Shue: Hello Boys - OK so see attached numbers I've just run. A couple of first glance notices - firstly there are 21 horses in this mix. SONNETEER, as of this writing, is not officially "in" the KD - as he will need a defection to be entered - which I hope he gets - because I have a legitimate lean towards him. The "odds" column are the early odds set by Mike Watchmaker and by no means will stay the same come race day. OK, so at first glance, from a numbers look only - I like homeboy GIRVIN (20-1), LOOKIN AT LEE (30-1) and GUNNEVERA (12-1). All three have very consistent closing times with Girvin being the most solid. OK Dreamer, hit me with the homeboy stuff - I deserve it. He hasn't run in great company (true) and has had absolutely perfect trips last three races (true)....AND it's been like over 50 years since a Louisiana Derby winner has won the Kentucky Derby - lots going against him for sure. Well, I'll let my numbers speak for themselves and represent! Early thoughts now....and of course subject to change....
Correction....GRINDSTONE won the Kentucky Derby in 1996 - he was also the Louisiana Derby winner.
Dream: Thanks for the numbers Drew. I know you are a homer and I like the horse to be upfront at the mile pole trying his eyes out just don’t know if he can finish (times or no times he is slowing down on the end of his races). Horses I can’t fade right now are LLL, McCracken, Classic Empire. Horses on the front that I think will hold on and get a piece Girvin, Always dreaming and practical joke. Hence, Gunnevera and Always Dreaming are puzzling to me.
Just my early thoughts. I am looking for horses that want 1 ¼ with CD experience. What are you going to do with McCraken? Yes I am well aware of McCracken and CD along with LLL that is why I brought it up. I as well don’t like the Bluegrass as I pointed out. If you want to throw Classic Empire and McCracken be my guest. Every year we get a lightly raced 3 year old with an awesome Beyer and it is usually a Pletcher horse. Not a big fan of GP horses unless they showed something on another circuit. They always seem to fail and take too much money. Always Dreaming is Pletcher’s only shot so maybe keep him but exotics only. I’m not going to try and convince anyone to keep McCracken but I am. Hence may stay on in the final 1/4
Shue: Does PATCH (30-1) ring a bell then? A lightly raced Pletcher horse - who, at your urging, I hit on in the La Derby. He closed well I thought - and looking for a rider I believe.
Dream: Love the breeding! Not a huge over the top Beyer. I wish the breeding was flipped tough with AP Indy up top. Then we would really have something to talk about. Pletcher seems to have them cranked for the minor rewards. Using my redneck math I came up with these final 1/8th times. I used N/A next to times I believe the horse either didn’t run his race or had an excuse. Two horses with N/A’s I think might be worth exploring were Looking at Lee and McCracken.
Shue: Noted and FYI, I use, as a benchmark, 1 length = 1/5 of a second. The timed fractions come from the 'calls' and the times of the lead horse given in the past performances from the DRF. If you ÷ my quarter mile times by 2 - we are almost spot on. Double check PATCH (30-1), I think. I had him closing in 12 flat. And brother, I am loving LAL (30-1)! He's flying at the end of the Arkansas Derby - meandering his way down the stretch. HENCE (20-1) on my radar too….
Dream: Well, you got my response on the reason why we are off. The last 1/8th is the last 1/8th. Not the last quarter divided by 2. 5 lengths 3 lengths doesn’t matter he was ahead on last two calls for the final 1/8th he ran 12.4. I am sticking with my top three sections on top. McCracken who needed last and it was a dry run last go around as I pointed to the connections and past examples. Classic Empire who is the 2 year old champ and will probably improve closed well in Arkansas. Looking at Lee jockey has held him back until the switch with Lanerie is a big plus was closer to pace last time and weaved all over the place should finished 2nd at least last time. Closing times are there he will want the distance.
Horses underneath I will use 2nd and 3rd slot….Always dreaming because I have too. Practical joke is a road warrior and always shows up has back class as with Classic Empire and Looking at Lee. Hence working well and Sunland was good. Sonneteer fastest closing of them all. Last work was 47 and change at CD. Gunnevera also closing but may be too slow early. Girvin was slowing up but if they go slow he might get a jump to hold on for a piece. I don’t know how I will bet it but top 3 will be in there.
Shue: My top three are gonna be LOOKIN AT LEE (20-1), SONNETEER (50-1) and CLASSIC EMPIRE (4-1). I'll have McCRAKEN (5-1) in there somewhere - just not sure where. My breakdown goes like this: LAL, despite finishing third in the Arkansas Derby, gave such a valiant effort - changing lanes 2-3 times in the stretch – and responding each time to direction of jockey Luis Contreras - hard charging all the way through - was quite impressive to me. I just hope he has another set of booster rockets strapped on to get to the wire first come Saturday. LAL has had some really nice closing times last two trips out too. I think, (and hope), he's ready to nip them all at the wire for this one. Sonneteer, still a maiden, hasn't won a race at all. But despite that humongous fact - he has the fastest closing time of all of the KD entrant’s last time out going 1 1/8. And even though he finished 4th in the Arkansas Derby - he was the one running the fastest at the end. And yes, bucking history with this one as it's been 98 years since a maiden won the KD - yes sir - 98 years! And BTW, Sonneteer was charging a couple of ticks faster than LAL and the Ark winner CLASSIC EMPIRE (4-1). And speaking of CE, he is probably the best in the field this weekend. But I am so not a fan of the Frenchman who will ride him on Saturday. Leparoux, for whatever reason, always seems to find trouble in big races - always! So for that reason and that reason only - I won't have him on top. But then again, CE may be just that good, I suppose you could have a monkey in the irons and he'd still win. And finally to McCraken. Despite running a very poor closing time, as all of the Blue Grass runners did, he is at his home track - where he has 3 wins in 3 starts there. I truly believe in the home field advantage – and I really think McCraken has a true advantage here. Save for the Blue Grass, he’s had some pretty consistent closing times. It’s just that lackluster performance in the BG puzzles me a bit – but OK, he’s home now and loving the CD track – I’ll take him too! But $adly, he’s been getting such good ink all week long, training extremely well, eating all of his oats etc., his price had dipped considerably. Must not count him out. And let me throw one more nugget your way – HENCE (15-1). Another Asmussen dude I like - he’ll stalk and he can run too. My hope is that ALWAYS DREAMING (5-1), will jet straight to the lead and try to go gate to wire – just like his daddy Bodemeister tried to do, but came up short – gassing in the last 150 yards. Make no mistake, he’s a super horse for sure, but I don’t think he’ll have the juice to finish strong. I do think he’ll set a super-hot pace though – which will make way for my closers LAL, CE and Sonneteer. Hopefully my guys won’t wait too long to get going. Giddy up ya’ll!!!!!
$10.00 W-P-S #1 Lookin At Lee (20-1) $30.00
$10.00 W-P-S #8 Hence (15-1) $30.00
$10.00 W-P-S #12 Sonneteer (50-1) $30.00
$2.00 Exacta Box (5 horses) $40.00
#1 Lookin At Lee (20-1), #8 Hence (15-1) , #12 Sonneteer (50-1), #14 Classic Empire (4-1), #15 McCraken (5-1)
$1.00 Trifecta Box (5 horses) $60.00
#1 Lookin At Lee (20-1), #8 Hence (15-1), #12 Sonneteer (50-1), #14 Classic Empire (4-1), #15 McCraken (5-1)
Total Wager $190.00
Dream: Shue, I agree with ALL of your picks and concur with your bets. One horse has been chewing at me and I think I need to back him along with my top 3 and that would be TAPWRIT according to the form he chased McCraken in the Sam F Davis stakes at Tampa but seemed to get blocked into the stretch turn and had to wait for McCraken to clear in the stretch. He was gaining on him quickly towards the wire. He returned to the Tampa Bay Derby and ran a bang up race breaking the stakes and track record. Regardless of what he ran against it was impressive and under the radar. He like McCraken did not show up in the Bluegrass and neither needed the points to get into the derby. He has been training well and very well could be under at odds of over 20-1+. Your ¼ times had him at 24.52 for the Tampa Bay Derby that should put him in the mix if he is on top of his game. I will use my same top three
LOOKIN AT LEE (20-1) CLASSIC EMPIRE (4-1) McCRAKEN (5-1)
I will use same horses underneath in the trifecta partial wheel as before but pull GIRVIN OUT and replace with TAPWRIT IN.
W,P,S on LAL, TAPWRIT, SONNETEER
This horse race is wide open and I can see just about 10 horses with shots in thiis one.
Uncle Louis: There you have it Pony prognosticators....these guys have been damn good year in and year out with the Kentucky Derby. Conduct your Due Dilgence, remain Selective, manage your money and always remember to ‘Swing it Easy’!
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