Kentucky Derby Trifecta

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Derby Day is upon us! The field for the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby is set and post positions should play a factor in the outcome. In this sub par crop Big Brown might be the best, but he has many things to overcome and will be a bad bet at 3-1. The field has a lot of value, and I advise you to try and hit a monster trifecta, as opposed to betting the favorite. Let�s take a closer look at my top contenders and the plays I will be making Saturday.

Winner: Colonel John

This horse has been nothing short of sensational this year. One of the first things I notice when I look at this horse is his sire. Tiznow won the Breeders Cup Classic twice, and that race is the same distance as the Kentucky Derby. This tells me he shouldn�t have trouble getting the distance. The next thing I like is his last race in which he won the Santa Anita Derby. He captured the race in a good time, and used a style very similar to that he will be using in the Kentucky Derby. Another race of his that I like is the CashCall Futurity. He didn�t get a very good trip, but he still split horses and finished second.

Although he has never raced on traditional dirt, he has displayed an affinity for Churchill Downs through his workouts. reported the following splits:

�:12, :23 1/5, :34 3/5, :46. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 1/5. His final quarter was in a snappy :23 1/5.�

The official workout reported was 5 furlongs in 57 4/5 B. Jockey Corey Nakatani is more than capable of winning this race, though he has failed to do so yet. Colonel John�s trainer, Eoin Harty worked under Bob Baffert when the latter captured the Derby twice in a row with Silver Charm and Real Quiet. Harty knows what it takes to get the job done, and says Colonel John is showing the same signs that Silver Charm showed. The only thing that bugs me about this horse is his low Beyers. The highest Beyer Speed Figure he has ever obtained was a 95 in his last race. While certainly not a lock, I really like Colonel John�s chances to become the 134th winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Second Place: Pyro

I had a hard time making a choice between Colonel John and Pyro. The latter ended up being my choice for second, but if you don�t like my pick to win there is a lot to like about this one. Not only has he ran a 100+ BSF twice, but he has a proven ability to handle traffic. I�m willing to put a line through the Bluegrass because of the Polytrack. Pyro, who is a son of Pulpit, has shown he can chase good fractions and the pace will probably be above average. His post position is also an advantage because he shouldn�t lose a ton of ground going into the first turn. He will provide plenty of value at 6-1.

Others: MoNBA, COurt Vision, Denis of Cork, Big Brown, Adriano

These are the horses I would use with Colonel John and Pyro in my exotics. MoNBA looked great winning the Bluegrass and has plenty of experience. COurt Vision is a question mark in this race. He will race with blinkers for the first time, and while he appeared to be very skilled at 2, his races this year have been lackluster. Garrett Gomez staying on the horse is very encOuraging. Denis of Cork has the benefit of Calvin Borel, who won this race last year with Street Sense. His Illinois Derby was a tragedy, but his win in the Southwest and his works on the track put him in contention. Big Brown may be able to win, but I think he is more likely to run second, third, or not at all. I like the way Adriano won the Lane End under wraps, and the fact that Edgar Prado chose him over MoNBA and Tale of Ekati.

Betting the Kentucky Derby on $100:

$10 ($20 total) Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby Double: Pure Clan/Colonel John, Pyro

$1 Trifecta ($40 total): Colonel John, Pyro/Colonel John, Pyro, Big Brown, MoNBA, COurt Vision/Colonel John, Pyro, Big Brown, MoNBA, COurt Vision, Denis of Cork, Adriano

$5 Exacta ($20 total): Colonel John/Pyro, COurt Vision, MoNBA, Big Brown

$6 Win-Place-Show ($18 total): Colonel John

$2 Long shot Win: COurt Vision


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