Move over Frank Carulli (M/L oddsmaker at Pimlico). Better yet, Mike Battaglia (Kentucky Derby M/L oddsmaker) take a hike! There’s a new oddsmaker in the making and he writes this blog. Less than 24 hours ago when Tom Durkin, the voice of the past 10 Kentucky Derby’s notified NBC Sports that he would not call the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. Yours truly posted (blog: Derby Defections include Durkin) a short list of possible replacements and predicted odds of getting the gig. Larry Collmus, track announcer at both Monmouth Park and Gulfstream Park was installed as the heavy 2-1 favorite.
By mid-day Wednesday, it became known that NBC Sports would officially announce Larry Collmus, the 44 year old Ellicott City native the new voice of the televised Triple Crown series. The Mt. St. Joe grad said in an interview, “I’ve been calling races since I was 18 years old. It’s all I’ve ever dreamed about. It’s incredibly exciting.”
Collmus has been the full-time track announcer at Monmouth Park since 1994, after getting his start on the Maryland circuit. In 2007, he became the race caller at Gulfstream Park as well.
No Derby contender worked out over the rain soaked Churchill Downs surface on Wednesday morning. The bulk of the final tune-ups will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In other Derby news, 3-time Derby winner Calvin Borel has obtained the mount on Sunland Park Derby winner Twice The Appeal. Also, Silver Medallion, 4th in the Coolmore Lexington Strakes on April 23rd and #21 on the garded stakes earnings list has been officially withdrawn from Derby consideration, slding Anthony’s Cross directly onto the bubble at #21, needing just one more defection in order to make the field of 20.
Wednesday’s Derby trivia question.. Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude did not make his career debut until January 29th at the age of 3. That is, he was unraced as a 2 year old. The last Kentucky Derby winner that was unraced as a two year old was Apollo in 1882.
Few strong contenders have lacked a two-year-old start in the last 28 years. Strodes Creek was the fourth choice in the wagering and finished second in the 1984 Derby. The great Curlin could only muster third as the 5-1 second choice in the 2007 Derby. Pulpit finished fourth as the fourth favorite in 1996. Corporate Report was the fifth choice at 8-1 in 1991 and came in ninth.
Today’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.
Recapping previous live racing Day 14 (Saturday, April 23rd) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet Balto More (#1 1st race; M/L 3-1; P/T 2-1) got a dream trip, getting no pressure from any of his rivals early or late as he destroyed them by 13+ lengths, paying $6.60 to WIN $3.00 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 14 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 5 WIN – 2 PLACE – 3 SHOW.
Longshot Side By Side (#1 6th race; M/L 6-1; P/T 6-1) let his foes set a relatively modest pace, but was not up to challenge them as she had no rally in her, running evenly to a 4th place finish.
Longshot pick scorecard from 14 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 3 WIN – 4 PLACE – 1 SHOW
Here’s how the WDYL (Who Do Ya Like?) Plays panned out…
1st race ($1 DD): 1, 3, 4 w/ 1, 5, 7 ($9); came 1 (2-1) and 7 (19-1) paid $59.60 on $1 DD
2nd race (.50 P3): 1, 5,7 w/ 3, 4, 8 w/ 5, 6, 7 ($13.50); Won 1st leg ($40.60) but not 2nd & 3rd
6th race ($1 Tri): 1, 6 w/ 1,6 w/ ALL ($6); not even close
7th race: #3 - Caesar’s Gold (4-1); game second paying $5.40 $2.80
#9 – Rica’s Grandsteed (19-1); OTB
10th race (Dahlia Stakes): #3 – Love’s Blush (5-2); OTB
11th race: #5 – Dug Bar (2-1); PLACED paying $3.20 $3.00
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 15 (Thursday, April 28th) … ALL RACES OFF TURF; TRACK SLOPPY
Soup of the Day: Turkey Vegetable
“Bet with your head, not over it!”
Best Bet: Soldier Field (#6 9th race; M/L 3-1) had been competing at this level (Alw310001nx) since moving from the Bill Mott barn to John Rigattieri’s in search of his second career win, but needed to drop into a $25k Claimer last out to get it. Rigattieri also has #7 (Our Repent) in here, but his “go to” rider (Dyn Panell) takes the mount on Soldier Field. That last race may have turned on his lightbulb and he’ll repeat that perform as there’s plenty of pace to run at late.
Longshot: Summer Wind Haley (#6 1st race; M/L 5-1) graduated in her previous race which was the 7th of her career in a lower level ($12.5k) Maiden Claiming event after her first 6 tries were for $25k and even a few against MSW competition where she never finished worst then 6 lengths behind the winner. This 4 year old filly has a bright future and if I had $7.5k, I’d claimer here because she can run on both dirt and turf. Her 3 best races came at this (6 furlongs) distance where she’s won and been runner-up twice in 3 efforts.
Other “Who Do Ya Like” (WDYL) Plays…
1st race ($1 DD): 1, 6 w/ 1, 3, 7 ($6)
2nd race (.50 P3): 1, 3, 7 w/ 1, 6, 8, 10 w/ 1, 7, 8 ($18)
4th race: #7 – Limeheart (2-1) can come right back after maiden score
5th race: #10 – Gold Casing (4-1) chances enhanced by OFF Track
6th race: #3 – Snow Secret Gin (6-1) no worse than 2nd in 3 tries at this level
8th race: #2 - Nightime Lover (2-1) scratching stablemate indicates he’s a ‘go’
9th race ($1 DD): 1, 3, 6, 9 w/ 1, 4 ($8)
Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend.