forced him into a wide trip before finishing a non-threatening fifth as the 8-5 favorite.

A son of Dixie Union, Overanalyze worked a sharp half mile in :47 on 4/27 at Churchill in what will be his lone morning drill before the Derby.

Like Verrazano, PALACE MALICE will be making his fifth start of the year come Saturday. After breaking his maiden in his second start last year, Palace Malice went on the shelf for over five months before popping up in an entry level allowance contest at Gulfstream where he finished second going seven furlongs over a sloppy track.

His subsequent three starts came against graded stakes foes. He almost stamped his Derby ticket in the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds but could manage just a third place finish when beaten a half-length. Then in the Louisiana Derby he had a nightmare trip while racing inside and basically being forced to steady and check for a quarter mile in the stretch.

Desperate for Derby points, Pletcher wheeled this son of Curlin back two weeks later in the Blue Grass, switched riders and finished second by a neck despite sitting a perfect trip and getting his head in front in deep stretch at one point. Another who’s worked just once between his last start and the Derby, a solid half mile at Churchill in :47 1/5 on 4/27, he’ll get the riding services of Mike Smith, who upset the 2005 Derby aboard 50-1 Giacomo.

CHARMING KITTEN was right behind Palace Malice when the hit the wire in the Blue Grass and almost grabbed the brass ring under Joe Bravo, who’s otherwise committed in the Run for the Roses, leaving this son of turf specialist Kitten’s Joy without a rider as of this writing.

The Kentucky Derby will actually be his conventional dirt debut as his first seven starts have come over synthetics and on the turf. Both of his wins have come on the turf, including a minor stakes named after his sire earlier this year at Gulfstream. He was absolutely flying last out which likely has his connections thinking he’ll relish the added distance of this race. Charming Kitten worked a half mile at Churchill on 4/27 in:48 2/5.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/01/2013 12:43 AM

Derby Countdown - Part II

April 30, 2013

Today’s installment of the Derby Countdown takes us to two places that probably couldn’t be more different if they tried – California and Arkansas. We’ll start on the West Coast where the most interesting development may not be their lone representative, GOLDENCENTS, but the fact that Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who at one point had over a half dozen head pointed towards the Run for The Roses will not have a runner in the race for the first time in five years.

Don’t get me wrong, Goldencents has plenty of storylines of his own. His trainer, Doug O’Neill, of course won last years’ Derby and Preakness with I’ll Have Another and was poised to take a run at the Triple Crown before he was forced to scratch his colt the day before the race due to a recurring leg injury.

His jockey, the outspoken, cocky and confident Kevin Krigger will be making his Derby debut and will look to become the first African-American rider to win the Derby, a race dominated by black jockeys in its’ early days, since Jimmy Winkfield in 1902.

And let’s not forget about Goldencents himself who’s done little wrong in his six race career. He debuted at Del Mar last Labor Day weekend, where he went gate-to-wire over the synthetic course by over seven lengths. Off that effort alone O’Neill felt the son of Into Mischief was worthy of a trek east for the prestigious Champagne at Belmont.

After breaking a bit awkwardly, Goldencents found his way to the lead but was soundly defeated by the eventual B.C Juvenile and Eclipse champion Shanghai Bobby. Goldencents found himself making another road trip six weeks later, this time to Delta Downs for the lucrative Delta Jackpot. Making use of his abundant early speed once again, Goldencents set a fast early pace en route to a 1 ¾ length score in his final start as a juvenile.

Coming into this year as one to watch in regards to the Derby, Goldencents started the year off on the right foot, overcoming a bit of early trouble and showing the ability to rate off the pace when he won the Sham at Santa Anita as the big favorite. But two months later in the San Felipe, Goldencents found himself entrenched in a wicked speed duel with the now-injured Flashback and tired through the stretch to finish fourth

O’Neill pressed on and decided to run his colt in the Santa Anita Derby. Coming off his San Felipe flop, the public sent Goldencents to post at better than 6-1, and in an effort reminiscent to the one he put forth in the Sham, Goldencents sat just off the early pace before rolling home by 1 ¼ lengths.

Goldencents has worked twice at Santa Anita since the S.A. Derby it’s doubtful that either move instilled any fear in his rivals as an easy half mile in :48 2/5 on 4/17 was followed by a somewhat pedestrian six furlong work in 1:16 1/5.

While Goldencents is the lone product of the California preps this year to make it to Louisville, Hot Springs was a hotbed of Derby productivity as the four we’ll talk about today, along with Arkansas Derby victor Revolutionary, all earned points in Oaklawn Park preps.

Two of those runners, WILL TAKE CHARGE and OXBOW, are trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who has won the Derby four times with Winning Colors in 1988, Thunder Gulch in 1995, Grindstone in 1996 and Charismatic in 1999.

As is his want, Lukas is taking an extremely unconventional approach with Will Take Charge, who was last seen in mid-March gutting out a head victory over his stablemate in the Rebel. Lukas decided a couple of weeks after the Rebel that Will Take Charge would TRAIN up to the Derby without racing in another prep.

After breaking his maiden at second asking last year, Will Take Charge ran against stakes company in his five starts since with mixed results. He finished dead last in the KJC at Churchill before coming back to finish second in a minor stakes at Remington Park. Things turned around once he got to Oaklawn as Will Take Charge won the Smarty Jones by a neck before finishing well behind runaway Southwest winner Super Ninety Nine in his last start prior to the Rebel.

Lukas has trained this son of the great Unbridled’s Song vigorously, working him five times since his last start, including two drills going a mile. Will Take Charge finished his serious training with a five furlong move in 1:01 at Churchill on 4/29. Jon Court, who’s piloted the colt to all three of his career wins, will ride.

