BREAKING DERBY NEWS… Probable Derby favorite Eskendereya is OUT of Derby due to leg injury.
It is officially Derby Week. On Wednesday we will finally find out who the 20 starters will be for the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby when the Post Position Draw takes place at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Churchill Downs has reverted back to the standard way of drawing the post positions. That is, a one pill draw versus the two-tier draw that allowed the owner and/or trainer to select which Post Position in which their horse would break. The two-tier draw was instituted in 1998 in an attempt to draw more interest, but in recent years the televised Draw saw ratings decline.
Recapping Day 5 (Saturday, April 24th) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
First off, my wife, daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Pimlico’s Terrace Dining Room. We were seated at a trackside window table…a great view. Everything was first-rate from appetizers through dessert. The Maryland Jockey Club has certainly improved the quality and value of their dining room. I highly recommend it for Saturday afternoon lunch, Sunday brunch or weekday business lunch. It’s a great entertainment value that provides an opportunity to win a few bucks along the way. Finally, a big “Thank You” to Stanton Salter and Maggie Wolfendale at MJC who provided the avenue to make this happen and ensure we had an enjoyable visit.
Best Bet Remember Shirley (# 1; 4th race; 3-1) was able to establish an uncontested lead early and jockey Juan Pimentel nursed her thru the first 4 furlongs, then put her down for the drive but could not hold off the favorite Baby On The Go in the final strides, losing by a neck. Little consolation was the $3.00 PLACE and $3.00 SHOW (that’s correct).
Best Bet pick scorecard from 3 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 0 WIN – 2 PLACE – 1 SHOW.
Longshot Golden Mustang (# 6; 1st race; 9-1) rated nicely in a striking position (3rd) as the race developed, fell back entering the stretch but found more in the tank late to rally, finishing just 2 lengths behind the winner but it was only good enough for 4th.
Longshot pick scorecard from 4 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 1 WIN – 0 PLACE – 0 SHOW
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $64 on Victory Lake (# 1; 6th race; 2-1) was money in the bank as usual, running a solid race as he rallied in the stretch to be second best, missing by a length which was plenty to keep the SHOW Parlay alive. Payoffs were $2.80 for the PLACE and $2.40 to SHOW. The parlay is on a 3 day win streak with $77.40 to “Let It Ride” on Day 6.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 6 (Sunday, April 25th)…
Best Bet: Tufton (# 2; 7th race; 9-2)
It’s not often one can be confident in making a first-time starter a top selection, but this one is worthy. This 3 year old is out of Gators N Bears, who was a quick one and a few weeks back had another offspring win impressively at first asking. He’s in the capable hands of trainer Rodney Jenkins.
Longshot: Piano Red (# 9; 5th race on the turf; 20-1)
This is strictly a play based on bloodlines. This 4 year olds sire (Alphabet Soup) is out of my favorite turf sire of all time, Cozzene. Throw out his dirt races. He does have 1 start on the grass, a 5th place finish at 32-1 going one mile last October, not impressive but not horrible. Jockey Sheldon Russell is a decent turf rider who could help this one move forward in his 2nd grass effort at 1 1/16 mile.
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $137.40 ($124.60 bankroll – $64 wager + $76.80 return)
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $77 on Suzzona (# 6; 2nd race on the turf; 4-5) is the class of this field going 5 furlongs on the lawn. She’s 1 for 1 on the Pimlico grass course and has hit the board in 9 of her 12 turf sprint outings. As the prohibitive M/L favorite it might appear we’re taking the easy route to keeping the SHOW Parlay alive, but in horse racing there are no “sure things”.
Looks like Day 6 could bring some showers, but races are still on the turf, so enjoy the exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer. Good Luck!