- Channeling - to direct toward or into some particular course...in this case the winner of the Kentucky Derby.
The build up to the first Saturday in May comes with so much hype and hyperbole eliminating the static in search of the Derby winner goes far beyond handicapping. To land on the right horse when almost all of America is a horse racing fan takes more than skill, guile and speed figures. It takes karma, chi, balance, harmony and peace in a less than peaceable world. I believe to pluck a Derby winner from a full field with humongous betting pools, I have to work as conduit and channel my strength, energy and ignorance towards a single-minded goal.
I also know that any and all analysis will need adjustment based upon post, rider changes and weather. Better to be prepared when conditions require last minute changes, than to be caught flat-footed.
In the first step toward picking a winner and winning combinations (I did have the Derby winner and exacta last year), I have to toss horses that I feel have no chance of hitting the board regardless of where they stand in the gate or whatever their odds may be. I'm feeling pretty confident in at least eight horses that won't break up my Derby tickets and am on the fence for a few more. Without further ado and in no particular order:
- Comma to the Top - like his grit and guile, not so much his sprint pedigree on top and bottom; connections were right to question Derby distance
- Watch Me Go - the company he's kept resembles those awaiting last call on a week night; Brethren has proven to be less than expected and the Illinois Derby field he lost to was very weak
- Master of Hounds - comes half away across the world off one Derby prep loss; anything less than 50-1 is an overlay
- Decisive Moment - no wins this year; the only reason he's the mix is a second-place finish in the $1 million Delta Jackpot in December
- Twinspired - nosed out of victory in one of weakest Blue Grass Stakes in recent memory; one poor dirt race on tab
- Brilliant Speed - see Twinspired
- Pants of Fire - there are just too many horses wanting the lead in the Derby and of all them, I like this one the least
- Uncle Mo - GI infection aside just don't feel he's the same horse he was a two; yet to fire a higher Beyer speed figure at three than he did at two; risky wager
- Animal Kingdom - impressive winner of weak Spiral Stakes, but not really sure he'll relish Churchill dirt
- Stay Thirsty - the blinkers on experiment went awry in Florida Derby and not sure taking the shades off improves matters
- Santiva - the only reason he may get onto tickets underneath is his early Churchill success
- Twice the Appeal - like most of American I will probably use this horse in some wagers since Borel picked up the mount
Next blog - Channeling the Derby Part II - The Contenders