2 Kentucky Derby contenders active and running this afternoon:
ROCK HARDER is one of 12 in a $50k OC race at Fair Grounds. This colt of Rock Hard Ten comes in with 4 lifetime starts; his last race was a win at Fair Grounds at the same distance. That race saw him go wide in the turns and drew away in the stretch, winning by 7. Switches to Robby Albarado, who rode this horse well in the stretch 2 races back, finishing 3rd. Lukewarm ML fave at 9-2. I suspect there will be some value betting going on! He threatens to bounce down from a matched lifetime Equibase number of 89. I often take the risk that such a horse will improve. No real negative bias to find in him. Rock Harder is one of 5 horses I like for both win and exacta pending how the odds shake out.
The other horses I’m considering for win/exacta are:
*Gowhereyougaze could bounce down after winning by 8 lengths in a 6f race last out, earning best speed figure of these at FG.. First route race.
*Adena’s Chance has raced a ton in 2011, coming out of a mild effort in the Sugar Bowl Stakes. In the top 4 of each of last 4 races. switching from 6f to the route race and coming out of the stakes category I believe will be of some help to his chances. No workouts since last race (Sugar Bowl) on 12/17
*Tiz Moe’s last race was the Delta Downs Jackpot (Grade 3)…never was a factor there, but should improve from that race here. 4 strong FG workouts since that race.
*Fine comes out of a Grade 2 race at Churchill (and prior to that, the Grade 3 Iroquois) I like the drop in class here.
*Also Stormy I’d throw into the mix on the back half of an exacta, to use behind the above horses or a favorite. 4 maiden races, broke through with win last time out and forged a new career best. That race also gives him the best speed figure for the distance of this field.
If there is just one favorite in the field (one horse better than 4-1 near post time) or all my picks are worse than 4-1, I might try a show bet with the mid-pace horse Capetown Devil. 2-for-2 lifetime, won a 40k allowance race, has the best current pace toward his speed type of the others in the field. Off a 7 week layoff but has a super workout tab running at FG.
Great betting race with lots to choose from.
In a MSW at Gulfstream, 12 horses do battle, including one of my contenders, SUNS OUT GUNS OUT. I dare say he’s a bit outclassed in this field. Nothing really outstanding on any variable. Ran 4-wide in two lifetime starts, never in the money, never a threat. I had judged this horse to be a contender strictly on his breeding. Sire is Empire Maker (Unbridled), dam is Angel Arch (Smart Strike).
In fact, I can only really point to one horse with any certainty to contend: A Single Man, who improved strongly in pace going from a sprint to a route race. This race was won by one of my other contenders SPEIGHTSCITY. 4 months later, and some great works, this is the one horse I can feel safe wagering on.
The others I have precious little to go on, tho if there happens to be good value in the win position, 2 horses look like they may be good to bet for show: Soul of Borrego (good works), and Big Screen (best speed figures at Gulfstream and comes off a sharp 92 rating in last race). I’d likely put Suns Out Guns Out in for show here as well….