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#389207 - 05/04/18 06:58 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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FIRENZE FIRE (50/1) - With Paco Lopez in the irons, I'm curious if he's going to show any of the early speed he showed in his first few races. But, beyond his possible role in the pace? It's hard to consider FIRENZE FIRE much further, since his Derby prep record implies distance limitations. He'd be a contender in the Pat Day Mile, but he's a toss in the Derby.

FREE DROP BILLY (30/1) - He should love a mile and a quarter: his dam Trensa has produced a pair of winners going even longer than the Derby distance (G1W Hawkbill, as well as Trensita), and even his sire Union Rags had a first-crop baby hit the board in the Belmont last year (Patch). He also has a win at Churchill, another positive. The relative inside post is a mild concern, but with his closing style, he can settle off the pace and save every inch of ground. With some pace to run at (and no Sporting Chance to mug him in the lane, unless he lurks in the infield after the Pat Day Mile (G3)), FREE DROP BILLY could have a say in this at long odds. Do not leave him off your tickets.

PROMISES FULFILLED (30/1) - He will likely set the pace. But, the speedball won't have the easy time up front that he had in the Fountain of Youth (G2), and his pedigree suggests a mile and a quarter will not suit him in the least. PROMISES FULFILLED will ensure pace for the closers (like his stablemate Free Drop Billy), but won't be in the picture late.

FLAMEAWAY (30/1) - He has epitomized grit and consistency through the Derby season. Though he is probably just a notch below the best, he always tries, he can survive on or close to a contested pace, and he doesn't back down from a challenge. The biggest concern was the poor outing in the Iroquois -- but given his better work has come from closer to the pace that his early trouble that day allowed him to get, he can have a mulligan. At long odds, it would be no surprise to see FLAMEAWAY fight on for third or fourth.

AUDIBLE (8/1) - There are things to like about AUDIBLE: Gulfstream has been a live spur of the Derby trail in recent years, and he dominated there this prep season. He also has some tactical versatility, which gives Javier Castellano some flexibility in carving out a trip. But? Questions loom, too. Even though John Velazquez (trainer Todd Pletcher's "A" rider) rode Audible in his decisive Florida Derby (G1) victory, he still opted to ride VINO ROSSO . And, nothing about AUDIBLE's pedigree suggests he wants a mile and a quarter. Though he overcame a bit of adversity in his debut, rallying after a bad start to get third, it's hard to say he has actually been through the wringer, given how easy all four of his victories have been. All in all, the cons outweigh the pros with AUDIBLE, and it makes sense to look elsewhere.

GOOD MAGIC (12/1) - Let's get one thing out of the way first: that 12/1 morning line on GOOD MAGIC is not happening. That is a colossal Battaglia Special, on a level we haven't seen since he put Rosalind at 15/1 on the morning line for the 2014 Ashland, and she went off 7/2. Even so? GOOD MAGIC deserves a prominent place on any Kentucky Derby tickets. Though Gulfstream didn't suit him in his seasonal debut, he did exactly what he needed to do in the Blue Grass (G2): win with confidence. His running style suits the Derby: off pace, but not too far off, a tactical stalking-to-midpack type. And, he is by a proven Classic sire in Curlin. There is a lot to like, and GOOD MAGIC is one of the top contenders.

JUSTIFY (3/1) - JUSTIFY enters this race unexposed. People talk about whether he needs to lead, but that's a canard; he showed in his N1X win that he doesn't. But, the only time he raced anyone of Derby calibre (BOLT D'ORO in the Santa Anita Derby (G1)), JUSTIFY did get it as easily as he wanted up front. And, whether his debut came in February or December? He still hasn't been in any sort of race that put his feet to the fire. All three of his wins have been romps. With that, you have to make a choice: do you trust that his talent will overcome the fact that he has only had three races, and no tough tests? Or, do you make him prove his mettle on the First Saturday in May? With Justify so likely to go off the chalk, and other talented and better-tested horses in the field, the value lies in playing others, and making this son of Scat Daddy JUSTIFY the hype.

LONE SAILOR (50/1) - LONE SAILOR has meshed well with jockey James Graham, with whom he ran a tenacious second behind NOBLE INDY in the Louisiana Derby (G2). It was the best race of his career by a good margin, making one wonder if he'll regress. That also wasn't the strongest prep; third in that race was a horse who ran like he doesn't want nine furlongs, MY BOY JACK. Also of concern? LONE SAILOR's only win came in the slop at Saratoga, where he romped against a bunch of washed-off turf horses. Joe Hirsch would be rooting for this horse -- he wanted to see the horse with the best story win, and LONE SAILOR doing this for the late Tom Benson would be a great story. But, from a handicapping perspective, he's a longshot for a reason.