Oxbow has taken a far more traditional path to Churchill Downs, and in true Lukas fashion, will be making his tenth career start in the Derby. After breaking his maiden in his fourth start going seven panels in gate-to-wire fashion at Churchill, Oxbow has also been fed a steady diet of stakes competition.

After finishing fourth in the CashCall over the synthetic track at Hollywood Park, Oxbow stamped himself a Derby contender with an astounding 11 ½ length score in the LeComte at the Fair Grounds. Next out in the Risen Star, Oxbow took the worst of a four horse blanket finish when he was beaten a half- length before heading out to Oaklawn.

After his aforementioned second place finish in the Rebel, Lukas switched riders to fellow Hall of Famer Gary Stevens for the Arkansas Derby. Stevens has won three Derbies himself, two of which came for Lukas aboard Winning Colors and Thunder Gulch with his third coming aboard Silver Charm in 1997. Stevens decided to take Oxbow back to last, a move the son of Awesome Again didn’t appreciate one bit yet still managed a fifth place finish after putting in a bit of a run going into the far turn.

Since the Arkansas Derby, Oxbow has turned in a pair of works at Churchill. On 4/22, he went five furlongs in 1:01 before covering the same distance in a sharp :59 4/5 on 4/29. Expect Oxbow to be forwardly placed on Saturday, especially after that last work.

Though a bulk of his points were earned in Florida, FALLING SKY earned his final points in the Arkansas Derby when he finished a tiring fourth after setting an honest, fairly contentious early pace. After winning two of three starts last year, including a minor stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, Falling Sky started his year with a gutsy, front running, neck score in the Sam F Davis over the same course.

Then, in the Tampa Bay Derby, Falling Sky made the mistake of trying to battle Verrazano in the early stages but was quickly disposed of yet still managed to hang on for the show dough. Trainer John Terranova has obviously had the Derby in mind for a while when you consider the fact that he shipped Falling Sky to Churchill before the Arkansas Derby. He’ll have a new rider in Luis Saez this Saturday and is another who figures to be on or near the lead. On 4/26, Falling Sky finished his serious training with a sharp five furlong drill in :59 3/5.

FRAC DADDY may be one of the beneficiaries should the pace be hot up front and may finally be turning into the colt his trainer Ken McPeek thought he could be after an abysmal start to the year. Frac Daddy capped off his juvenile campaign with a second place finish in the KJC, an effort many felt was much better than the winning one.

But after two horrible efforts at Gulfstream in the Holy Bull and Florida Derby in which he didn’t come within the same area code as the winner, Frac Daddy closed nicely through the lane at Oaklawn to grab place money in the Arkansas Derby. Victor Lebron, who was aboard last out, will ride once again in the Derby. In his lone workout since his last start, Frac Daddy covered five furlongs in 1:02 at Churchill on 4/27.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/01/2013 09:45 AM

Leaderboard - BeyersMain Track: up to one mile through 03/07/2013


Delaunay FG 26 Jan 6F 110
Verrazano GP 02 Feb 1M 105
Off the Jak GP 19 Jan 6F 104
Oliver's Tale SA 01 Mar 6 1/2F 104
Midnight Transfer SA 12 Jan 6 1/2F 103
Bahamian Squall GP 19 Jan 6F 102
Itsmyluckyday GP 01 Jan 1M 102
Sahara Sky SA 19 Jan 6F 102
Sahara Sky SA 23 Feb 7F 102
Flashpoint HOU 02 Mar 6F 101
Haverhill GP 06 Mar 6F 101
Italian Rules SA 02 Feb 6F 101
Little Drama GP 19 Jan 6F 101
N. F.'s Destiny AQU 23 Feb 6F 101
Triumph and Song FG 24 Feb 6F 101
Yonaguska Storm FG 11 Jan 6F 101
Awesome Symmetry (f) HAW 03 Mar 6F 100
Bind FG 02 Feb 6F 100
Capital Account SA 23 Feb 7F 100
Ciao Bella (f) GP 18 Feb 1M 100
Close It Out GP 19 Jan 6F 100
Comma to the Top SA 23 Feb 7F 100
Fort Loudon GP 09 Feb 7F 100
Gladding SA 12 Jan 6 1/2F 100
Hoorayforhollywood SA 22 Feb 1M 100
Kauai Katie (f) GP 01 Jan 6F 100
Midnight Lucky (f) SA 16 Feb 6 1/2F 100
Points Offthebench SA 02 Feb 6F 100
Super Ninety Nine SA 31 Jan 1M 100
Tres Borrachos SA 22 Feb 1M 100

(A) denotes race on all-weather surface

Main Track: more than one mile through 03/07/2013


Game On Dude SA 02 Mar 1 1/4M 116
Game On Dude SA 03 Feb 1 1/8M 116
Ron the Greek GP 19 Jan 1 1/8M 115
Graydar GP 09 Feb 1 1/8M 109
Clubhouse Ride SA 03 Feb 1 1/8M 105
Bourbon Courage GP 09 Feb 1 1/8M 104
Called to Serve SA 02 Mar 1 1/4M 104
Clubhouse Ride SA 02 Mar 1 1/4M 104
Itsmyluckyday GP 26 Jan 1 1/16M 104
Coil SA 05 Jan 1 1/16M 103
Ultimate Eagle SA 05 Jan 1 1/16M 103
Windsurfer GP 15 Feb 1 1/16M 103
Bernie the Maestro GP 01 Mar 1 1/16M 102
Infrattini FG 19 Jan 1 1/16M 102
Ron the Greek SA 02 Mar 1 1/4M 102
Cigar Street GP 17 Feb 1 1/8M 101
Mark Valeski FG 19 Jan 1 1/16M 101
Super Ninety Nine OP 18 Feb 1 1/16M 101
Don't Tell Sophia (f) OP 16 Feb 1 1/16M 100
Guilt Trip SA 02 Mar 1 1/4M 100
Oilisblackgold SA 24 Feb 1 1/16M 100
Shanghai Bobby GP 26 Jan 1 1/16M 100
Blueskiesnrainbows SA 24 Feb 1 1/16M 99
Fed Biz SA 12 Jan 1 1/16M 99
Hit the Road Lee DED 02 Feb 1 1/16M 99
Royal Delta (f) GP 17 Feb 1 1/16M 99
Tritap SA 12 Jan 1 1/16M 99

(A) denotes race on all-weather surface

Turf: all distances through 03/07/2013


Point of Entry GP 09 Feb 1 1/8M 107
Varsity GP 02 Feb 5F 105
Animal Kingdom GP 09 Feb 1 1/8M 104
Chips All In SA 23 Feb 6 1/2F 104
Unbridled's Note SA 23 Feb 6 1/2F 104
Something Extra GP 02 Feb 5F 101
Unbridled Command GP 09 Feb 1 1/8M 101
Amira's Prince (IRE) GP 16 Feb 1 3/8M 100
Optimizer FG 26 Jan 1 1/16M 100
Data Link GP 23 Feb 1M 98
Great Attack TAM 05 Jan 5F 98
Great Mills SA 20 Jan 6 1/2F 98
Mizdirection (f) SA 18 Feb 1M 98
Mizdirection (f) SA 06 Jan 6 1/2F 98
Swift Warrior HOU 26 Jan 1 1/8M 98
Ain't No Other SA 24 Feb 6 1/2F 97
Great Attack GP 02 Feb 5F 97
Kindle (f) SA 06 Jan 6 1/2F 97
Optimizer FG 23 Feb 1 1/8M 97
Slim Shadey (GB) SA 09 Feb 1 1/4M 97
Teaks North GP 19 Jan 1 1/8M 97
Willyconker (IRE) SA 28 Feb 1M 97
Daisy Devine (f) FG 26 Jan 1 1/16M 96
Jeranimo SA 13 Jan 1 1/8M 96
Joes Blazing Aaron GP 23 Feb 1M 96

3-year-olds: male or female through 03/07/2013


Verrazano GP 02 Feb 1M 105
Itsmyluckyday GP 26 Jan 1 1/16M 104
Itsmyluckyday GP 01 Jan 1M 102
Super Ninety Nine OP 18 Feb 1 1/16M 101
Kauai Katie (f) GP 01 Jan 6F 100
Midnight Lucky (f) SA 16 Feb 6 1/2F 100
Shanghai Bobby GP 26 Jan 1 1/16M 100
Super Ninety Nine SA 31 Jan 1M 100
Goldencents SA 05 Jan 1M 98
Calistoga (f) GP 12 Jan 6F 97
Departing HOU 02 Mar 1M 97
Orb GP 23 Feb 1 1/16M 97
Clawback AQU 21 Jan 6F 96
Clearly Now GP 02 Mar 7F 96
Live Lively (f) GP 23 Feb 1 1/16M 96
Saticoy SA 26 Jan 6F 96
Violence GP 23 Feb 1 1/16M 96
Beholder (f) SA 02 Mar 1M 95
City of Weston GP 24 Feb 6F 95
Code West FG 23 Feb 1 1/16M 95
Den's Legacy SA 05 Jan 1M 95
Flashy Gray (f) GP 10 Feb 7F 95
Ive Struck a Nerve FG 23 Feb 1 1/16M 95
Kauai Katie (f) GP 26 Jan 7F 95
Carried Interest GP 24 Feb 6F 94
Footbridge SA 17 Feb 1M 94
Go Get the Basil AQU 07 Mar 1M 70Y 94
Gombey Dancer GP 03 Feb 6F 94
Govenor Charlie SA 17 Feb 1M 94
Honorable Dillon GP 02 Feb 7F 94
Majestic Hussar GP 19 Jan 7F 94
Manando SA 05 Jan 1M 94
Oxbow FG 23 Feb 1 1/16M 94
Palace Malice FG 23 Feb 1 1/16M 94
Salutos Amigos SA 09 Feb 6F 94
The Truth and K G AQU 07 Mar 1M 70Y 94
Tiz the Truth SA 02 Feb 1M 94
(A) denotes race on all-weather surface

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/01/2013 06:47 PM

Kentucky Derby Odds

The 139th Kentucky Derby field will be announced on Wednesday May 1 and will have a maximum of 20 horses. This year's potential field include the horses below with their jockeys and trainers.

2013 Kentucky Derby Odds

Post Position Horse Jockey Trainer * ML Odds

1 Black Onyx Joe Bravo Kelly Breen 50/1

2 Oxbow Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas 30/1

3 Revolutionary Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher 10/1

4 Golden Soul Robby Albarado Dallas Stewart 50/1

5 Normandy Invasion Javier Castellano Chad Brown 12/1

6 Mylute Rosie Napravnik Tom Amoss 15/1

7 Giant Finish Jose Espinoza Tony Dutrow 50/1

8 Goldencents Kevin Krigger Doug O'Neill 5/1

9 Overanalyze Rafael Bejarano Todd Pletcher 15/1

10 Palace Malice Mike Smith Todd Pletcher 20/1

11 Lines of Battle Ryan Moore Aidan O'Brien 30/1

12 Itsmyluckyday Elvis Trujillo Eddie Plesa Jr. 15/1

13 Falling Sky Luis Saez John Terranova II 50/1

14 Verrazano John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 4/1

15 Charming Kitten Edgar Pradio Todd Pletcher 20/1

16 Orb Joel Rosario Shug McGaughey 7/2

17 Will Take Charge Jon Court D. Wayne Lukas 20/1

18 Frac Daddy Victor Lebron Kenny McPeek 50/1

19 Java's War Julien Leparoux Kenny McPeek 15/1

20 Vyjack Garrett Gomez Rudy Rodriguez 15/1

* Morning Line Odds are created by Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/02/2013 09:55 AM

Kentucky Derby betting: Capping the three favorites

Betting action is heating up for the 139th Run for the Roses. We take a look at the Kentucky Derby betting favorites and why the oddsmakers are siding with these horses heading into Saturday’s race.

