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Finally…The Derby Trial Really Counts

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/27/2010 9:15:34 AM
Kentucky Derby Odds
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Pleasant Prince, Miner’s Reserve, Eightyfiveinafifty
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Derby Trial
  • Where: Churchill Downs
  • When: Saturday, April 24th

Saturday’s Derby Trial at Churchill Downs could really have Kentucky Derby implications…for the first time in decades. In fact, the last horse to win both the Trial and the Derby was Calumet Farm’s Tim Tam in 1958. Two of the Trial’s 10 entrants, Pleasant Prince and Eightyfiveinafifty, will crack the top 20 in graded earnings among Derby hopefuls, thus potentially displacing horses on the bubble like Paddy O’Prado, Homeboykris, Jackson Bend and Backtalk. The probability of an off track makes the Derby Trial a difficult handicapping exercise. Only two, Wow Wow Wow and Hear Ye Hear Ye, have raced on an off track (without success). Just two others, Soaring Empire and Pleasant Prince, have experience over the Churchill strip. Let’s take a brief look at each of the contestants.

#1-Game On Dude: Baffert trainee faltered in The Florida Derby. Perhaps cutting back to one turn will help. The inside post at this distance can be tricky, but ‘Dude gets a new pilot (Robby Albarado) who knows this track like the back of his hand. Could fill out the tri or super.

#2-Soaring Empire: Cam Gambolati (trainer of 1985 Kentucky Derby winner Spend A Buck) remains high on this colt’s ability. Like Game On Dude, he might appreciate the 1-turn mile. Troubled third in last year’s Iroquois indicates he can handle this surface. Usable in tri’s and super’s.

#3-Privilaged: The Grade 2 Swale was his only dirt race, and probably his best. He could apply early pressure to the outside horse.

#4-Pleasant Prince: Toss his Blue Grass flop…he couldn’t handle the poly. That Florida Derby effort was huge, and note this guy owns the field’s sole win over the track. I’m not convinced that Eightyfiveinafifty will have it all his own way on the front end, with Privilaged, Hurricane Ike, Miner’s Reserve, Wow Wow Wow and Hear Ye Hear Ye eligible to apply pressure. If that’s the case, ‘Prince could blow by them all in the late stages. Although he hasn’t raced over an off track, trainer Ward breezed him over a surface labeled “good” at Gulfstream on 2/6, and he did OK. The pick at odds of 3-1 or better.

#5-Hurricane Ike: Like stablemate Privilaged, this guy ran his best race last out in his dirt debut. Could hang on for a minor share.

#6-Miner’s Reserve: Lightly-raced colt sure looked good breaking his maiden at this distance, but it’s hard to ignore his Florida Derby flop. Will the real Miner’s Reserve please stand up! Bullet breeze here on 4/17 could signal a turnaround.

#7-Wow Wow Wow: Lukas trainee has wired a couple of fields when left alone on the lead, but all three stakes attempts have been bad bad bad. D. Wayne must not believe in the three-strike rule.

#8-Hear Ye Hear Ye: Here’s another entrant with some early gas…will probably get cooked.

#9-Aikenite: Sent off at 5.70-1 in The Blue Grass, he finished a disappointing 8th. Gomez sticks, so perhaps he knows something we don’t. Interesting.

#10-Eightyfiveinafifty: There’s no disputing that this is a fast (but quirky) horse. Will he continue to run with his head cocked to his inside? The early fractions in both victories weren’t extraordinary, and neither were the fields he conquered. This represents a step up in class, and he’s no longer in his back yard. Taking a stand against.

There’s your horse racing betting tips for Saturday. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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