I love to do these little write-ups for the triple crown races. Given that I have been handicapping and wagering on horse racing since I was a 5 year old. Yes, I know that sounds outlandish but that is the truth. That’s almost for 40 years, which is a very scary thought.
All the credit needs to go to my grandfather who when I was young, would pick me up around 12:15 on Sundays, tell my parents that we were going to mass, and then we would be at OTB to play the daily double in time! I loved horse racing then and caught the bug and still do.
My granddad turns a whopping 95 years old this Monday. We had gone together to Saratoga every summer for 38 straight years but missed this past meet due to his health issues. Amazing! So, in a way, this analysis is dedicated to him and all the lessons he taught me in life over the years! What a man he has been for 95 years!
It’s pretty obvious that this is not a money making race in the sense of having intriguing betting options. With that said, if I were at the track today on a normal day, this is a race I would likely not play due to the lack of intriguing options and payouts. I would have passed on the race and looked for more intriguing plays. But since this is a triple crown race and we play them, our analysis and wager follows below.
We had the winner of the Derby as you can see in our previous posting. Odds listed are the odds at the time of the write-up.
#1 ORB (4-5)–Our Derby pick came through for the cash. This horse has improved every race he has run and has proven he can rate (see fla derby line) and close like he did in the Derby. Still improving and don’t think we have seen his best race yet. This past Monday’s workout was awesome and Shug is not a man to throw around superlatives like he has done for this horse. This could finally be the “one” to get the general public interested again in horse racing and finally bring home a triple crown. There are very few reasons to bet against him, but a few weeks back there was a “rail bias” against rail horses at Pimlico and maybe one could use that in desperation. However, Rosario will in all likelihood give him a good trip, get him off the rail when needed. Let the excitement begin heading to the big Apple! Even money would be a steal but there is no way he is going to go off even money. Our choice and our play and we want to see a dominating performance to really justify talk of a great horse heading to Belmont.
#2 Goldencents (7-1)—What in the world happened to him in the Derby? Wow, what a clunker. Obviously never made the lead in the Derby and that threw out any chance he had in the race based on his style and given Palace Malace’s brutal fractions. O’neil praising Krigger for pulling him up in the Derby as the smart thing to do and also alluding to the sloppy track as an excuse. His form heading into the Derby was as good as any of the horses. Will have a much easier time making the lead today, but doubt he really wants to go this distance. Given how bad his Derby race was and the excuses he had, its obvious he had to come back for another try. Will make a much better showing here today but will not be enough.
#3 Titletownfive (23-1)—Obvious for GreenBay packer fans with the Paul Hornung connections. Has one win as a maiden and looks really outclassed here. Will give a brief front pace thrill with his speed but that is about it.
# 4 Departing (11-1)—4 for 5 lifetime and an improving gelding but can’t really make a case he beat anybody really good in those races. Stall skipped the Derby with him and pointed him to the Preakness. Would have to take a big step forward here today with the big step up in class which is not out of the realm of possibilities.
#5 Mylute (7-1)—Fifth place finisher in the Derby. Running line did say he was steadied early in the Derby. May have run his best race in the Derby and looked better than it was given the blazing pace which was a good set-up for him to pass tiring horses. Will have to take another big step forward today which I don’t think is likely. 2 for 10 lifetime player.
#6 Oxbow (14-1)—He chased that suicidal pace in the Derby and still held on for 6th losing by just over 9 lengths. To his credit, any other horse near that pace collapsed completely. There is something to be said for that. Another player who is just 2 for 10 lifetime. That race likely took a lot out of him and if his from before the Derby was better would be worth a look. Highly unlikely to turn the tables on Orb today however.
#7 WillTakeCharge (12-1)—Was running fine in Derby when Verrazanno tired and he was checked by him at 3/16th’s pole. It is important to note he was stride for stride with Orb at that point and he did little running after that. So, I could see players using that as an excuse and tepidly backing him. Also, likely needed that race and could improve 2nd off the layoff for Lukas. Interesting player.
#8 GovernorCharlie (11-1)—Baffert entry looks like a one trick speed horse that last raced on March 24th. Backers may get a brief thrill with his speed. Would have to take a big step forward today. Had a hoof bruise which has kept him on the sidelines. Major step up in class. Did have a bullet work on May 13th at 6f.
#9 Itsmyluckyday (9-1)—Horrible performance in the Derby finishing 15th and guess he just didn’t like the slop. Gets a big jock switch today and his form before Derby was solid. Not out of the realm of the possibilities.
Just going with the following straight play:
$400 to Win on #1 Orb