Orb (7/2)

Trainer Shug McGaughey is a legend of the sport - a Hall of Famer. It’s rare to see him with a Derby horse, though, because he only shows up when he has a real chance. Just as rare is seeing him as excited about a horse as he clearly is about Orb. He just can’t say enough about this runner.

There is a lot to say, too. He’s the impressive winner of the Florida Derby, the same race that Barbaro won before his Kentucky Derby glory. His training in the weeks leading up to the race has been as close to flawless as is possible.

The biggest concern is that the horse is a deep closer, so he will need a lot of luck to move through the pack down the stretch without finding trouble. Still, the horse is the class of a pretty solid field and if he runs his race, he’ll be tough to beat.

Verrazano (4/1)

Trainer Todd Pletcher has five horses in the field, but this colt will likely go off at the lowest odds. He has been viewed as the favorite to wear the roses for much of the spring. In the last week or two, though, critics have started to throw stones.

His win in his final prep race, the Wood Memorial, was much more gritty than eye-opening. He’s undefeated, but has only run four times in his career - fewer than ideal by at least a couple of races.

Most significantly, all four races occurred this calendar year. Not since Apollo in 1882 has a horse won the Kentucky Derby without running as a two year old, though 48 horses have tried in the last 57 years.

Revolutionary (10/1)

The second of Todd Pletcher’s fab five, Revolutionary has been gaining serious betting momentum over the last week or two. The biggest reason for that by far is that Calvin Borel was named to ride him.

Borel, the only jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times in four years, became a hero to the racing public with his bold, rail-hugging moves, especially with his near-impossible victory on Mine That Bird.

Revolutionary, the Louisiana Derby winner, is a closer who seems well suited to Borel’s style. The jockey is not riding well lately, though, so the public will almost certainly give him far more credit here than he deserves. This is not the place to find value

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/02/2013 10:27 AM

Derby Countdown - Part IV

May 2, 2013

Part I · Part II · Part III · Part IV

In this final edition of the Derby Countdown for 2013 (don’t forget to check back Friday for my Derby Breakdown) we’ll take a look at two that earned their way to Louisville at Gulfstream Park and the remainder of the field, who have done their best work to date in the Bluegrass State. We’ll start with the Floridians.

There’s a pretty good chance no three-year-old made more progress this past winter and spring from last year than ORB. In his debut at Saratoga won by the now-injured but super talented Violence, Orb broke as bad as a horse can and trailed for most of the way before uncorking a furious late rally to finish third by a length.

But in his next two starts, Orb didn’t come close to duplicating his debut effort, acting up terribly at the gate in his next start when he failed miserably as the prohibitive favorite before finishing fourth when he was ridden aggressively on the far turn while wide just to get involved at all. He finally broke his maiden in start number four when stretched back out to a mile but it was hardly an indication of what was to come.

Orb made his seasonal debut, sporting Lasix for the first time, in an entry level allowance contest at Gulfstream in late January. Sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Orb trailed early and appeared to be up against it as the track was favoring speed and the early fractions were pedestrian to say the least. Orb kept coming though once maneuvered to the outside and drew away in deep stretch to win fairly comfortably in his first start around two turns.

Just four weeks later, trainer Shug McGaughey brought this son of Malibu Moon back for the Fountain of Youth, a race in which he’d meet up once again with Violence, who was using the race as his return effort. Again, over a course favoring front runners, Orb made up a ton of ground, collared Violence coming off the turn then outdueled him to the wire. Unlike in his prior start, Orb did get a very fast pace to close into in the Fountain of Youth and that seemed to diminish his effort a bit in the court of public opinion.

McGaughey contemplated a run in the Wood Memorial but ultimately decided that the extra week between the Florida Derby and the Run for the Roses, combined with the fact that Orb seemed to thrive all winter in South Florida, led McGaughey to declare his colt for the marquee event of the Gulfstream meet.

Sent off as the second choice at nearly 3-1, Orb was presented with a moderate early pace in front of him, stayed wide most of the way and came running down the stretch like he had in his two prior starts to win the Florida Derby by a widening 2 ¾ lengths, stamping him as one of the favorites for the Derby and giving his trainer just his second shot at the roses since the great Easy Goer finished second in 1989.

Orb did the bulk of his training for this at his winter base, Payson Park, but still managed to put in one of the more talked about works by a Derby contender at Churchill, going a half mile under a hammerlock in :47 4/5 on 4/29 in one of the most effortless and flawless works these eyes have ever seen. Orb will be reunited with the white-hot Joel Rosario on Saturday after being ridden by John Velazquez, who decided to stay aboard Verrazano, in his last two starts.

Another colt who seemed to love the scene at in the Sunshine State this winter is the Eddie Plesa, Jr. trained ITSMYLUCKYDAY. After winning one of three starts at Monmouth Park last summer, Itsmyluckyday won a pair of minor stakes at Calder before failing to hit the board in the Delta Jackpot and a minor stakes on the turf at Gulfstream.

