Wide Open Derby 30 Days Away; Pimlico Picks for Thursday

April 04, 2012 | Gary Quill

Kentucky Derby Logo In just 30 days, the field for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby will step into the starting gate at Churchill Downs. The field is limited to twenty (20) 3 year olds, but the list as to who those 20 will be seems to change with every Derby prep race run thus far.

Last weekend in the Florida Derby, Union Rags went off the overwhelming favorite at 2-5 odds, but a troubled trip compromised his chances and he settled for third behind the 7-1 winner Take Charge Indy and runner-up Reveron, a 31-1 longshot. Even more shocking was the result of the Louisiana Derby where Hero Of Order, the longest price on the board at 109-1, held off the 2-1 Post Time favorite Mark Valeski, to take the $600,000 winners share. Purchased for $3,000, the connections of Hero Of Order never nominated their 3 year old son of Sharp Humor to the Triple Crown series. This means Hero Of Order won’t be running in the Kentucky Derby. That is unless his owners are willing to put up a $200,000 supplemental fee and hope that only 19 are entered in the race, allowing Hero Of Order to be the 20th runner, which is the Derby limit.

Throwing a bigger wrench into the Derby mix was what took place at Dubai in their $2,000,000 G2 UAE Derby. In the field of 14, only 6 were Triple Crown nominated, but each of the top 3 finishers (Daddy Long Legs, Yang Tse Kiang and Wrote) are. The winner (Daddy Long Legs) and 3rd place finisher (Wrote) are both trained by Irishman Aidan O’Brien who has had his share of success in North America. So it is believed that he could bring both from across the pond to run on the first Saturday in May.

Hopefully after this weekend the Derby picture will become clearer as three (3) major preps are on tap. The $1,000,000 G1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct (NY), the $1,000,000 Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita (CA) and the $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne (Chicago, IL). I’ll have more information and opinions on these races in Friday and Saturday blogs.

Recapping selections from Day 3 (Sunday, April 1st) had 6 winners (2 Top Selection) with $2 Exactas in 1st ($14.60), 4th ($47.20) and 8th ($13.60) races; $1 Trifecta in 8th ($50.80). The BEST BET of the Day went off 9-5, down from his 9-2 M/L but was a major disappointment, finishing OTB as was the LONGSHOT PICK displayed nice early speed but weakened and finished 6th at odds of 9-1.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on the entry of Captain My Captain and Adam’s Nay (#1/1A; 4th race; M/L 9-5; PT 3-1) saw the stronger part of the entry (Captain My Captain) getting scratched which typically means the barn is high on the stablemate and wants to get better odds as a single betting interest. Sure enough Adam’s Nay just missed wining the race by neck, paying $4.60 PLACE and $3.00 SHOW. So 50% ROI is excellent when a runner goes off 3-1. That adds $10.00 (50%) to the SHOW parlay bankroll ($30) to “Let It Ride” on Day 4.

Selections for Day 4 at Pimlico Thursday, April 5th card are below.
1st race post is 1:10pm EDT. Track Condition… Dirt: FAST Turf: FIRM

Soup Of The Day: Black Eyed Pea “I got a feelin’, that today’s gonna be a good day”

1st race – $5,000 Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#3 – Whatsnottolike (6-1)
#7 – Parade Of Colors (2-1)
#2 – Franstein (3-1)

2nd race – $7,500 Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#1 – Sober Living (6-1)
#2 – Valiant Star (2-1)
#7 – Flipofthecoin (10-1)

3rd race – $8,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. OR 4 y.o. & up NW3L – 6 furlongs
#8 – Leap Of Will (5-2) *** BEST BET ***
#1 – Shooktown Road (4-1)
#6 – Freshy Francesco (5-1)

4th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#1 – Uncle Todd (4-1)
#8 – Royal Louie (20-1)
#2 – Little Grandpa (5-2)

5th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 mile on Turf
#10 – Stollen (7-2)
#12 – Fashion Princess (15-1)
#8 – Cross Mountain (5-1)

6th race – $33,000 Maidens for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#5 – Dowhatyourbigsisdo (6-1)
#4 – Honest Truth (5-1)
#3 – Eulonia (5-1)

7th race – $33,000 Allowance N1X for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs on Turf
#2 – Allwewantforxmas (7-2)
#11 – Nuit De Chance (2-1)
#7 – Bronxgirl (10-1)

8th race – $7,500 Claiming NW2L F&M 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#8 – Loita (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#7 – Rock With Me (6-1)
#3 – Royal Ring (8-1)

9th race – $40,000 Optional Claiming N4X for 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#4 – My Cuz C J (3-1)
#2 – Not For Silver (8-1)
#1 – Ken’s Cape (2-1)

10th race – $12,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs on Turf
#8 – Brogue (9-2)
#7 – Loose N Capable (5-1)
#14 – Bear’s Prospector (6-1)

SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $70 ($60 bankroll – $20 wager + $30 return)

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $30 on Swing Even (#11; 5th race; 3-1) is a 4 year old maiden who makes her 13th career start, 6th on the turf. She’s hit the board in 4 of her 5 grass races. The only time she did not, today’s jockey (Sheldon Russell) was not on her. The one mile distance might be a bit short for her get her first win as she saves her best stride when it’s too late. Though she may not win as the 3-1 M/L favorite, the odds are good she’ll get the PLACE or SHOW money. With twelve runners in this race, that ROI on a SHOW, even the favorite should be in the 50% neighborhood.

Good Luck!

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