Thursday at Churchill Downs was the calm before the storm of workout activity which is scheduled for Friday through Monday for the majority of the twenty would-be starters in the 137th Kentucky Derby on Saturday May 7th. Their next workout will be their last dress rehearsal before the big race.
About 1,030 miles southeast of Louisville in Palm Meadows, Florida, the likely Derby Morning Line favorite Dialed In breezed 4 furlongs in 48.53 over a track labeled as fast at the south Florida training facility. Trainer Nick Zito is coming off like a genius in keeping his 3 year old son of Mineshaft in sunny Florida instead of sending him to rain-soaked Louisville for his final preparations for the Derby. Not that Nick is some sort of weather god, it’s just that his colt won his career debut last winter over the Churchill Downs dirt surface. So it’s not like he needs to wonder whether Dialed In will take to the track or not. That has already been answered.
Today’s Derby trivia question… likely Derby starters Dialed In, Animal Kingdom and Midnight Interlude each have only four (4) career races under their belt. Since 1933, there has been only one Kentucky Derby winner that had less than five (5) career races going into the Derby. Can you name him?
Answer to Thursday’s Derby trivia question…Pants On Fire and Mucho Macho Man ran 1st and 3rd respectively in the Louisiana Derby. Animal Kingdom was victorious in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park and Twice The Appeal rallied to win the Sunland Park Derby. All 3 of these races took place the weekend of March 26th- 27th. That’s a gap of 42 days or 6 weeks until these four (4) run on May 7th in the Derby. Who was the last Kentucky Derby winner whose last race prior to the Derby came more than 5 weeks before the Derby? Hint: It’s not Barbaro. He won the Derby 5 weeks after winning the Florida Derby. Answer… Needles in 1956 won the Florida Derby then did not race until 6 weeks later when he won the Kentucky Derby.
In more Derby news… It appears that Master Of Hounds who has never run a race on a natural dirt surface will be entered in the 137th Kentucky Derby. He was also being considered for the Gr. 1 Two Thousand Guineas in Newmarket (England), but when entries were closed on Thursday, Master Of Hounds was not one of the thirteen entered. In his only race in North America, he ran a troubled 6th by 3 lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf race.
Recapping, Day 15 (Thursday, April 28th) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet Soldier Field (#6 9th race; M/L 3-1; P/T 2-1) decided that he didn’t want to run a lick in this particular race as he showed nothing from start to finish, which is very usual for a Post Time favorite in an allowance race. Hopefully nothing physically went wrong with him.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 15 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 5 WIN – 2 PLACE – 3 SHOW.
Longshot Summer Wind Haley (#6 1st race; M/L 5-1; P/T 9-1) let his foes set a relatively modest pace, lingering near the back, was wide on the turn and could only pass a few tiring rivals in route to a 5th place finish.
Longshot pick scorecard from 15 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 3 WIN – 4 PLACE – 1 SHOW
Here’s how the WDYL (Who Do Ya Like?) Plays panned out… TRACK SLOPPY in A.M. but FAST for all races ;(
1st race ($1 DD): 1, 6 w/ 1, 3, 7 ($6)… came 2-7
2nd race (.50 P3): 1, 3, 7 w/ 1, 6, 8, 10 w/ 1, 7, 8 ($18)… WINNER: came 7-10-1 paying $96.10
4th race: #7 – Limeheart (2-1) can come right back after maiden score… PLACED returning $3.20 $2.40
5th race: #10 – Gold Casing (10-1) chances enhanced by OFF Track… Track was FAST, he ran 4th
6th race: #3 – Snow Secret Gin (8-1) no worse than 2nd in 3 tries at this level… struggled throughout, OTB
8th race: #2 – Nighttime Lover (5-2) scratching stablemate indicates he’s a ‘go’… PLACED returning $4.80 $2.80
9th race ($1 DD): 1, 3, 6, 9 w/ 1, 4 ($8)… came 3-9
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 16 (Friday, April 29th) …
Soup of the Day: Navy Bean
Bet with your head and not over it!
Best Bet: Forest King (#1 9th race; M/L 3-1) appears has been a picture of consistency since trainer Edmond Gaudet took over last April, especially at this race (6 furlongs) distance where he’s won 3 for 4. He can avenge his 3rd place finish by a nose to runner-up and today’s probable favorite (#6 – Boreal Forest) with a natural step forward in his 2nd race after a layoff. Though Jeremy Rose picked #3 – Brush Creek over him, having Luis Garcia in the irons is no handicap.
Longshot: Lion Drawing (#7 3rd race on the turf; M/L 5-1) note: had to call an audible when original Longshot pick (Hidden Joy) was scratched from the 5th race. Lion Drawing has speed when running on the grass in a race that is short on ealry pace. If he is able to set a moderate pace, jock Mario Pino should be able to hold him together in the stretch to hold off the Closers. It looks like he’s stepping up in class ($5k to $7.5k), but that is from a dirt race. Last Summer he won and had a second at this distance (1 1/16) on the Laurel lawn against $25k Claimers.
Other “Who Do Ya Like” (WDYL) Plays…
1st race ($1 DD): 1, 3, 8 w/ 1, 4 ($6)
2nd race (.50 P3): 1, 4 w/ 1, 3, 7, 9 w/ 1, 4, 5 ($12)
5th race: #1 – Quiet Wave (6-1) ships from Tampa turf Mdn win, can beat favorite
7th race: #7 – Live The Dash (8-1) fires for new barn on the grass
8th race: #1 – Winged Hero (10-1) is a gate-2-wire candidate
9th race ($1 DD): 1, 3 w/ 8, 9, 10 ($6)
Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend.