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Pete’s Picks: Cairo Prince in Florida Derby, Untapable in Fair Grounds Oaks, Vicar’s in Trouble in Louisiana Derby

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 3/28/2014 10:17:42 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Wildcat Red, Cairo Prince, Constitution, General a Rod, Spot, Untapable, Unbridled Forever, Intense Holiday, Gold Hawk, Vicar’s in Trouble, In Trouble, Albano

What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Florida Derby, The Fair Grounds Oaks, The Louisiana Derby

Where: Gulfstream Park, Fair Grounds

When: Saturday, March 29th

The march to Churchill Downs continues in earnest this weekend, with several important 3YO fixtures on tap. At Gulfstream Park, The Florida Derby highlights a 14-race card, and it’s loaded with talent, including morning line favorite Cairo Prince, rivals Wildcat Red and General a Rod, and up-and-comers Constitution and Spot. At Fair Grounds, Untapable will be heavily favored inThe Fair Grounds Oaks. Later in the card, a field of 10 will compete in the 101st Running of The Louisiana Derby, with Intense Holiday, Vicar’s in Trouble, In Trouble and Albano all likely to receive support at the windows. Let’s take a closer look at these races below.

The possibility of rain could make handicapping The Florida Derby even more problematic, as none of the major contenders have ever raced in the off going. We’ll analyze the race for a track labeled “fast”. #1-Wildcat Red (3-1) figures to fire from the rail, but he could have company this time from newcomer #4-Constitution (4-1). That would give #3-Cairo Prince (9-5) an opportunity to assume an inside stalking position, with #6-General a Rod (7-2) to his outside. The connections of Cairo Prince intentionally skipped The Fountain of Youth to wait for this spot, so he’ll be fresh off a 2-month break. You’ll note he won The Holy Bull off a similar freshening. They need points to be assured of a starting spot in The Kentucky Derby, so you have to assume that they have Cairo Prince fit and ready to go. This race should set up nicely for both he and General a Rod, so it may come down to riding tactics and trips. Will Cairo Prince get pinned on the rail taking dirt/slop in his face until it’s too late, or will talented young rider Luis Saez manage to get him in the clear when it’s time to go? I believe that #3-Cairo Prince is the best horse, and I’ll bet on him to win The Florida Derby at odds of 7-5 or better if the track is fast. If it’s sloppy, I’ll probably pass the race .

At Fair Grounds, #1-Untapable (4-5) looks unbeatable in The Fair Grounds Oaks if she runs back to her winning effort in The Rachel Alexandra. She’s had ample time to recover from that race, and a pair of nice 5-furlong works in the interim indicates that she retains her sharp form. The main threat figures to come from #5-Unbridled Forever (9-5), but that talented (and less experienced) filly had better have her running shoes on in the lane. #3-Fiftyshadesofgold (3-1) was sharp in her comeback at Sam Houston off a 6-month break, but has yet to race beyond seven furlongs. I’ll bet on #1-Untapable to win at odds of 1-2 or better.

In The Louisiana Derby, I’m interested in #6-Vicar’s in Trouble (4-1), who might be overlooked off his fading third as the 2.40-1 favorite in The Risen Star. He was four wide around both turns, and made a big, but premature move before weakening late. Some are questioning his ability to handle this mile-and-an-eighth distance. I disagree…this pint-sized colt is bred to go long, and I’m calling for a rebound on Saturday. With a good trip from a better post, and a more patient ride by jockey Rosie Napravnik, Vicar’s in Trouble can turn the tables on #1-Intense Holiday (2-1) and #10-Albano (9-2), who defeated him in the Risen Star. #9-In Trouble (4-1), a game third in The Gotham despite making his 2-turn debut off a 5-month break, is an interesting new face on the scene. I’ll bet on #6-Vicar’s in Trouble to win and place at odds of 7-2 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for this weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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