Despite Track Speed Bias, I’ll Have Another Rallies Past Bodemeister to Win Kentucky Derby; Next Up: Preakness… Pimlico Sunday Selections

May 05, 2012 | Gary Quill

In watching the races at Churchill Downs leading up to the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, one factor stuck out like a sore thumb. If a horse wasn’t positioned within four (4) lengths of the pacesetters at any part of the race, their chances of winning were slim and none… and slim had left town.

Spending the day at NorthEast Racing and Sports Club to assist patrons with their short-term investments, my mood gradually shifted from one of great expectations to being somber about what I believed would occur in the Derby. The running style of my top pick #13 –Went The Day Well was more of a middle of the pack runner. My second and third choices, #19 –I’ll Have Another and #15 – Gemologist fell into the “Tactical Speed” category, but still they’d have to be forwardly positioned early in the race to have a realistic shot at winning.

Backers of the early speed horses like Bodemeister and Hansen must have been feeling pretty confident knowing that their horses running style was being given a boost by the heavy speed bias of the dirt track.

Obviously, I wasn’t the only astute horseplayer to have recognized the track bias, because 10 minutes before the horses exited from the starting gate, Bodemeister was 7-1. His final odds were 4-1. That’s a huge move in the line when there is over $56 million in the WPS Pool! Plenty of people with deep pockets nearly cashed in on an easy score, backing the best early speed runner in the race. Only problem was that the speed bias proved to be no match for I’ll Have Another.

The early fraction set by Bodemeister were insane (22.32; 45.39; 1:09.80), yet at the top of the stretch he extended his lead to 3 lengths, and appeared to be on his way to the Winners Circle… that is until reality set in and it was if he had run out of gas and began to short his stride (can you blame him?!). Yet only one (I’ll Have Another) of the 19 others had the grit and talent to run him down. Both #5 – Dullahan and #13 – Went The Day Well were able to muster up their patented late charge, but it was a case of too little too late, as they settled for 3rd and 4th place purse, respectively to complete the Supefecta which returned $96,092.80 on a $2 investment.

I’ll Have Another has been lightly raced (6 starts), so the immediate question became, “Will he run in the Preakness?”. Trainer , a burly, bearded Midwesterner immediately proclaimed, “We’re going to the Preakness, baby!” he said more than once. “We’re going to Maryland.”

O’Neill plans to keep “I’ll Have Another at Churchill Downs until shipping to Pimlico. The horse’s connections hope he’s fresh enough to win the first Triple Crown since 1978, when Affirmed did it. “We gave the horse only two preps this year,” owner J. Paul Reddam said. “Part of the idea was we knew we had a good horse, and we wanted to make sure he was fresh, because the Triple Crown is a gamble and it looks like it paid off.”

Pimlico Turf starting gate

Recapping selections from Day 21 (Saturday, May 5th) had 6 winners (4 Top Selections) with the $2 Exacta in the 1st ($41.40), 3rd ($17.80), 5th ($18.20) and 10th ($64.80) races; $1 Trifecta in 10th ($54.60).

The BEST BET (20 8-6-2) proved to be much the best on the track as he portraited on paper, and was well backed as the prohibitive favor paying $3.60 to WIN, $2.60 to PLACE and $2.60 to SHOW. The LONGSHOT PICK (20 2-2-8) went off at odds of 7-1 and ran an adimireable 3rd to return $4.60 to SHOW.

Selections for Day 22 at Pimlico Sunday, May 6th card are posted below.

1st race post is 1:10pm EDT. Track Condition… Dirt: FAST Turf: FIRM

1st race – $8,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. fillies OR F&M for 4 y.o. & up NW3L – 1 1/16
#3 – Ring Ring (2-1)
#1 – In Dad’s Wallet (3-1)
#5 – Politelyprecocious (5-2)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming F&M for 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#5 – Singita Cat(4-1)
#6 – Chapel Affair (8-1)
#1 – Neighborhood House (8-1)

3rd race – $35,000 Allowance NW3L for 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile on Turf
#6 – Saint Pierre (10-1)
#9 – Unapproachable (6-1)
#7 – Sierra Alpha (5-1)

4th race – $25,000 Claiming NW2L for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#2 – Wonder Girl Tori (9-2) *** BEST BET ***
#3 – Pleasant Aspect (2-1)
#5 – Princess Beau K (5-2)

5th race – $33,000 Allowance N1X for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs on Turf
#4 – Wildcat Glory (5-1)
#3 – Virginia Cavalier (8-1)
#6 – Summer Hustler (6-1)

6th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. OR 4 y.o. & up NW3L – 1 1/16 mile
#8 – Walkin’ Boss (8-5)
#3 – Irish Idol (3-1)
#7 – Radnor Road (12-1)

7th race – $25,000 Optional Claiming N2X for 3 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs on Turf
#7 – Ready To Cruise (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#2 – Sandbagin’ Lover (6-1)
#6 – Prince Noir (4-1)

8th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#1 – Calius (9-5)
#3 – Macho Grande (8-5)
#6 – Grande and Glorious (20-1)

9th race – $32,000 Optional Claiming N3X for 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#5 – Pound Foolish (7-2)
#2 – Hughes Next (7-2)
#4 – Mine Train (3-1)

10th race – $12,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs on Turf
#4 – Access Love (2-1)
#5 – Loose N Capable (10-1)
#8 – Titanic Win (9-5)

Good Luck!

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