Kentucky Derby- 2014
There have been 34 Derby prep races offering points which has resulted in 30 different winners. What does this tell us? It tells me that this years 3yr old crop must be very evenly matched and the winners are determined by the dynamics of each race, the condition of the horses in each race or just plain racing luck. In other words, there just doesn't seem to be any horses that are so much better than the rest that we would see a lot of multiple winners.
There are 4 horses that have won 2 of the preps and they are California Chrome, Vicar's In Trouble,Tapiture and Samraat and CC is the only one of these that I give a shot.
California Chrome looks good at first glance but I will try to beat him for a couple of reasons, not the least of which, is that he's the chalk. I don't think he's beaten any decent horses that were in top shape, he's been running on a super highway where, in his last race, every race on the day was won by a horse setting or pressing the pace, and finally, I think he may have peaked and might regress. I will use him in some saver bets but I think if he can't win he will be off the board.
Danza is the big question mark to me. His pedigree could go either way but since he has won at 9f I would have to lean toward him having distance breeding. What he did last time, coming off a 7 month layoff, going from a few sprints to a distance race and blowing them away was a dominating race. I'm concerned with his running such a big race in his first distance race and wonder if he has anything left in the tank. I had been looking all year for a horse that stood out from the rest and, even though a lot of handicappers think that CC is the one, I have my doubts about him. I think if Danza can improve off his last that he will be the class of the field. He reminds me a lot of I'll Have Another in that he has the speed to always get involved and has a nice closing kick. There's a lot of speed in this race and I feel like Bravo will get a nice rail trip and wins this going away, unless he bounces, but I'll take my chances with him.
Candy Boy has the pedigree I like best and think he was really short in his first race in 2 months. Also, he was too close to the pace in his last and that's not where he wants to be especially trying to catch a speed ball on a track totally biased toward speed. He has a little more speed than most of the closers but Stevens will have to judge his move just right. He has been working super good over the track and looks like he may take a big jump forward.
Chitu has a super nice pedigree with a good out cross. Has never run a bad race, has plenty of speed and doesn't look like he needs the lead. He also has been working nicely.
Wicked Strong looks to be really coming into his own and is bred well enough to get the distance. Reports say he hasn't looked bad in his works but the post may take him too far off the pace and he will have a lot of ground to make up.
Wildcat Red is another with a nice classic pedigree, has plenty of speed and always brings his A game to the show. May be really stubborn down the lane.
Medal Count is coming to his 3rd race in a month but he may be the type that thrives on a lot of racing. His pedigree, featuring those mares of the Ribot line, tells me that if the Pony Express had him the riders wouldn't have had to change horses very often. Has a little speed to get into the flow but the question is, how will he like the track?
1- #4 Danza
2- #18 Candy Boy
3- #13 Chitu
4- #20 Wicked Strong
Long Shots- Wildcat Red, Medal Count, Ride On Curlin and Dance With Fate
As I said, I will user a saver on top of these with Cal. Chrome