Picking a winner for this Grade 1 race was already difficult but with Churchill Downs expecting anywhere from 2-4 inches of rain today, the task of handicapping the 136th Kentucky Derby is now even harder.
Lookin At Lucky was the morning-line favorite when betting began yesterday. He quickly went from 3:1 to 9:1 and at that price, you're going to get fantastic value from this quality horse.
I really like this horse to run well and contend. I don't expect Garret Gomez to have this talented horse trapped on the rail like he was in the Santa Anita Derby on April 3rd.
The rail in this race scares me but this is a solid horse who has had two good workouts at Churchill in the last 10 days.
I think Ice Box is going to try to come from far off the pace and based on his win in the Florida Derby, I think he could be one of the stretch threats. I firmly believe this horse will be at least 20:1 when the race begins.
Noble's Promise should be a major pace factor along with Super Saver but I don't like either horse to cross the finish line first.
Noble's Promise has fantastic pedigree for the off-track and Super Saver not only has a win at Churchill Downs but it came on a sloppy track. Both should be involved in rather fast fractions that will tire them out.
Line of David and American Lion are two speed horses that should be involved early but probably won't be involved when the race turns for home.
Stately Victor is coming off a fantastic win in the Blue Grass, where he stalked a very moderate pace and won easily in under 1:49. I think Alan Garcia will have this horse in the middle of the pack early and will be looking for running room as the tiring pace- setters begin to back up.
I don't think Dean's Kitten, Make Music for Me or Paddy O'Prado will finish in the top three. Of the three, Paddy O'Prado is the most intriguing due to the fantastic bullet work in the slop at Churchill this week.
Kent Desormeaux will try and have this speedster near the front when the gate opens.
I absolutely love Devil May Care.
The Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez combination is still on fire and the filly should be right off the quick early fractions like she was in her last start at Gulfstream Park on March 20.
Conveyance, Jackson Bend and Discreetly Mine are three more speed horses that should be trying to get the lead to keep the pace honest.
Conveyance had a solid five-furlong workout on Tuesday in just under 1:00.
Mission Impazible looks to be another horse that will be in the middle of the pack and looking to pick up the pieces in the stretch. This horse had a solid 94 Beyer rating in his win in the Louisiana Derby on March 27.
I'm really torn on Awesome Act. He looked good in his win at Aqueduct in the Gotham but then stumbled out of the gate in the Wood and looked very mediocre. I think jockey Julian Laparoux will have this horse in position to win but I'm not sure he's good enough.
Dublin is full of mixed signals.
He constantly runs well but not well enough to win. His last three starts have all been close defeats but you should never count out Dwayne Lukas.
Backtalk is currently 50:1 but is the kind of horse that I will be using in my deep exotic wagers. Not only is this horse two for two on an off-track but he has two wins at Churchill Downs.
I don't think he can win but I'll be using him in my superfecta for sure.
Homeboykris is also 50:1 and even though Ramon Dominguez is aboard, I don't see this horse having any impact. He has some early speed but he's breaking from the 19 hole and will probably settle in behind the lead pack.
Sidney's Candy is a definite threat to win this race.
Even though he's never run a race on dirt, he has the speed to get to the front and dictate. Despite bobbling in his last start at Santa Anita, Sidney's Candy assumed the lead and won by over four lengths.
This race is full of speed.
It seems that the two "best" horses are in post position one and twenty. I fully expect Sidney's Candy to try to get to the front. This horse has never lost when having the lead at any point in his six career starts.
I think Sidney's Candy and Lookin at Lucky will both be major factors. I think Devil May Care will sit a half dozen lengths off the pace and drive by the boys to win the Derby.
With all the speed in this race, don't be shocked if the closers are driving in the stretch to pass the tiring pace setters.
Devil May Care
Lookin At Lucky
As an added bonus, I absolutely love Blues Street in the race before the Derby at Churchill Downs to beat Loup Breton and Court Vision in the Grade One Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.
Blues Street should be 8:1 and is worth the bet.
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