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The Derby!

And now is that happy time of year when I try and fail to pick the winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Looks like we may have a fast track this year for once... fingers crossed.

My bets will include combinations of the following:

California Chrome. The adorable chestnut carousel horse, he's impossible not to like -- but he didn't get much of a workout in the stretch in his last two easy wins, and in the Derby, closers will be coming. Also, you have to go back to his grandsire Pulpit to get an obvious stamina influence in his pedigree.

Samraat. A tough customer who had every right to finish third in his last race, the Wood Memorial, but got up for second on sheer want-to. Samraat has been on my Derby list for a long time and he's my only live futures bet. (Why don't I like Wicked Strong, who won the Wood? I sort of do, but the Wood kind of came out of nowhere in terms of his form immediately before that, and I thought he looked awkward in the stretch, and now he's going to be starting from the 19 hole.)

Dance With Fate. Magnificent black stallion who destroyed the field in the Bluegrass from off the pace. Idiots commentators keep calling him a synthetic track specialist, but he was second in the GI Forerunner on the speed-favoring Santa Anita dirt track last year.

Candy Boy: I really hated his Santa Anita Derby, but he was one of my top Derby picks before then, and he seems to be coming around well on the Churchill track, so I'll keep him in the list.

Intense Holiday: Not a horse who was really on my radar initially, but handicapping the race, he looks like one with a shot.

I'm going to use combinations of those in some kind of giant trifecta and superfecta bets, and also in the Oaks-Derby double.

Now, the Oaks. I don't for a second think the favorite, Untapable, is worth the heavy favoritism she currently enjoys. I think she can win, but so can My Miss Sophia, who is actually proven at the 1 1/8th distance, and so can one I hope will be a big longshot, Thank You Marylou, who has never once so far gotten to do what she was bred for, i.e. run long on the dirt, and yet has a decent record anyway.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Always enjoy reading your Derby posts. Thanks for putting up.

Due to Saturday being my busiest taxi day, have not seen any of the horses, tho have managed to hear some of the races on radio. Pulling for California Chrome; great story, have seen pix & beautiful horse, plus that was one impressive sounding win in the Santa Anita. Fate has the perfect style plus I hear he's loving the track during training, so I'd prolly put a secondary bet there, or a boxed exacta or something (sadly, the local casinos are sportsbook deficient - fantasy springs way out of the way even if I get a palm springs ride, & its the only one - so don't see how can place a bet; dropping someone off at lax around 9 ish tonight but by the time I get to Santa Anita pretty sure it would be closed).

Oh, re: Chrome's pedigree - I know people make a big deal of that in the derby, but if you just look at his parents, he shouldn't be here at all, and the Santa Anita should never have happened.

The people on the hrtv radio channel last night both picked Wicked Strong (a guest vegas handicapper picked fate) & I heard his wood win too, but I had the idea that was maybe not the same level of class getting beaten there. Sadly, again, ignorant of the reality having not watched anything or followed the overall patterns)

PS-- Congrats on your new book. It's on my "future reading list". Tho am surprised you wrote something that got comparisons to Ambercrombie. I'm not really into the whole grimdark thing, but it otherwise sounds interesting (yay eco themes, esp!)plus is by you, so planning to get it in the near future.
May. 2nd, 2014 10:03 pm (UTC)
well... I made the comparisons to Abercrombie... though I can't write dialogue half as well as he does. All the descriptive material for my books on Amazon and Shelfari was all contributed by me (if anyone were to write me a positive review on either site that would be awesome though!) And yeah, it could be described as grimdark. The second book is actually the grimmest thing I've ever written. I have resolved to create a semi-happy ending for the third.

I do think Wicked Strong could win, considering he actually beat my top pick, Samraat, last time. But there was only so much money in my TVG account so he is not in any of my bets.
May. 3rd, 2014 07:23 am (UTC)
Saw several race vids early today. Def going with California Chrome; most impressed not just by the way he won but by how effortless his breakaway in the stretch. The other 3 winners I saw (DwF, WS, Danza) also looked impressive, but they were all going all out in their victories. Struck by how much Wicked Strong and Dance With Fate looked alike, but yeah, if you assume equality there, go with the longer shot. I guess the case for Wicked Strong is expected continued improvement? Otherwise, I'm hoping Cali Chrome can get the distance and doesn't burn out too close to the pace if its blistering.

Will talk more about books later, gotta crash. best of luck tomorrow!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )