Real Clear Sports celebrates thoroughbred racing greatest day- the Kentucky Derby- with a series of trashy attacks and barely disguised contempt for the modern landed gentry. Rhoden can barely hide his contempt for us owners of CHDN (chart here). However, since I aspire mightily to be landed gentry, you’ll find me at the windows this Saturday, wagers in hand.
In recent years, I’ve absolutely crushed the last two legs of the Triple Crown- but the Kentucky Derby is a never ending mystery to me. It is a hard race to dope: a cast of characters from across the nation, lightly raced, little back form- and add in the many moves from synthetic tracks to real dirt- it is a crapshoot.
So, I don’t really look to the favorites- but rather someone who might just wake up and grab this thing. You're taking real risk no matter who you pick here- so you might as well be in a position to be well compensated. To wit, I think it is hard to argue that I Want Revenge is not a well-deserved fave. He's been awesome on the dirt at Aqueduct this spring after a nice juvenile career out in California.
But I’m not interest in chasing this meager payout in this enormous field that figures to, as always, be bumping and trafficky.
I like Desert Party. The Godolphin Stable is once again bring one of its UAE wunderkinds over- but at least Desert Party raced on dirt and can definitely hang in on this distance. The UAE Derby won’t be a top-level Kentucky Derby prep event until one of the shiek’s horses get up and get it done. But he is the best three year old from the best stable in the world- I figure he’s a live one. Ramon Dominguez- master of off the pace riding- is up.
I like Friesan Fire roaring up from New Orleans off consistent efforts that would put him in the money here. And Dunkirk- lightly raced- improves a mere hair he is in this to win it.
So let’s put a $30 win bet on Desert Party- and a $10 saver on Dunkirk (if he wins he’ll cover the losses elsewhere). Then let’s play a small $5 exacta box on Desert Party with Dunkirk and $5 exacta on Desert Party with Friesan Fire.