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Kentucky Derby Preview

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 5/2/2014 11:27:18 PM

About the Race and Track

The biggest day in American racing is here and they have all shown up for the Kentucky Derby with a full 20-horse field in store. Online sports betting site players will have plenty of opportunity for value and there seems to be plenty of speed in the race. We all remember what happened in the Derby when they went bonkers early, the race fell apart, and Orb picked up the pieces.

Longshot With Some Value: Danza

This runner is sneaky good, is in the right hands of Todd Pletcher, and comes to the race fresh and on the top of his game.

The Pick: California Chrome (Key 1st and 2nd in $1 trifecta with Wicked Strong, Hoppertunity, Candy Boy, Danza and Dance With Fate)

Wicked Strong showed ability from Day One and he did finish strong in the Remsen to close out 2013. Considering the half mile that day was in :51.74, the rally was all that more impressive as he got his last furlong in :11.37. He also was flattered when Constitution, the winner on 2/22, went on to take the Florida Derby to run his record to 3 for 3. Expect a huge effort here.

Hoppertunity was already in the Derby so his effort to California Chrome was kind of like icing on the cake. No reason he won???t get the trip as sire was a Grade 1 winner at 9 furlongs over 2-time horse of the year Curlin and his dam was narrowly beaten in a mile and a half grass race. Bob Baffert had this runner out Monday for the :48 work in company with Drill, who won a Grade 1 early in his career and has earned nearly $550,000.

Candy Boy made a more in the CashCall that was extremely eye-catching. He was also impressive taking the Robert B. Lewis and was boosted when the horse that ran second that day, Chitu, returned to win a rather diluted Sunland Derby. His sire is proven at the Derby distance but there are mostly speed types on the bottom side. He has proven he can race close up or come from left field and would expect the strategy to be let him settle, let the others do the work, then kick.

Danza had to run every step of the way to win the debut last year and connections thought enough of him to try the Saratoga Special and he was far from disgraced in that Grade 2. The prep at Gulfstream set him up nicely for the effort last time and that March 1 win was better than it looks. The Grade 2 Swale was run the same day and the winner Spot won in 1:22.44 with an 87 Beyer. This racer got his 7 furlongs that day in 1:21.87. He got his last furlong last time in :12.30 and his final Arkansas Derby time was nearly as fast as Will Take Charge ran the Oaklawn Handicap on the same day.

Dance With Fate has much more speed than he flashed in the Blue Grass but coming from left field seemed to suit him and that was an impressive visual move going from 11th to the lead. There are some things this colt has to prove; he has won just on the synthetic and grass and lost ground late in his best dirt performance.

California Chrome has been a flat-out monster. As the likely chalk, note that in the last 10 years the favorite has won the Derby 4 times and run second twice. He will be trying to be the first Cal-bred to win this race since 1962 and the 4th overall. The colt has proven he can win on the lead or tracking the action and that tactical zip will likely give him first run on the deep closers. The way racer has drawn off of late suggests he???ll have a valid shot to get the classic distance today.

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