Less than three weeks after the turf race, Plesa brought his son of Lawyer Ron back for the Gulfstream Park Derby on New Years’ Day and was rewarded with a rousing 6 ¾ length victory. Less than four weeks later, Itsmyluckyday was back for more in the Holy Bull, where Plesa threw him into the deep end of the pool as the Holy Bull was earmarked as the return for the undefeated, Eclipse Award champion juvenile Shanghai Bobby.

Shanghai Bobby drew the rail that day and was forced to use his speed and go straight to the lead, a move that played right into the hands of Elvis Trujillo who was riding Itsmyluckyday for the first time and will be aboard again come Saturday. Itsmyluckyday confronted Shanghai Bobby on the turn and went by him fairly easily in mid-stretch to win by two lengths.

Having run three times in 43 days, Plesa backed off Itsmyluckyday and decided to wait for the Florida Derby as opposed to running back in the Fountain of Youth. Just like in the Holy Bull, Itsmyluckyday was perched in the catbird seat going down the backstretch, sitting two lengths off a sensible early pace set by the stretching out Merit Man. Itsmyluckyday made the lead at the top of the stretch but offered little opposition just yards later when Orb rolled on by.

Unlike most other Derby runners, Itsmyluckyday will not have a work at Churchill prior to the Derby and didn’t even ship until about a week before the race. He worked three times at Calder, including a one mile move in 1:43 1/5 on 4/18.

Over in horse country, the Ken McPeek trained JAVA’S WAR leads the contingent, though he has done most of his best work in races run over synthetic tracks and turf. As a two-year-old, Java’s War won two of his three starts on turf, then finished up the year with a solid third place finish over the Polytrack at Keeneland in the Breeders’ Futurity and an off the board finish after breaking slowly and racing wide in the KJC at Churchill.

Coming off a three and a half month layoff, Java’s War had the misfortune of tackling Verrazano in his sophomore debut but acquitted himself nicely, finishing second beaten three lengths in the Tampa Bay Derby. Switched back to the Keeneland Polytrack for his last start in the Blue Grass, Java’s War broke horribly and appeared to lose all chance just strides out of the gate.

But just like it’s been since they switched from conventional dirt to the synthetic course, the closers thrived in the Blue Grass and Java’s War, under Julien Leparoux, managed to overcome the bad start to close fastest of all while seven wide to get up in the final couple of strides.

A son of War Pass, Java’s War worked five furlongs in 1:02 on 4/27 at Churchill and his connections are hoping that the added distance of the Derby combined with the long stretch past the famous Twin Spires will help their colt this Saturday.

Kentucky’s other major prep for the Derby is the Spiral at Turfway Park, a race that produced 2011 Derby upsetter Animal Kingdom. It figured to produce a starter or two this year as well, namely Uncaptured. I doubt anyone, save his connections, thought it would be BLACK ONYX.

Black Onyx finished second in his debut before breaking his maiden at second asking with both races coming in off the turf races in New York. After finishing fourth in an entry level allowance contest at Gulfstream, the son of Rock Hard Ten was transferred to his current trainer, Kelly Breen.

Black Onyx rolled in his first start for Breen and with Joe Bravo riding, on the turf at Gulfstream before shipping to Turfway for the Spiral. Despite racing wide in the Spiral, Black Onyx put in a bold five wide run and managed to hold off the aforementioned Uncaptured to win comfortably. Breen immediately said Black Onyx was Derby bound.

Though he last raced six weeks ago, Black Onyx has breezed just twice at Churchill, going five panels in 1”00 3/5 on 4/13 and a half mile in :48 3/5 on 4/27.

Earlier in Derby week it appeared as if a full field of 20 was unlikely as a number of defections brought the field to 19. That lasted about 20 minutes before Mike Maker announced FEAR THE KITTEN would enter. The very next day, the connections of GIANT FINISH trumped Fear the Kitten with points and made the field themselves, leaving Fear the Kitten as also eligible.

Trained by Tony Dutrow, Giant Finish was third in the Spiral and is two for five in his career, with both wins coming against fellow New York breds. Jose Espinoza rides the son of Frost Giant.

Should someone scratch out of the race by 9AM on Friday, May 3rd, Fear the Kitten, a son of Kitten’s Joy who’d be ridden by Alan Garcia, would draw into the field. After winning the first two starts of his career, including a maiden claimer, Fear the Kitten has raced graded stakes completion exclusively. He was off the board in the KJC, Spiral and Blue Grass but did finish third in the LeComte at the Fair Grounds and second in the Southwest at Oaklawn Park.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/02/2013 10:31 AM

Derby Countdown - Part III

May 1, 2013

Part I · Part II · Part III · Part IV

We’ll play a little hopscotch in today’s edition of the Derby Countdown as we’ll cover the who runners earned their way into the Derby via the Fair Grounds, Aqueduct and, this is a good one, Europe by way of Dubai. We’ll start in the Big Apple.

The Wood Memorial at Aqueduct may turn out to be the most influential prep of the season, especially in a pari-mutuel sense as the winner Verrazano, who I covered in Part I of the Countdown, and runner-up NORMANDY INVASION figure to be two of the top three wagering choices.

Trained by Chad Brown, Normandy Invasion broke his maiden at second asking at the Big A early last November by over nine lengths before wheeling back three weeks later in the Remsen on Thanksgiving weekend. Breaking from post 10 on an inside, speed biased course, the son of Tapit closed form far back and looked like a winner in deep stretch before falling a nose short to Overanalyze.

Three months later, Normandy made his sophomore debut in the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds. Brown figured the race was a great opportunity for the colt to earn Derby points while given a chance to use his late running style to his ability over the long stretch. His old rider had other ideas.

After breaking slowly under Jose Lezcano, Normandy Invasion was held towards the back of the pack for most of the way before unleashing a sporadic, choppy rally through the lane while seven wide, with Lezcano having the look of a deer caught in the headlights while settling for fifth and more importantly, zero points. Brown decided to make a change.

Javier Castellano, who’s back aboard for the Derby, choosing this colt over a colt he won a pair of stakes on in Revolutionary, had the call for the Wood Memorial and did everything he could to ensure that his mount would not suffer the same fate he did in his prior start. Keeping Normandy Invasion a bit closer than usual through soft early fractions, Normandy Invasion shook loose in the stretch and flew home under a hard riding Castellano to finish second, three parts of a length behind Verrazano.

As it turned out, third place would have gotten him more than enough points but no one knew that on that day. Since arriving in Louisville, few horses have gotten more positive press in regards to their recent training. He’s worked twice at Churchill, covering a half mile in :48 1/5 on 4/21 before blazing five panels on 4/27 in :59.

Speaking of third place in the Wood Memorial, that brings us to VYJACK, beaten just a length when settling for the show dough last out for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. Vyjack will have a new rider for the second time in his career as Joel Rosario opts of this colt to ride Orb, leaving the mount open for Garrett Gomez.

Prior to the Wood Memorial, Vyjack was undefeated and a three time stakes winner. He started out with a pair of sprint victories over the main track at Aqueduct before trying two turns in the Jerome Vyjack was a bit rank in the Jerome while alternating for the lead for most of the way and won by just a head. It was a close enough call, however, that it cost Cornelio Velasquez the mount.

Rosario climbed aboard for the Gotham and took Vyjack, who was never more than a half-length from the lead in his three prior starts, all the way to the back of the pack. The change in tactics resulted in a powerful, off the pace score by over two lengths.

Vyjack, a son of Into Mischief, raced in mid-pack last out and took a solid run at Verrazano on the far turn but couldn’t get to the winner and settled for third. Since then, things haven’t gone perfectly. Rodriguez has come under fire for some drug positives and had his license application reviewed in Kentucky, eventually agreeing to 24 hour surveillance of Vyjack, who hasn’t been in the best of health and spent some time at a clinic in the Mid-Atlantic region. He’s worked twice since his last start, a leisurely half mile at Fair Hills near the clinic in :51 3/3 on 4/19 and five eighths at Churchill on 4/26 in 1:00 2/5.

From South Ozone Park, New York to Dubai……that’s what the Derby Trail is all about. And while most of the time the Euro import is an easy toss, it may be a tad different this time around. Though he’s never raced on conventional dirt, LINES OF BATTLE is a perfect two for two over synthetic surfaces.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Lines of Battle won at first asking going six furlongs on the turf, then lost his next two before galloping home in his synthetic debut. A trip to California for the B.C. Juvenile Turf didn’t pan out as this son of War Front drew outside post 14 and was caught wide the entire way finishing, a non-threatening seventh.

Lines of Battle didn’t run for almost five months when he resurfaced last out in the U.A.E. Derby. Over the synthetic Tapeta surface at Meydan, in his first start over a mile, Lines of Battle stayed close to the early pace and took over in deep stretch en route to a handy 1 ½ length victory. He didn’t arrive in Louisville until early on the morning of 5/1 and won’t go to the track until Friday. Ryan Moore flies in for the ride.

MYLUTE comes into the Derby off a second place finish behind Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby last out when he raced without blinkers for the first time in his nine race career.

Mylute made seven starts as a juvenile, winning twice while hitting the board in four other, including three stakes for trainer Tom Amoss. After a seventh place finish when beaten just 3 ½ lengths in the Risen Star in his first start of the year, Mylute came home strongly through the stretch in tandem with the winner but was out gamed to the wire.

By Midnight Lute, Mylute will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik on Saturday. Napravnik rode Mylute three starts back to a daylight allowance score and is looking to become the first female rider to win the Kentucky Derby. Mylute has worked three times at Churchill, going six furlongs in a sharp 1:12 1/5 on 4/14 then a pair of half miles in :47 4/5 on 4/21 and :50 3/5 on 4/27.

Robby Albarado will pilot GOLDEN SOUL for trainer Dallas Stewart on Saturday off a fourth place finish in the Risen Star despite racing widest of all. In five career starts, Golden Soul sports just a maiden win and two runner-up finishes, including a second place finish in the LeComte three starts back behind daylight winner Oxbow. Golden Soul breezed twice at Churchill, covering six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 on 4/18 and five panels in 1:00 4/5 on 4/26.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/02/2013 10:33 AM

Orb made 7-2 favorite for Kentucky Derby

May 1, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Trainer Doug O'Neill had a pretty darned good day on two courses.

First he birdied the eighth hole during a Wednesday afternoon golf outing at Valhalla and then he aced the Kentucky Derby draw when Goldencents landed in the No. 8 post and was made the 5-1 third choice for Saturday's race.

``It should be perfect for him,'' said O'Neill, who saddled last year's winner, I'll Have Another.

``Perfect'' was not the way last year's Triple Crown series ended for O'Neill and his colt. He came under intense scrutiny after another one of his horses failed a drug test and I'll Have Another was retired with a leg injury the day before the Belmont Stakes.

As for the birdie - the highlight of an otherwise forgettable round - he said, ``That was like winning the Derby on the golf course. It was a par-3 and I just knocked it right in the middle.''

Orb was made the slight 7-2 favorite over undefeated Verrazano, one of a record-tying five horses for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Orb drew the No. 16 post in a full field of 20 horses. Four horses have won from there, most recently Animal Kingdom two years ago. McGaughey is in racing's Hall of Fame, but the 62-year-old trainer has yet to win the Derby in six previous tries.

