In all my years of wagering on the Kentucky Derby, this is by far the most open field that I have ever seen.
Early wagering on the race has Super Saver as the 7-1 favorite and Lookin At Lucky as the second favorite at 8-1.
Every other horse? 10 -1 or better.
Talk about a nice wagering race in which you'll be handsomely rewarded with not only the winner, but if you have the Exacta, Trifecta, or god willing forbid the Superfecta.
I have no doubts that Lookin' At Lucky will be the odds on favorite to win the Kentucky Derby this year.
I'm also 'Lookin'' elsewhere to find my winner as well.
Here are my thoughts on each and every entrant:
1. Lookin' At Lucky
Best horse in the race. Should be the post time favorite. Spectacular Jockey in Garret Gomez and stud trainer in Bob Baffert gives you good feelings about his chances as well.
Cannot believe that he has been wagered 'down' to the second favorite and at early 8-1 odds. IF they stay the same, a Win, Place, or Show ticket on the best horse in the field is never a bad wager.
2. Ice Box
Up until his Florida Derby closing effort, he was a rather meager stallion to get excited about. When you put his last two past efforts together, you can easily see a horse that is on the improve, and a horse that can close.
Biggest problem with Ice Box is if the pace isn't really 'hot,' he has no chance.
3. Noble's Promise: The change of jockey Robby Albarado to ride Dean's Kitten is a bit confusing. Especially when you consider that Noble's looks to be the better horse. Then again, maybe he isn't?
While Noble's Promise hasn't run many bad races, he hasn't run many good ones either. While he looks appetizing on the form, he is in against it with his starting post.
4. Super Saver: The early line in Kentucky is that Super Saver is the favorite. Not hard to believe since this colt has shown promise that he'll get the lead out of the first four on the rail. Will he challenge the lead? Doubtful.
And THEN it becomes interesting for the newfound favorite. Can he pass anybody in the drive? He has only passed two horses in his entire career, and that was his first race he ever ran as a solidly beaten second-place finisher in his initial Maiden race.
5. Line of David
Absolutely has to win it up front. In his six career races, he has never passed a horse. EVER. He will simply be the pace of the pace in this race, and if anyone gets in front of him, they will set a pace as torrid as any in Kentucky Derby history.
I'll have a very hard time including him on any ticket other than last.
6. Stately Victor
His only two races on dirt were the worst of his career. While he came from well back in the Blue Grass Stakes win, it was only his second career win amongst five other failures to even hit the board.
While he is a nicely spotted closer, it is hard to believe he'll be better than third or th.
7. American Lion
Now we are looking at speed. In this race there are quite a few, but this is merely one of them. If he has any chance, it MUST come from the front end.
Can he steal early fractions? Doubtful. Can he save ground? Maybe. Either way, he has been beaten badly by some in here, even if he was in front of them.
8. Dean's Kitten: The 'senior' in this race already has 11 lifetime starts. His only impressive one was his last.
Hard to see him improving on his best career race to run with these. He is a somewhat closer, but he has never ran the pace we'll see Saturday.
9. Make Music For Me
A closer that will like the extra distance. While his form looks awful, he is in his third cycle of starts and has finished close to a lot stud horses in here. Don't keep him out of the bottom end of our exotics.
10. Paddy O'Praddo
His first race was on a sloppy track at Churchill. He finished dead last. While he looks like he is on the upswing, it is hard to believe that he will surprise many other than a sixth-place finish or worse.
11. Devil May Care
The lone filly in the race is looking to make Kentucky Derby history. Can she win? ABSOLUTELY. Will she? Good question.
Without any doubt, she is rolling into the Derby with one of the more impressive races as anyone in the race. The real question is that she won't get the lead, she'll get banged around, and how will she come out of it?
That she "shied from whip" in her last race is disturbing. Can't make a case for the late closing filly unless she has a perfect trip. Ain't going to happen tomorrow.
More speed. Needs the lead to win. Period. Preps look fantastic on paper, but he can't pass anybody. Can they 'rate' him is the question? I doubt it. Baffert will let him go and see if he can hang. He has others that he'll try to pick up the pieces with.
13. Jackson Bend
Runs hard every time. Eskendereya had him plunked, but can he beat everybody else? Maybe, and very likely. A horse that likes to sit just off, and doesn't quit fits well in a Kentucky Derby. Very serious contender to actually win it all.
14. Mission Impazible
Another out of the Pletcher barn on the improve. He can close, and the 14 hole shouldn't be a problem. Off of his last two, he looks like a very lively longshot.
15. Discreetly Mine
Speed, speed, speed. Up front is the only chance, and that is minimal. Look for Pletcher to send this colt, and take his chances.
16. Awesome Act
This 2 for 8 lifetime colt looks ready to roll. His expected 'bounce' off of the Gotham fits in well here. He is working well, and improving. While I don't think he is a win possibility, he is definitely an undercard on the Exotics.
Not working well at Churchill is the biggest warning on his record. While he likes to rate a bit back and has the talent to come late or stalk, he is not looking his best right now. Not a winner, but a definite pace player.
Amazing how he even got in the race. If the rain is coming though, don't forget about this guy. Even on top at 30-1 or better. He loves the slop, and if it rains hard as expected, this guy is a definite contender.
I'll be honest. The first horse I crossed off of my 2009 Kentucky Derby board was Mine That Bird. This horse is the spitting image of Mine. Can he win? No. Can he place. No. Most likely candidate to finish dead last.
20. Sidney's Candy
Worst post this colt could draw. Only once has he come from behind to win a race. His three romps at Santa Anita were against sadly slow fractions. Can he be rated, and held back?
He'll have to, because he is no Big Brown, and he'll have to come off the pace to pass horses for the first time in his life...ever.
How To Wager:
Win-Place-Show: (13) Jackson Bend
Exacta Boxed with : (13) Jackson Bend, (4) Super Saver, (16) Awesome Act, and (17) Dublin.
Trifecta: (Keyed) 1, 16, 17/1, 13, 16, 17/1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 13, 16, 17,
Longshot: (6) Stately Victor. Win-Place-Show ticket.