Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jumping into the Pool?

"Do you feel lucky, punk?" Dirty Harry asked a sweaty, overwrought would-be bank robber in Clint Eastwood's precursor to his current hit, Gran Torino. Of course the crook doesn't know what to feel, all those years ago, but Dirty Harry knew there were no bullets left to end him on that sweltering sidewalk with fire hydrant bursting and alarms sounding in the background.

I ask, "Do you feel really, really lucky?" If you do, take a shot at the first of three Kentucky Future Pools. Where as Clint's character knew the answer to his "lucky" question, I assure you that you don't have a clue who will win the 135 Kentucky Derby... yet. And neither do I.

Oh, you may have a notion, but you don't know. At this point, 11-weeks out, it's far more likely that the winner does appear as the other 378 Triple Crown nominated three-year-olds not on the list of 23. As I write this Thursday night, the odds are currently less than even money for the ALL OTHER THAN entry, an indication of the sparse betting public's disbelief in the choices and the timeframe given. 

What's harder than picking a Derby winner from 20, still developing three-year-olds yet to run a 1 1/4 miles? Picking the winner almost three months or even three weeks in advance. Want a challenge, try picking the right commodity to go up, while the rest of the economy tanks. Oil, corn, pork bellies, give it a shot. You're odds may be just a bit better on Wall Street than at or the Internet account wagering companies taking the future book.

My advice, dip your toe in the waters if you really feel the need take a plunge. This means take the $10 or $20 you bet on lottery tickets and choose a bomb. The five choices worth a shot are:
  • Beethoven - troubled, wide trip in Holy Bull stakes, but finished fifth
  • Giant Oak - tight traffic, strong, willing fifth-place finish in Risen Star
  • Haynesfield - has beaten nobody, but might be somebody
  • Flying Pegasus - second place in Risen Star in first start around two turns
  • West Side Bernie - came from eighth in Holy Bull finishing third while going four wide
At this point, anything less than 30-1 is not worth a play. Just remember to count your Derby wagering budget and don't blow it all before the big dance because no matter how lucky you feel you're going need a few bullets in the chamber, if you want to cash on Derby day.

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