``I think where from he is, we'll be solid,'' McGaughey said. ``Kind of hold our position, maybe try to creep in a little bit more around the first turn, and he can kind of watch what's going on down on the inside.''

Orb comes into the Derby on a four-race winning streak. He won the Florida Derby in his last start.

Pletcher was pleased about where his posse landed in the starting gate.

Wood Memorial winner Verrazano drew the No. 14 post and was the 4-1 second choice.

``We got everything we wanted,'' Pletcher said. ``No complaints whatsoever.''

There were four spots left in the gate - including the dreaded No. 1 and No. 2 - before Verrazano's name was called. Being in the No. 14 hole gives the colt the benefit of extra room because of the gap between his spot and No. 15, which is the start of the auxiliary gate.

Another Pletcher horse, Revolutionary, was the fourth choice at 10-1 on the morning line set by Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. The colt is ridden by Calvin Borel, a three-time Derby winner famous for riding the rail. Revolutionary drew the No. 3 post, leaving Borel close to his favorite route on the track.

``Very happy,'' Pletcher said. ``I think Calvin will be looking to go inside as soon as he could, so starting off inside was a good thing. Super Saver started from four.''

Pletcher won his only Derby in 2010 with Super Saver under a rail-hugging ride by Borel.

Normandy Invasion is the fifth choice at 12-1.

The other 15 horses are all 15-1 or higher, including Pletcher's trio of Overanalyze (15-1), Palace Malice (20-1), and Charming Kitten (20-1).

Spiral Stakes winner Black Onyx drew the No. 1 post and is one of five 50-1 shots in the field. That spot has produced 12 Derby winners, tying with the No. 5 hole for the most successful post positions.

``The 1 post might not be ideal but we're going to make the best of what we can do with it,'' trainer Kelly Breen said. ``After Saturday we're hoping to make it the most winningest post position in Kentucky Derby history.''

Oxbow and Will Take Charge will be the record 46th and 47th Derby starters for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a four-time Derby winner. Both are long shots - Will Take Charge at 20-1 and Oxbow at 30-1.

``The four I won it with I can't remember the post positions, so it must not be too important,'' said Lukas, who could become the oldest winning trainer in Derby history at 77.

The 21st horse on the points list is Fear the Kitten, an also eligible who would need a defection before 9 a.m. Friday, when Derby wagering opens, to get into the 1 1/4-mile race.

If all 20 horses start, the total purse would be $2,199,800. The winner earns $1,439,800. Post time is 6:24 p.m. EDT.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/03/2013 12:37 AM

At the Gate - Kentucky Oaks

May 3, 2013

Over the next two days at Churchill Downs we have 25 races to wager on; a dozen on Oaks Day and another 13 on Derby Day, and it really does not get much better than this.

I spent most of the past two days handicapping both cards, and after printing out my reports (which total 18 pages) I had to head off to Office Depot to replace my toner. I have not even made a bet yet and I am $40 bucks in the red.

The weather looks fine for Friday with just a 10% chance of rain, but Saturday is not looking as good. As of Thursday night this is the forecast for Saturday according to The Weather Channel:

Rain showers in the morning will evolve into a more steady rain in the afternoon. High near 60F. Winds ESE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall may reach one inch.

It looks as if we could have a wet track on Saturday afternoon and the turf figures to be less than firm, but there is one thing I know since I follow the weather forecast every day: They are seldom accurate.

So there is still some hope the weather turns out better, but at least at this point, it does not look promising.

Friday’s Oaks card gets underway with a first post of 10:30am ET. Post time for the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) is 5:45 ET and will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network during a one-hour telecast that gets underway at 5:00 ET.

It is a very good betting card with five supporting stakes. Here is a quick look at the early stakes action:

Race 6 The La Trioenne: Seven fillies and mares will line up in this 1 1/16 mile route on the main track. Last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Believe You Can is the 7-5 morning line favorite, with Apple Blossom (G1) victor On Fire Baby (8-5) looking like the major danger.

Race 7 The Edgewood: A wide open field of 11 three-year-old fillies will line up and go 1 1/16 miles on the turf course. The well-bred Tokyo Time is the 3-1 morning line favorite off a neck loss in the Herecomesthebride (G3) last out for trainer Shug McGaughey.

Race 8 The Eight Belles: A full field of 14 three-year-old fillies will line up and go seven furlongs on the main track. The Bill Mott trainee Calistoga is the 7-2 morning line favorite but drew the 14 post. Fusaichiswonderful (9-2) and Blueeyesintherein (6-1) are coming off stakes wins and So Many Ways (6-1) won the Spinaway (G1) last year.

Race 9 The Alysheba: A field of nine older runners will go 1 1/16 miles on the main track. The McGaughey trained Hymn Book is the 3-1 morning line favorite and is making his first start since running fifth in the Cigar Mile (G1) last fall. It is tough to separate last year’s Florida Derby (G1) winner Take Charge Indy (4-1), New Orleans Handicap (G2) third place finisher Bourbon Courage (4-1) and Oaklawn Handicap (G2) winner Cyber Secret (7-2).

Race 10 The American Turf: A field of 13 three-year-olds will do battle in this turf race led by Noble Tune (3-1) who was the runner up in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). It’s a wide open race with six runners in the field making their stakes debuts.

Click here to purchase my full card report for Churchill Downs for Friday.

