This Saturday is one of my favorite days of the year: the betting spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby! Now let’s be honest…the Belmont Stakes full card is better than what we’ll say on Saturday at Churchill Downs. But the unpredictability of what will happen in America’s largest and arguably most significant yearly race can’t be beaten.
I’ll return with a full column or two next week but for now, take these winners to the betting window on Saturday and let’s make a few bucks!
Win: #14 Mendelssohn (5-1)
I got him at 20-1 for a futures wager after his first start on dirt, a supreme 18.5 length victory in the UAE Derby. Additionally this Kentucky-bred, European-stabled horse won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar in November at nearly 5-1 with me in attendance. Plus he was purchased at a sale in September 2016 for an ungodly $3 MILLION! Basically what I’m trying to say is…I’m a BIG believer in his chances on Saturday.
Place: #11 Bold d’Oro (8-1)
A standout as a 2 year-old, he’s never finished outside the trifecta in his 6 career races. I’d be surprised if he wins though. Better use underneath in exactas and trifectas.
Show: #9 Hofburg (20-1)
I love betting the angle of a horse who has continued to get better on the Beyer Speed Figure scale in each of his races. Though this guy has only raced 3x, he’s sitting on a 100+ Beyer effort.
Other horses who will be on a few of my (many) tickets:
#5 Audible (8-1): 4 for 5 lifetime and starting in the same position and for the same trainer (Todd Pletcher) as last year’s Derby winner, Always Dreaming.
#6 Good Magic (12-1): Was such a machine in winning last year’s Breeders Cup Juvenile at Del Mar to break his maiden. Just hasn’t gotten better though since. Sitting on a monster or a dud…not sure which one.
#7 Justify (3-1): The best horse in the race on paper…if he wins, the Preakness will be a cinch and the Triple Crown will once again be in play at Belmont for Bob Baffert. The lack of experience (never having raced as a 2 year old) is why I’ll play against him on most tickets. He either wins or doesn’t hit the board.
BONUS BET: Here’s an affordable Pick 4 ticket for Saturday’s Churchill Downs races 9-13:
$0.50 bet costs $32
9- 6, 10, 11, 12
10- 1, 7, 8, 11
12- 7, 14