I'm going to start with the most difficult cut of all. This was a horse I was high on, watch break his maiden at Saratoga and had Derby dreams of: Dublin. Sometimes it is hard to separate the heart from the head, whether you're rooting for or betting on a Thoroughbred of your choosing. By Afleet Alex and trained by the once-veneable, D. Wayne Lukas I really thought Dublin would show up in a big way at Oaklawn's Derby preps. Unfortunately the excuses were bountiful, the rider was changed and then changed back and the horse just didn't pass muster in the Arkansas series. It is hard for me to fathom, but I won't include Dublin on any Derby tickets. The first cut is always the toughest.
The rest of the tosses with far less expository text....
Sidney's Candy - The second toughest cut....I've got him in a small future bet at 33-1, so I don't feel an overwhelming need to use one of the many, many pacesetters in my Derby Day wagers (I know Iisted him in my top five a few days, but things have changed, call it enlightenment, if you like)
Line of David - front runners aplenty and he isn't the fastest of the bunch
Noble's Promise - lots of grit, but not enough talent to hit the board...might not even go
Rule - working poorly and doesn't seem to have enough umph to make 10 furlongs... connections are deciding whether to enter him
American Lion - ran back to two-year-old form in Illinois, too bad two-year-old form won't hold up on May 1
Discreetly Mine - ran one big one and followed it with a fourth-place fade, another not likely rating and helping ensure stalkers/closers rule the day
Stately Victor - besides runner up Street Sense, who already had established dirt form at Churchill, the Blue Grass has become a joke since Polytrack was installed
Awesome Act - sorry I'm not sold on his European form and Gotham win was against a bunch of N1X allowance types
Dean's Kitten - really?
Homeboykris -he's in and out of all of my bets
There they are - eleven to discard in exactas, trifectas, pick threes and fours. None of this bunch scares me in the least. Of course there will be some reshuffling of the Derby deck over the next three days with decisions on Interactif, Rule, Devil May Care and even possibly Blind Luck, which will affect others like Backtalk and Make Music for Me. So after the Wednesday afternoon draw, I will reveal the ten I will bet in some fashion. I feel at peace. More on that after I hit my gong a few more times, chant and burn some incense.....