Here is today’s opening from Churchill Downs to get the day off to a good start:

CD Race 1 OClm $75,000N1X (10:30 ET)
3 Assets of War 8-1
2 Liberated 2-1
7 Natural Rush 4-1
6 Anahauc 3-1

Analysis: Assets of War switches back to dirt after making a good late rally to finish third last out on poly at Keeneland at this level. Three back on her last go over a fast main track he ran a good second at Fair Grounds, beaten just a half-length for the top spot. The Neil Howard trainee adds blinkers here and that should help her be a bit close to the front here early. She broke her maiden over the main track here in her debut last fall.

Liberated tracked the early pace, came with a four wide run and could not catch a loose on the lead gate to wire winner last out in a runner up finish against Alw-1 foes at Keeneland going seven furlongs. The filly was making her first start off a 4 1/2 month layoff. The filly earned the top last out speed fig and the stretch out to two turns will suit. He has plenty of pedigree to handle the stretch out, by Curlin out of a Colonial Affair mare.

WIN: #3 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7 / 1,2,3,6,7

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:

CD Race 11 The Kentucky Oaks G1 (5:45 ET)
2 Midnight Lucky 9-2
4 Unlimited Budget 7-2
8 Dreaming of Julia 3-1
11Close Hatches 6-1

Analysis: Midnight Lucky is one of three undefeated fillies in this stellar field and perhaps has the most upside as she makes just her third career start here. She earned a 100 Beyer breaking her maiden at Santa Anita and then won the Sunland Oaks in her first go against winners, drawing off to win by eight lengths. The fifth and sixth place finishers came out of the race to win next out, a maiden and a first level optional claiming win. She steps into a much tougher spot here but is looks as if we are going to catch a fair price. Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Oaks twice, the most recent coming in 2011 with Plum Pretty.

Unlimited Budget is also undefeated and is one of four in here that will be saddled by Todd Pletcher. She drew off to win the Fair Ground Oaks (G2) last out in a good looking effort over a couple of foes she faces her again. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and figures to be sitting just off the pace. Fair Grounds Oaks winners have fared well in this race, the most recent to win both races being Rachel Alexandra in 2009 and Believe You Can last year. She has moved forward in each of her starts and in her third start of her current form cycle appears to be sitting on another career top.

Dreaming of Julia trounced the field in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) by 21 3/4 lengths and earned a 114 Beyer, which is nine points higher than the top fig earned by Derby favorite Verrazano. It is 21 points higher than her previous high, so maybe it is on the generous side? The fifth place finisher in the race was Emollient, who came back to win the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland on April 6 with a 97 Beyer, which seems to indicate that perhaps the big fig is legit. The 3-1 morning line looks fair enough, but I am thinking she goes off more like 9-5.

Flashy Gray is going to scratch due to a bruised foot.

WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,8,11
TRI: 2,4 / 2,4,8,11 / 2,4,8,9,11

Live Longshots:
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.

Churchill Downs
R1: #3 Assets of War 8-1
R2: #11 Adventure At Sea 8-1
R3: #8 Noble Charlotte 15-1
R5: #11 Mary Bernice 12-1
R5: #9 Storm Crossing 12-1
R7: #4 Judy in Disguise 10-1
R8: #3 Blueeyestherein 8-1
R10: #10 Fire Guard 8-1
R10: #12 Redwood Kitten 8-1

Good luck today!

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34882 Followers:38
05/03/2013 12:41 AM

Oaks features 4 Pletcher-trained fillies

May 2, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Todd Pletcher has a whole bunch of chances to win the Kentucky Oaks, too.

The trainer with a record-tying five horses in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, will send out four fillies in Friday's $1 million Kentucky Oaks, including 3-1 favorite Dreaming of Julia.

Pletcher's other fillies in the 10-horse field are unbeaten Unlimited Budget, Silsita and Princess of Sylmar.

``We're all good,'' said Pletcher.

Also good to go is John Velazquez, who returned to riding Thursday after a layoff because of an injury and is set to be aboard Dreaming of Julia.

Pletcher is looking to win the Oaks for the third time - his other winners were Ashado in 2004 and Rags to Riches in 2007 - but there will be plenty of competition.

Close Hatches has won all three of her races for trainer Bill Mott and Midnight Lucky is 2-for-2 for trainer Bob Baffert. Beholder and Rose to Gold each have five wins on their resumes.

Dreaming of Julia, though, has won four of six career starts and served notice she is one tough filly with a 22-length victory in the Gulfstream Oaks in March.

Dreaming of Julia, who drew the No. 8 post for the 1 1/8-mile Oaks, has put in a few other big wins. In her first two starts, she won by 10 1/2 lengths at Saratoga last August and by 16 lengths at Belmont the next month. A win over Live Lively reversed their February finish in the Davona Dale at Gulfstream, when Dreaming of Julia was two lengths back in her 3-year-old debut.

Unlimited Budget won the Fairgrounds Oaks on March 30 in her first ride under jockey Javier Castellano, who will be aboard on Friday. Beholder could also be a factor with a two-race win streak coming in and four victories in in her last five starts.

``We are going to have to see what the big three do,'' Rose to Gold trainer Sal Santoro said of his strategy against Dreaming of Julia, Beholder and Unlimited Budget. ``If any of them get free rein and (are) left alone, the party is over.''

Rose to Gold is 15-1 despite five wins in seven starts.

With no Derby horse this year, Baffert is looking for another Oaks victory. He won it two years ago with Plum Pretty. Midnight Lucky didn't race as a 2-year-old, but has won her only two starts this year by seven and eight lengths, respectively.

She faces a tall task starting from the No. 2 post.

``She hasn't been in any situation where she's been compromised,'' Baffert said. ``She's always been in control of a race. It's a tough spot.

``It's just a really tough field. The break is going to be so important. Our post is not ideal; we would've liked to be outside a little bit.''

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: