Friday, March 12, 2010

Derby Trail Stakes Racing Roundup - 3/13

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.

Rebel Stakes

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.

San Felipe

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.


  1. Good luck with your picks tomorrow. I'm looking forward to spending the afternoon with my DRF...I've got Super Saver in Derby Futures Pool 1 so will be hoping for a good outing.

    Noble's Promise at a price is certainly attractive!

  2. Thanks Keith,

    Good luck to you too!

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  5. Hi Calvin, I hear Baffert, then again, I don't. Baffert always underplay his horses, especially when they are ready to fire. Lookin at Lucky will run his usual race. But, I just think Noble's Promise is simply better at the 1 1/16 distance. The colt move way to early at Breeders Cup and in the Cash Call the colt move way to late. One thing left to do!, move right on time. I believe he gets the win on percentage that Lookin at Lucky will not beat Noble's Promise three straight times.

    Out west! I'm looking far ahead to the Santa Anita Derby. Each year the Santa Anita Derby has had an open favorite.

    But this year addition with the departure of so many,

    Lookin at Lucky heads to Arkansas
    Make Music for Me heads to Turfway
    Alphie's Bet heads to Blue Grass
    The Program heads to Louisiana

    What is left is a rematch between Dave and Dixie and Caracortado. I never could see a California bred remain undefeated and win the Santa Anita Derby.

    Reverse finish from their previous race seem logical. Dave on top. Sidney's Candy plays the spoiler for this event, as he was to depart for the Gotham stakes and change tactics, knowing Lookin At Lucky was leaving town. He will set a very fast pace and distance is to far as with Tiz Chrome. Pace makes the race! and Dave will move early to engage for the win.

  6. Barry,

    I agree with you about Noble's Promise. I think he has a good shot to win the Rebel.

    In regard to the San Felipe, I'll defer to you. That is your turf and you know it a lot better than I do.

  7. Noble's Promise and Lookin At Lucky trainers were all lying about the condition of their colts. The match up is starting to remind me of Affirmed and Alydar. Three races and all within 1/2 at the wire. WOW! They are 1-2 in my book. Three different surfaces and the same outcome.

    Sydney just kept right on running up front. I pick thew wrong Sadler horse. The Cal Bred ran good, but I just could not see the colt winning again, and remain undefeated into the Santa Anita Derby.

  8. Barry,

    The Rebel was a very exciting race. It looked like Noble's Promise might turn the tables on Lookin At Lucky but in the final analysis, Lucky showed why he is a multiple G1 stakes winning champion.