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The Final Real Preps

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 4/12/2012 3:45:57 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds – Dullahan to win the Wood; Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Wood Memorial, The Arkansas Derby  Where: Keeneland, Oaklawn Park
When: Saturday April 14th

Bar the door Katie as the final real preps for the Kentucky Derby are at hand Saturday and this is the last online Kentucky Derby betting chance for some to punch their ticket to the Big Dance at Churchill.

The $750,000 9-furlong Blue Grass has not been as big a deal in recent years mainly because of the synthetic surface at Keeneland and you have to go back to 1979 and Spectacular Bid, the last Blue Grass winner that took the Kentucky Derby.

Last year, Brilliant Speed parlayed a third in a neck beat at Gulfstream to a shocking 19-1 win when he came from dead last to get up by a nose with a 93 Beyer.

The $1 million 9-furlong Arkansas Derby has a storied history and Sunny’s Halo in 1983 and Smarty Jones in 2004 parlayed wins in the event to glory in the Kentucky Derby.

Last year, Archarcharch was coming off a third in the Rebel before coming from 10th to get up by a neck in the ARK Derby with a 98 Beyer.

Let’s look at the Blue Grass first.

Hansen didn’t get the best of trips in the slop in the Holy Bull but he obviously needed the effort and he came back with a solid sports betting race taking the Gotham and rating in the process.

Heavy Breathing brings speed but doesn’t absolutely need the lead to win but would expect him to be sent from the rail today while Gung Ho has his work cut out as he has to prove he is fit enough after losing ground in the lane in the return effort in last.

Prospective ran well despite taking the overland route in the Sam Davis, then was inching away late in the Tampa Derby when the blinkers were added. 

Russian Greek has no speed and must prove he can deal with Graded foes.

Dullahan, a half bro to Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, jumps into the Triple Crown trail off the one prep but he’s proven locally and fresh and he has a nice turn of late foot.

Politicallycorrect extended nicely in last but now he gets tested for class. He ran well in defeat here last year and seems to be feeling pretty good about himself recording a best of 70 bullet drill last weekend. Note that Midnight Crooner was green in the debut, stumbled in next, freaked for the diploma but had no apparent excuse last time.

Holy Candy has shown ability since Day One and seems to be going in the right direction here. John Sadler wouldn’t ship unless he figures the horse is worthy.

Howe Great has never run a poor race but this will be his synthetic debut while Ever So Lucky is giving away a lot of experience and it’s asking a lot to go this far after just a 7-furlong prep.

Hero of Order is trying to prove his 109-1 Louisiana Derby win was no fluke but he is looking at more speed this time and rival Scatman lost ground going a mile and lost ground late in the 8 and a half-furlong Rebel.

With all the speed in here, look for the winner to come from the clouds and a likely candidate is Dullahan. He has only won once, but it was on this surface in a Grade 1 and he didn’t get a great trip the other time he had to face Hansen.

Look for the pace to be crazy and for Kent Desormeaux to pick them up and lay them down in the stretch.

Cozzetti draws the cozy rail in the Arkansas Derby, he needed the last race and has a right to improve.

Stat passed the distance question in flying colors in the miler last time and he’s cut out to star as a $400,000 purchase while Najjaar can finish, and that will be huge if he runs big here and gets to Kentucky.

Jake Mo got good for about 3 weeks at Prairie Meadows last year and will be a late factor if at all.

Secret Circle has the proven ability at Churchill if he makes it that far. Youngster has a penchant for finding the wire and he’s only run one poor race.

Isn’t He Clever brings sub :22 speed to the party but there are some stamina concerns while the opposite surrounds Optimizer, who won routing at first asking and that’s not easy. Bothered two back, but he proved that he must be respected with the Rebel rally.

Atigun was life and death to beat allowance runners and came back to earth in a big way in last and even though Sabercat may have been dead short in last you have to wonder how much he got out of the race?

Sabercat needs a rebound race after a dull Rebel.

Raconteur was steadied on a strip he may not have cared for two back but this race is a far cry from beating up $75K stakes foes in Maryland.

On the extreme outside comes Bob Baffert’s Bodemeister, who has brilliant speed, has trained fast for this and could prove hard to collar.

If the post does not prove to be too compromising, expect Bodemeister to run huge. He can get into the race on his own from this slot, takes the blinkers off and could be more relaxed, and if he can sit and relax a bit for Mike Smith, he should give a very good account of himself.

Good luck with the online betting sites.

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