Thursday Picks for Laurel Park; GQ’s Derby Double Dozen Revisited

March 21, 2012 | Gary Quill

Every year in February, just prior to the release of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #1, yours truly posts GQ’s Derby Double Dozen blog. It’s my labor of love after weeks of researching the 3 year old crop of thoroughbreds, in attempting to prognosticate the Top 24 colts (no geldings or fillies) who I believe have the best shot at winning the Kentucky Derby.

Considering these predictions are posted 3 months prior to the Run For The Roses and how fragile these 3 year olds can be, it’s a pretty daunting task. So why bother post it? For the same reason Fantasy Football bloggers post Mock Drafts in April and the Mel Kiper’s of the world post their Top 25 NFL Prospects in November. Because it’s what we do!

Below are GQ’s Derby Double Dozen listed as originally posted on Feb. 9th followed by a comment about their most recent race and probable next start.

#1 – Discreet Dancer 3rd in G2 Fountain of Youth; G2 Louisiana Derby on Apr. 1st

#2 – Gemologist won 3 y.o. debut in allowance race; G1 Wood Memorial on Apr 7th

#3 – Algorithms won G3 Holy Bull Stakes; injured on Feb 20th, off Derby Trail

#4 – Union Rags won G2 Fountain Of Youth Stakes; G1 Florida Derby on Mar. 31st

#5 – Creative Cause won G2 San Felipe Stakes; G1 Santa Anita Derby on Apr. 7th

#6 – Sabercat ran 8th in G2 Rebel Stakes; Arkansas Derby or SA Derby (Apr.7/14)

#7 – Fly Lexis Fly shipped from Peru/unraced 2012; G1 Belmont Stakes on Jun. 9th

#8 – Stirred Up won maiden race Mar. 3rd; G3 Sunland Park Derby on Mar. 25th

#9 – Currency Swap 2nd in 3 y.o. debut behind Gemologist; weighing options

#10 – I’ll Have Another won G2 Robert Lewis; G1 Santa Anita Derby on Apr. 7th

#11 – Alpha won G2 Gotham Stakes; audibles to G2 Louisiana Derby on Apr. 1st

#12 – El Padrino won G2 Risen Star Stakes; G1 Florida Derby @ GP on Mar. 31st

#13 – Ever So Lucky ran 3rd in G2 Swale Stakes; no Derby Fever here

#14 – Empire Way ran 9th in San Felipe; another chance in G1 SA Derby Apr. 7th?

#15 – Dullahan 2nd in G3 Palm Beach on turf; G1 Blue Grass Stakes on Apr. 14th

#16 – Tizanexpense was 7th in G2 Risen Star; G3 Spiral Stakes on Mar. 24th

#17 – Liaison 4th in G2 San Felipe Stakes; G1 Santa Anita Derby on Apr. 7th

#18 – Big Blue Nation 4th in OBS Championship @ OTC; Derby dreams are over.

#19 – Reckless Jerry was 10th in G2 Rebel; G1 Arkansas Derby on Apr. 14th?

#20 – Rousing Sermon ran 5th in G2 San Felipe Stakes; undecided

#21 – Brother Francis ran 3rd in maiden race on Mar. 10th; off Derby Trail

#22 – Longview Drive 6th in G3 Southwest Stakes; training @ Hollywood Park

#23 – Sky Kingdom finished 5th in G2 Robert Lewis; sidelined off Derby Trail

#24 – Stealcase finished 6th in G2 Gotham Stakes; G3 Spiral Stakes on Mar. 24th

As of this writing those who have a shot at making the field of 20 for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby BUT did not make GQ’s Top 24 list back in February are… Hansen, Castaway, Mark Valeski and Howe Great just to name a few. A couple more might come from nowhere as did Animal Kingdom last year. One thing is for certain, the smoke will clear over the next 30 days.

Wednesday’s 9-race card only managed 4 winners (2 Top Selections) with a $2 Early Double ($13.20) and $2 Exacta in 2nd ($16.20) race. Both the BEST BET of the Day and the LONGSHOT PICK were off the board (OTB). A rough day all around was capped off in the last race when a 107-1 shot (#2 – Wire Funds) spoiled an opportunity for a nice Late Double.

Selections for the Laurel Park Thursday, March 22nd card are below.
1st race post is 12:35pm EDT.

1st race – $12,500 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Stand Up Stan (4-1)
#1 – Evil Lad (7-2)
#7 – Wheeling Feeling (3-1)

2nd race – $16,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. – 6 furlongs
#5 – Dominant Male (4-1)
#2 – Costas Fiftieth (9-5)
#4 – Mr. Time To Go (6-1)

3rd race – $10,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. – 6 furlongs
#5 – Bandidos Yanquis (5-2)
#3 – Avenuesofnewyork (7-2)
#6 – Distinctly Donovan(7-2)

4th race – $12,500 Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#1/1A – Silk Of Sari / Illusion Of Speed (3-1)
#5 – Sharik (4-1)
#9 – Loita (12-1)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming NW3L for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#5 – Walkin’ Boss (15-1)
#7 – Irish Idol (4-1)
#4 – Trappist Monk (12-1)

6th race – $30,000 Claiming NW3L for 3 y.o. & up – 7 furlongs
#1 – Issues And Answers (2-1)
#3 – Varborough (4-1)
#4 – Groovy Music (4-1)

7th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#8 – Secluded Way (12-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#7 – Distorted Disciple (5-1)
#5 – Sprinklesmiddle Ez (8-1)

8th race – $5,000 Starter Allowance for 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#4 – Artic Raven (4-1) *** BEST BET ***
#7 – Cherokee Raider (5-2)
#1 – Smiling Jordan (3-1)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 4 y.o. & up – 5½7 furlongs
#10 – Sky Wars (4-1)
#9 – Island Love (4-1)
#7 – April’s Foil (7-2)

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