HOFBURG (20/1) - Watch the tote on HOFBURG, since he has become the wise guy horse -- well, him and VINO ROSSO, but the Vino Train seems to have lost steam ever since he was marooned in the 19 hole. But, if the board gives HOFBURG fair value? He makes all the sense in the world. He ran a strong second behind AUDIBLE in the Florida Derby, and on pedigree, HOFBURG is the one out of the Florida Derby who has upside to improve at the distance. That comes from both sides of his pedigree: he is by Tapit out of Soothing Touch, a Touch Gold mare who also produced the top-class racemare Emollient. Finally, he hails from the barn of Bill Mott, a trainer who doesn't tend to put horses in tough spots unless they're up to it. A win in the Kentucky Derby may be a lot to ask, but a spot on the podium could happen.

MY BOY JACK (30/1) - MY BOY JACK looked full of horse coming into the lane in the Louisiana Derby, but he stalled out. A cut back from nine furlongs to the eight and a half of the Lexington (G3) got him back in the winners' circle, and punched his ticket to the Derby. But? Now he stretches back to a mile and a quarter. Even with pace likely in front of him? He'll sputter out in the late stages. Hard pass.

BOLT D'ORO (8/1) - A Derby horse needs both talent and seasoning, and BOLT D'ORO has an exemplary mix of those factors. He has six starts underneath him, a pair of grade 1 wins, and tactical versatility. BOLT D'ORO also proved he could fight with a good horse, as he held his own in a round of fisticuffs with McKinzie in the San Felipe (G2). Of course, he's not without some questions. He was well beaten by JUSTIFY in the Santa Anita Derby -- but, he did run fast, and no one was going to catch a horse as talented as JUSTIFY loose on the lead. BOLT D'ORO will get more to run at here. Trainer Mick Ruis is sending a horse to the Derby for the first time, and you never know how a first-time Derby trainer will handle the circus. But, his rider has no shortage of big-time Derby experience: Victor Espinoza rode California Chrome and American Pharoah as well. On race day, his presence could temper Ruis's inexperience. Looking at the big picture? BOLT D'ORO is fast, battle-forged, and the top selection in a competitive Kentucky Derby.

ENTICED (30/1) - It's hard to either love or hate ENTICED. Always one of the better in his class, he moved past a flat Holy Bull with a sparkling victory in the Gotham (G3) -- a race in which he beat FREE DROP BILLY, though that foe was routed there at the last minute and is not a miler by any means. He ran into a somewhat rough trip in the Wood (G2), where he finished second to VINO ROSSO. He's neither markedly slow nor one of the fastest. He ran well in his last two preps, but on a Derby Trail spur that hasn't been particularly live lately. Can we bet that ENTICED finishes tenth?

BRAVAZO (50/1) - To be fair, BRAVAZO likes Churchill. He does have good form there last year, including a maiden win and a pair of stakes placings. But, against this class of horse, it seems he needs to be forward to be competitive. He won a carousel edition of the Risen Star (G2), but got burned chasing a hot pace in the Louisiana Derby. Gunning it from the 13 hole and trying to chase PROMISES FULFILLED will do him no favours. He looks outmatched.

MENDELSSOHN (5/1) - Like JUSTIFY, MENDELSSOHN is the type of horse on whom one needs to take a stand. Sure, there are reasons he can buck the bad record of UAE Derby (G2) horses in Kentucky. He dazzled in Dubai, and based on his final preparations for and performance in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last fall, he ships beautifully. It's also a plus that Ryan Moore chose to forgo the 2000 Guineas (a British Classic, also being run this Saturday) to ride in the Kentucky Derby. But? As a Scat Daddy half to Into Mischief and Beholder, a mile and a quarter may prove long for him. And though MENDELSSOHN doesn't need the lead, he won't get the butter-smooth front-end trip he got in the UAE Derby, and he will face more and tougher foes here than the likes of Rayya, Reride, and Gold Town. For the likely short price, the value isn't there.

REGARD (50/1) - He showed a lot of promise early, holding his own with the West Coast set late last year, and won the Lecomte (G3) easily. But, since, then, he has stalled out. The crumbs he got for finishing fourth in the Risen Star and the Santa Anita Derby were enough to get him into the Derby starting gate, but he hasn't progressed through the spring like so many of the others who will load into the same clacking monolith. Whether that is because of his form cycle tailing off or because the others have surpassed him for good, REGARD is a toss.

MAGNUM MOON (6/1) - I'd like him more if he didn't drift so badly in the Arkansas Derby (G1) -- but whether that meant he was tired or meant he needs to grow up a bit remains to be seen. There's enough in the pedigree to grant, at least, some credence to the idea that he got spooked by the starting gate, which would be something he could get over. He has a similar question looming over him as JUSTIFY -- which is, to say, none of MAGNUM MOON finishes have been particularly close, so it's undetermined what will happen when he is forged in the fire of a twenty-horse field. But, with four good starts underneath him, a solid enough distance pedigree, and tactical speed? Especially since this one seems to be slipping under the radar despite dominating a live spur of the Kentucky Derby trail, there is much to like about MAGNUM MOON in exchange for the likely tote price.

SOLOMINI (30/1) - SOLOMINI was one of the best last year, always in the picture against the upper echelon of the west coast two-year-olds. But, in two starts at Oaklawn this year? MAGNUM MOON soundly beat him. He hasn't seemed to have grown...rather odd for a Curlin baby, as Curlin's progeny have been so reliable in the Classics, but either he has stalled out or he is particularly slow to come into himself. Either way? He may be part of the pace early if he guns it from the auxiliary gate, but we can't see him being a factor in the end.

VINO ROSSO (12/1) - VINO ROSSO has been getting some steam since winning the Wood with enough strength that John Velazquez opted to ride him of Audible. That enthusiasm for him has subsided some after the gate draw, but even if he had drawn farther inside? VINO ROSSO echoes of another son of Curlin who raced in the Classics last year, Irish War Cry. Both are good when they're good, but woefully inconsistent. We may revisit this one in the Belmont (G1), though -- where he'll face a smaller field, and where his breeding (by Curlin out of a Street Cry half-sister to Belmont 2nd-place Commissioner) may make VINO ROSSO one of the few who can stay the trip without sputtering.

NOBLE INDY (30/1) - Though NOBLE INDY came back so gamely in the Louisiana Derby, he didn't beat the best of the best there. He was also the big loser in the post draw: a forward horse who drew out in the parking lot, so he'll have to use energy early to get into a decent spot. Pass.

COMBATANT (50/1) - In a sense, COMBATANT is the closer version of FLAMEAWAY: they're both Scat Daddy babies, they're both a cut below the best of the bunch, but you know what you're going to get with both: a good, hard try. COMBATANT never won a prep, but he got points in all four Arkansas preps as well as the Remington Springboard Mile. He also has a maiden win at Churchill, suggesting some affinity for the surface. With some pace likely in the Derby? If he runs the race of his life he could nab a share underneath (like a stablemate of his, Lookin at Lee, did last year in the Derby), but that is a best case scenario.

BLENDED CITIZEN (50/1) - also eligible - If BLENDED CITIZEN draws in and wins, it would be a surprise on the level of Mine That Bird. But? He is rounding into good form, ran into some trouble in the Blue Grass, and he has a nice closing kick. His dam has already produced a horse who hit the board in the Kentucky Derby, last year's second-place finisher Lookin at Lee. He also hails from a barn that has upset the Derby before; though Doug O'Neill's last winner Nyquist was chalk, his I'll Have Another was not. If BLENDED CITIZEN draws in, sprinkling him in third or fourth in trifectas and superfectas could pay off big time.

Selections:

#11 BOLT D'ORO (8/1)
#6 GOOD MAGIC (12/1)
#16 MAGNUM MOON (6/1)
Longshot: #2 FREE DROP BILLY (30/1)
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#389209 - 05/04/18 07:02 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Jason Frakes

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#389210 - 05/04/18 07:02 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Jim Mulvihill

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#389211 - 05/04/18 07:02 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Jake Lourim

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#389212 - 05/04/18 07:02 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Gary Graves

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#389213 - 05/04/18 07:03 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Kent Taylor

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#389214 - 05/04/18 07:03 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Danielle Lerner

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#389215 - 05/04/18 07:03 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Bill Cain

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#389216 - 05/04/18 07:03 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Ed DeRosa

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#389217 - 05/04/18 07:04 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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John Clay

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#389218 - 05/04/18 07:04 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Paul Rolfes

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#389219 - 05/04/18 07:04 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Marty McGee

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#389220 - 05/04/18 07:04 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Bill Doolittle

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#389221 - 05/04/18 07:04 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Tim Sullivan

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#389222 - 05/04/18 07:05 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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E-Ponies

7 JUSTIFY
16 MAGNUM MOON
6 GOOD MAGIC
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#389223 - 05/04/18 07:14 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Neil Greenberg

Winner - Bolt DíOro

Trifecta

Bolt díOro with Audible and Good Magic with Audible, Good Magic, Magnum Moon and Vino Rosso (11 with 5, 6 with 5, 6, 16, 18)

Audible and Good Magic with Bolt díOro with Audible, Good Magic, Magnum Moon and Vino Rosso (5, 6 with 11 with 5, 6, 16, 18)

Audible and Good Magic with Audible, Good Magic, and Vino Rosso with Bolt díOro (5, 6 with 5, 6, 16, 18 with 11)

Superfecta

Bolt díOro with Audible and Good Magic with Audible, Good Magic, Magnum Moon and Vino Rosso with Audible, Good Magic, Magnum Moon, Vino Rosso, Flameaway, Solomini, Regard, Hofburg and Firenze Fire (11 with 5,6 with 5, 6, 16, 18 with 5, 6, 16, 18, 4, 17, 15, 9, 1)

Audible with Bolt díOro with Good Magic, Magnum Moon and Vino Rosso with Good Magic, Magnum Moon, Vino Rosso, Flameaway, Solomini, Regard, Hofburg and Firenze Fire (5 with 11 with 6, 16, 18, 4, 17, 15, 9, 1)

Audible with Good Magic with Bolt díOro with Magnum Moon, Vino Rosso, Flameaway, Solomini, Regard, Hofburg and Firenze Fire (5 with 6 with 11 with 16, 18, 4, 17, 15, 9, 1)
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#389231 - 05/04/18 07:47 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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Good Luck Tomorrow Freak. Ant tips, taking my dad to bet derby in the morning.

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#389235 - 05/05/18 02:36 AM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: sailfish]
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Timeform

The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a fast early pace, with Promises Fulfilled (#3) and Justify (#7) likely to head out towards the front of the pack soon after the start. While Justify is obviously fast enough to secure the lead, itís generally accepted that Promises Fulfilled will edge ahead of the favorite in the early going. Itís unlikely that either will be able to slow things down much as a number of chasers should be in hot pursuit. Flameaway (#4), Bolt díOro (#11), Enticed (#12), Magnum Moon (#16), and Noble Indy (#19) all possess some early speed and will be vying for ideal position in behind these front-runners. One additional wild card in this pace scenario is Mendelssohn (#14), for whom we have limited pace data, given that heís run the majority of his races overseas. He, too, could be up close in the opening furlongs.

Horses like Audible (#5), Good Magic (#6), Solomini (#17), and Vino Rosso (#18) should be looking to attain early position in mid-pack, but mid-pack position in this race could be as far back as 13th or 14th given the massive field of runners. Deep closers Hofburg (#9), My Boy Jack (#10), and Combatant (#20) Ė none of which are shown in the Pace Projector Ė are likely to bring up the rear.

Letís make our way through the entire 20-horse field:

#1, FIRENZE FIRE (50-1): At least a horse with no realistic chance drew the dreaded rail slot. This colt just doesnít want to go this far, and heís not nearly fast enough anyway. Pass.

#2, FREE DROP BILLY (30-1): The two Dale Romans trainees will break from side-by-side stalls in the gate. While Promises Fulfilled is generally regarded as the runner who will have more influence on the outcome given his ample early speed, Free Drop Billy figures to be the Romans colt that makes the most noise at the finish. His three-year-old season has been somewhat disappointing, but he has had excuses. He worked out an uncomfortable trip in the Gotham, as he was always out of position while attempting to close over a speed-favoring track. Looking for redemption in the Blue Grass, he got sideswiped by a rival while in the midst of his stretch-run, costing him any chance of overtaking the leaders. Realistically, Free Drop Billy is unlikely to win the Kentucky Derby off those performances, but he does have a chance to pick up some pieces late. I appreciate his willingness to run through traffic, which he did seamlessly around the far turn in the Blue Grass. From this inside post position, Robby Albarado can guide him to the back of the pack and hope that some holes open up. Heís going to need a few top contenders to falter in order to make the trifecta, but thatís never out of the question in this grueling race. An exotics possibility.

#3, PROMISES FULFILLED (30-1): His two preps in Florida could not be more dichotomous. He was allowed to set his own comfortable pace in the Fountain of Youth, and capitalized on that favorable setup with a win over two-year-old champion Good Magic. However, in the Florida Derby, he and pace rival Strike Power incinerated after blazing through the first half-mile in unreasonably fast time. While the early pace of the Kentucky Derby is unlikely to be quite that fast, this front-runner is highly unlikely to get another free ride on the lead. Pass.

#4, FLAMEAWAY (30-1): Iíve been wrong about his colt throughout the prep season, having underestimated his talent each time he ran. None of his competitors have visited the winnerís circle on as many occasions as this 5-time victor, and heís accomplished those wins under a variety of circumstances. Dirt has been the focus recently as heís been pushed towards this race, and heís welcomed each successive challenge. Unfortunately, I once again will afford him little respect, as I just do not believe heís suited to this race. Heíll be forced to deal with a much swifter early tempo than heís encountered in any of his prep races and would need to produce the fastest race of his career. Pass.

#5, AUDIBLE (8-1): I had been a skeptic earlier in the year, but this New York-bred has turned me into a believer with two resounding victories in Florida this winter. While he doesnít possess the classic pedigree of a Derby winner, neither did recent champions American Pharoah or Nyquist. That just hasnít mattered as much over the last decade or so. Besides, Audible already outran his sprint-oriented damside pedigree by winning the Florida Derby, and he gives every impression that more distance will not be a major hindrance. Itís the way he finishes off his races that makes him so appealing. In all of his wins, just as he appears to have exhausted all of his gears, he turns it up one more notch for the stretch drive. He basically sprinted through the final quarter mile of the Holy Bull, as he left Free Drop Billy in his wake. In the Florida Derby, he was forced to make a longer, sustained run from the back of the pack after losing position on the backstretch. Yet, reliably, he was still reaching for the wire with vigor in deep stretch, putting even greater distance between himself and fellow closer Hofburg. Javier Castellano takes over the reins from John Velazquez, which is of little concern given the tough choices that both riders were faced with heading into the Derby. At least Castellano knows this horse well, and is aware of his propensity to lose focus mid-race. If heís able to keep Audible in the bridle and has him within two lengths of the lead at the quarter pole, his rivals will be hard-pressed to withstand his finishing power. A top contender for victory.

#6, GOOD MAGIC (12-1): The results have been mixed for last yearís two-year-old champion so far this season. Any way you slice it, his Fountain of Youth was a disappointment. Despite the slow early pace and speed-favoring Gulfstream surface, he was still supposed to be making up some ground at the end of that race. He rebounded admirably in the Blue Grass, grinding out a win over Flameaway and Free Drop Billy. However, those two are hardly among the elite contenders in this field, and Good Magic didnít exactly assert his dominance in victory. At the end of the day, the Breedersí Cup Juvenile remains the most impressive race heís ever run. I have the utmost respect for his trainer, who is arguably the best in the country, but he needs to get Good Magic to improve on his Blue Grass by about 4 or 5 lengths in order to win the Derby. Chad Brown insists that heís doing better than ever heading into the race, but do I really want to take a mediocre price on a horse that has yet to improve upon his two-year-old form? I know thereís been some recent buzz around his morning workouts, but heís always gone about his business enthusiastically in the mornings, so that hardly sways me. Itís also possible that he may find himself as far back as mid-field in the early stages of this race, which would be a new experience for him. I appreciate his overall resume and am grateful to have last yearís champion in the field, but Iím just not sold on his chances to take back the crown. A win seems just out of reach.

#7, JUSTIFY (3-1): Handicappers that are concerned about value almost always need to be careful around horses like Justify. After all, heís competed in just a single stakes race and heís already been anointed as the new leader of this division. Moreover, he got an absolutely perfect trip in that Santa Anita Derby win, setting a moderate early pace while his lone major rival was at a distinct disadvantage. So why is everyone already proclaiming him to be a Triple Crown threat before heís even won the first leg? Probably because he might just be that good. Justify is not your ordinary Derby favorite. Despite his lack of seasoning, this is an exceptionally gifted three-year-old, the likes of which we havenít seen in a number of years. The fact that he is considered to be such a clear-cut choice in a field with so much depth at the top speaks to his brilliance. Heís earned speed figures that most elite horses donít achieve until their four-year-old seasons, and heís been doing it right from the start, beginning with his dazzling February debut. Clearly, given that late start to his career, he lacks foundation. Is it worth paying attention to the dreaded curse of Apollo? Horses can make up for a lack of seasoning with talent, and Justify may indeed be that kind of thoroughbred Ė one that clears each successive hurdle on his first attempt. Yet, how short of a price are you really willing to take on a horse that will be trying a number of things for the first time? A top contender despite the lack of value.

#8, LONE SAILOR (50-1): The top three-year-olds were not located in New Orleans this season, and he was hardly the best of that group. He hung badly at the end of the Louisiana Derby after working out a perfect trip, raising concerns about his stamina. Pass.

#9, HOFBURG (20-1): Why am I supposed to prefer him to Audible, who defeated him so convincingly in the Florida Derby? Both benefitted from the swift early pace, and I would argue that Hofburg had a less taxing trip. He did not even attempt to get involved in that suicidal first quarter whereas Audible tried to hold a chasing position around the clubhouse turn before losing focus. Not only does Audible possess better tactical speed than Hofburg, but he has a significant experience edge over this lightly-raced colt. One might argue that Hofburg has greater upside in just his fourth career start, but since when is a lack of seasoning a positive in this particular race? One advantage that Hofburg does appear to have is an ample amount of stamina. Heís by Tapit, who has sired a couple of Belmont Stakes winners, and is out of a Touch Gold mare that has produced 10-furlong Grade 1 winner Emollient. If things really fall apart at the end of this race, perhaps he can make a dent, but Iím still somewhat skeptical. Chance for a small slice.

#10, MY BOY JACK (30-1): If you like him, youíre hoping for a pace collapse. While heís run well in each of his last few starts, he would need some help to defeat the elite contenders in this field, since his speed figures are just a cut below the threshold. Iím also not enamored with the path heís taken to this race, as heíll be running for the third time in just 6 weeks after having to squeeze in a start in the Lexington in order to accrue the necessary points. A superfecta chance.

#11, BOLT DíORO (8-1): In the Kentucky Derby, typically 2 or 3 horses among the 20 perform at their optimum level, either by matching their previous peak effort or exploding with a new top performance. The other 85 to 90 percent of the field usually regress. The Derby is a taxing race on these young three-year-olds, and the vast majority of them are simply not up to the task. So, if I have to choose one horse in this yearís race who will show up when the chips are down, itís this colt. The fact of Bolt díOroís career is that heís never run a bad race. He handled sprint distances in his early starts despite not really being a sprinter, and heís been basically unstoppable since stretching out around two turns. Some might argue that he has failed to repeat his stellar 7-length triumph in last yearís FrontRunner, but those people would be wrong. He has run just as well in each of his subsequent starts, despite encountering varying degrees of adversity in all of those races. Perhaps he hasnít surpassed that peak two-year-old effort, but he hasnít exactly needed to do so to retain his position at the top of this division. Assuming that Bolt díOro runs as well as I expect him to, the only question that remains is: Can he beat Justify? I certainly think heís more likely to adapt to whatever pace scenario the Derby presents, given his versatile running style and valuable experience in difficult situations. Defeating Justify is still no small challenge, but given a price that figures to be twice as high as that of the favorite, Iím willing to wager that Bolt díOro is up to the task. The selection.

#12, ENTICED (30-1): Iím not quite sold on the quality of those New York races despite the fact that both the Gotham and Wood Memorial earned respectable speed figures. Of greater concern for Enticed is the distance, since he just doesnít seem to want to go much farther than a mile. While he was soundly bumped a couple of times in upper stretch of the Wood, I still would have liked to see him put up more of a fight in the final furlong. I donít see the path to success for him in this race. Pass.

#13, BRAVAZO (50-1): Heís one of the few runners that truly doesnít belong here. He took advantage of a half-baked Noble Indy in the Risen Star two back, but then was no match for a number of todayís rivals in a subpar edition of the Louisiana Derby. Pass.

#14, MENDELSSOHN (5-1): Perhaps Iíll look back foolishly on my dismissal of this colt when he pulls a Johannesburg and beats the best Americans in their premier race. While I would never bet him in this spot, I do acknowledge that itís possible he may be a special talent, not dissimilar to Justify. The major issue is that you have to base that opinion primarily on his UAE Derby performance, and thatís problematic. The classic Meydan dirt bias reared its ugly head on Dubai World Cup night, wildly exaggerating the performances of horses that showed speed and rode the rail, and Mendelssohn was indeed one of those. Certainly all of those 18 1/2 lengths were not attributable to the track bias, but how many were? Besides, looking beyond concerns about the actual merits of his Dubai performance, do you really trust a horse to ship all the way back from Dubai and win the Derby just 6 weeks later? Horses often need some time to recover from such a trip, and heís getting no serious break. This is not a move thatís worked when Godolphin has tried it in the past, so why should I believe that Aidan OíBrien can pull it off, especially given his generally poor recent record with American starters shipping in from overseas? Pass.

#15, REGARD (50-1): The change of tactics didnít work out in the Santa Anita Derby, since that wasnít a race that was conducive to closers. Unfortunately, his prior efforts arenít quite good enough either. He seems to have plateaued since early season success. Pass.

#16, MAGNUM MOON (6-1): Whereas Justify has maintained his unblemished record through sheer brilliance and towering ability, Magnum Moon has achieved the same through expert management and racing luck. I donít believe that Magnum Moon is significantly more gifted than his stablemate Audible, or even Vino Rosso. However, many will perceive that this is the case due to the air of invincibility that surrounds any undefeated horse. When you dissect Magnum Moonís two stakes wins at Oaklawn, they donít stand up to intense scrutiny. He got a perfect trip in the Rebel, stalking a moderate pace while racing in the clear throughout. I donít think Solomini was ever going to win that race, but he did lose significant momentum when forced to steady at the quarter pole, opening the way for Magnum Moon to register a decisive win. Magnum Moon was even more visually impressive in the Arkansas Derby, but this was once again due to his trip. With little speed signed on, Luis Saez was able to set a slow early pace (indicated by blue color-coded pace figures). Magnum Moon possesses an excellent turn of foot and he used it to put his rivals away in a race where main rival Solomini was again compromised. Magnum Moon drifted badly through the stretch, which is never a great sign. However, what concerns me more is that he will probably have to overcome adversity in this race, the likes of which he has never seen before. A fringe player.

#17, SOLOMINI (30-1): While Magnum Moon enjoyed all the best of it in his Arkansas stakes wins, Solomini got the short end of the stick on each occasion. After stalking the pace along the rail through the early stages of the Rebel, he was shut off and forced to alter course just as he was commencing a rally. Solomini is not a horse with a quick turn of foot, so that interruption in his momentum was especially detrimental. He did get to make a sustained run in the Arkansas Derby next time out, but his overall trip was not in synchronization with the flow of the race. The early pace was slow, and Solomini was reserved in mid-pack while racing extremely wide around both turns. Considering overall ground loss, I thought he ran on well to be third, turning away a challenge from Combatant in deep stretch. The most frustrating part about Solomini is that he has not improved on his excellent two-year-old form so far in 2018. For that reason, itís easy to forget just how good he was last year. He defeated McKinzie in the Los Alamitos Futurity at a time when that rival was near the top of this division, and finished second to Good Magic and Bolt díOro in a pair of Grade 1 races. Itís taken a while Ė perhaps too long Ė for Solomini to figure things out this year. Heís not the most professional runner, and he typically needs vigorous encouragement from his rider to stay in contention. On the other hand, heís bred to get this distance, and his preference for making a long, grinding run may actually be well-suited to the expected dynamics in this Kentucky Derby. You could draw some comparisons between him and 1998 Kentucky Derby winner Real Quiet, who also was flying under the radar of a highly regarded Baffert stablemate coming into the Run for the Roses. If youíre looking for a Derby longshot, you could do a lot worse than this colt. A top contender at a price.

#18, VINO ROSSO (12-1): He is one of the few horses in this yearís race who is undoubtedly bred to relish the mile and a quarter distance of the Derby. He is by Curlin, a runner-up in the Belmont Stakes and sire of Belmont winner Palace Malice, and out of a half-sister to Commissioner, who finished second in the 2014 Belmont Stakes. Regardless of this chestnut coltís performance on Saturday, he is sure to return in 5 weeks for the 12-furlong Test of the Champion, a race that his trainer typically targets. While all of that is far off in the future, Iím compelled to focus more on his overall development because I feel that he may not be well-suited to the circumstances he will encounter on Saturday. Vino Rosso has struggled when faced with even minor adversity. He got discouraged when placed in behind horses in both of his starts at Tampa, sulking around the far turn of the Tampa Bay Derby as he dropped out of contention. The major difference in the Wood Memorial was that he broke from the outside post position in a field of manageable size, and John Velazquez was able to keep him outside of horses throughout. He ran by a stamina-challenged Enticed in the stretch, and registered a convincing win. However, itís unlikely that everything will go quite as perfectly this time. Heís not a horse with much early speed, despite the fact that he sat relatively close to moderate paces in a few preps. The Pace Projector indicates that he could be as far back as 13th or 14th in the early going of this race, and I donít view him as the kind of horse that can run through traffic and overcome such a deficit. Expect him to be running on well through the lane, but I worry heíll be left with too much to do. Another one on the fringes.

#19, NOBLE INDY (30-1): Within the context of the Louisiana Derby, he ran quite well, surviving a fast pace and gamely turning away late bids from Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack. Based on that performance, itís reasonable to prefer him to that pair. However, the best three-year-olds in the nation were not at the Fair Grounds this winter. Moreover, his running style may not be suited to the pace dynamics of this race. Heís not quite as fast as speeds like Promises Fulfilled and Justify. Breaking from this far outside post position, he may need to tuck in behind horses in the second flight of runners. How will he react to rating farther off the pace than he ever has before? Itís not an ideal situation, especially considering that he would probably have to run the best race of his career to even make it into the superfecta. Pass.

#20, COMBATANT (50-1): Heís as honest as they come, but he clearly lacks the ability of the top contenders in this field. In some ways, heís similar to My Boy Jack, in that his only hope is to take back in the early going and hope to pass as many stragglers as possible. My Boy Jack is generally regarded as the more talented closer, but you could make the argument that Combatant has been hindered by poor trips and unfavorable pace dynamics in more of his races. If Iím using my Boy Jack in superfectas, I have to throw in this colt as well. Possible for a small slice.
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#389249 - 05/05/18 03:35 AM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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On this Kentucky Derby Day, I ask that you give a $2 win ticket to this fund and help out a jockeys family. Also if you could let them know you came from Freaks Forum, it would be appreciated. I want them to know we are behind the family in their time of need.

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#389270 - 05/05/18 12:04 PM Re: 2018 KY Derby Info and Picks [Re: FREAK]
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KENTUCKY DERBY PICKS
docsports
Churchill Downs Park Selections for Saturday, May 5, 2018
Churchill Downs
Race 6 - $300K Running of the Humana Distaff Stakes - 7 Furlongs (GII)
TOP HORSE: 4 - Skye Diamonds
SECOND CHOICE: 8 - American Gal
THIRD CHOICE: 1 - Finley'sluckycharm
(LONG SHOT): 7 - Torrent
Recommended Bets ($370 Bets)
$40 W/P/S (4)
$20 W/P/S (8)
$10 W/P/S (1)
$10 Exacta Box (4-8-1-7)
$1 Tri 4/1,5,8,7/1,2,3,5,7,8 $20
$1 Tri 1,5,7,8/4/1,2,3,5,7,8 $20


Race 8 - $1 Million Running of the Churchill Downs Stakes - 7 Furlongs (GII)
TOP HORSE: 7 - Limousine Liberal
SECOND CHOICE: 10 - Awesome Slew
THIRD CHOICE: 3 - Imperial Hint
(LONG SHOT): 1 - Whitmore
Recommended Bets ($330 Bets)
$40 W/P/S (7)
$20 W/P/S (10)
$10 W/P/S (3)
$10 Exacta Box (7,10,3,1)

Race 11 - $1 Million Running of the Old Forester Turf Classic - 1 1/8 Miles (GI)
TOP HORSE: 10 - Beach Patrol
SECOND CHOICE: 7 - Synchrony
THIRD CHOICE: 3 - Kurilov
(LONG SHOT): 4 - Camelot Kitten
Recommended Bets ($330 Bets)
$40 W/P/S (10)
$20 W/P/S (7)
$10 W/P/S (3)
$10 Exacta Box (10,7,3,4)

Race 12 - $2 Million Running of the 144th Kentucky Derby - 1 &#65533; Miles (GII)
TOP HORSE: 5 - Audible
SECOND CHOICE: 11 - Bolt d'Oro
THIRD CHOICE: 16 - Magnum Moon
(LONG SHOT): 18 - Vino Rosso
(LONG SHOT 2) 10 - My Boy Jack
Recommended Bets ($330 Bets)
$100 W/P/S (5)
$40 W/P/S (11)
$10 W/P/S (16)
$10 W/P/S (18)
$10 Exacta Box (5,11,16,18)
$1 Tri 5/10,11,16,18/2,7,8,9,10,14,16,18 $28
$1 Tri 10,11,16,18/5/2,7,8,9,10,14,16,18 $28

8 Unit Play Take Audible +100 over Good Magic (Kentucky Derby - Head-to-Head Matchup)
I have been high on Audible and after his big win at the Florida Derby I continue to be high on this horse. Audible can handle a muddy surface if the rain continues to come down today and overall I believe this horse is one of the Top 3 horses. Good Magic won the Blue Grass Stakes and here is another horse that runs well in the mud but with him next to Justify those two might burn each other out from the start. Give me Audible here at +100 and wouldn't shock me to see another brilliant race from the Florida Derby winner.
4 Unit Play Take Magnum Moon -125 over Hofbug (Kentucky Derby - Head-to-Head Matchup)
As long as Magnum Moon does not drift down the stretch he could hit the board and Hofbug is another horse that could get lost in this big field. Short price on Moon on a horse who hasn't lost a race yet.
3 Unit Play Take Lone Sailor +115 over Combatant (Kentucky Derby - Head-to-Head Matchup)
Lone Sailor is a stone cold closer and this horse does not mind the mud and I'm completely shocked that he has +115 attached to this matchup. Combatant is a stalker but with this big field I see him getting lost in the bunch.

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