I don’t know yet if I will wager on any of this weekend’s prep races for 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby Trail – a lot will depend on what the final odds are at post time. So, for this writeup, I thought I would talk about the horses that I would like to see win.
At this point on the trail, with a little over one month left, I’m looking for the horses I believe have the potential to move forward and be a legitimate contender.
Super Saver, along with Eskendereya and Winslow Homer, has been one of my favorites since early January and I have been eagerly awaiting his debut as a 3-year-old. Of those three, I liked the pedigree of Eskendereya most and he lived up to his breeding with a winning, wow performance in the Fountain of Youth. Winslow Homer is off the trail with an injury.
Super Saver is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G3) and will not offer much value. However, I really like the pedigree of Super Saver and would like to see him win.
Another horse I like a lot in this race, and would not be upset if he won, is Odysseus who is listed as the 7-2 morning line fourth-choice. Odysseus also has a good pedigree filled with several Classic Champion Thoroughbred ancestors. Only time will tell if Odysseus lives up to his breeding.
Of the races this weekend, the Tampa Bay Derby may be the best betting race. If Odysseus stays at 7-2 or goes higher I may play a small win, place wager on him and use him in an exacta with Super Saver. Uptowncharlybrown (5-2) and Schoolyard Dreams (3-1) would round out the trifecta.
Lookin At Lucky is the prohibitive 7-5 morning line favorite in the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn and he already has enough graded-stakes earnings to start in the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Bob Baffert has said that the Rebel is an “experimental” race with Lookin At Lucky running on dirt and wearing blinkers for the first time.
Dublin is the morning line third choice and I would like to see him win the Rebel. He showed a lot of promise last year in winning the Hopeful Stakes (G1) but finished out the year with two off-the-board finishes in the Champagne (G1) and Iroquois Stakes (G3).
Since then, Dublin had throat surgery to correct a breathing obstruction and he appears to have a new lease on racing. He finished second in his 3-year-old debut, narrowly losing by three-quarters of a length to Conveyance in the Southwest Stakes (G3) last month.
Dublin should improve in his second start of the year and I think the Rebel is setting up real nice for him. I really like the pedigree of Dublin and he has fired bullets in his last three workouts at Oaklawn.
I picked Noble’s Promise (5-2) as a good long shot bet in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland last fall which he won by a gutsy half-length over Aikenite. I’ve always liked this hard-fighting son of Cuvee who, in six starts, has never been out of the money. I look for Noble’s Promise to put in a repeat performance and if the odds are good, I may use him in an exacta with Dublin.
In February, I picked undefeated Caracortado as a good long shot bet in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) and I look for him to continue his winning ways as the 5-2 morning line favorite of the $150,000 San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita.
Interactif and American Lion, both at 4-1 morning line odds, look like a couple of interesting longshots. If the odds are good, I may use those two with Caracortado in an exacta. If the odds on Interactif stay at 4-1 or go higher, I may play a small win, place bet on him.