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Pretenders

Posted by on 4/29/2014 10:01:24 PM

As most online sports betting site players are aware, some of the best information one can get around the track is not the positive stuff, but the negative stuff.

Generally, everybody loves their own horse but reading in between the lines about this year’s Kentucky Derby contenders and one can make some basic assumptions.

Enter Medal Count as a Derby pretender. He won the debut at Ellis Park despite being caught in a box, was far from disgraced in his next when beaten just over 2 in a Grade 3 stakes after making a solid middle move. This $360,000 purchase was only a brief threat in the BC Juvenile but closed into a slow pace in the 2014 debut to dead heat for the win in a $75,000 optional at 7 and a half on grass.

An ordinary 5th in the Fountain of Youth, he got a good trip in his April debut when winning the Grade 3 Transylvania but then was rushed back in 8 days and had to settle for second in the Blue Grass.

He will be running his 3rd race in a month in the Derby and that is hard for any horse to do. It’s hard to see him putting up a peak performance but his trainer, Dale Romans, differs.

Romans: “The big thing coming out of the Translyvania was, he had to get right back into his feed tub, he had to have not lost any weight, and he had to be happy in training. He came out of that race just as fresh and happy. He’s kind of a throwback horse..I think he’s a horse that the more we do, the better he’ll get.”

One of us will be right and one will be wrong.

Commanding Curve just sneaked into the Derby. He was out in post 12 in his stakes debut and was inching toward the winner in last when nearly 4 clear. He had the legit excuse of the slop in the debut but has the local Churchill win under his belt. His sire won several stakes at 9 furlongs but was never sent this far, his dam took 2 sprints and the lone sibling won debut in a miler on the slop when coming away from the field late.

He had his last drill last Saturday in 1:02 3/5 and was out to gallop on Monday of Derby week. The concern about this runner is whom did he beat in the only victory?

The horse that ran second in his only start, Harbor Bound, has run 3 times since that second and was 6th, 5th, and 2nd beaten nearly 6 lengths.

That indicates that Harbor Bound is not much stock and this runner just beat a weak field.

Handicapping is about evaluation and elimination. The more horses one can eliminate, the easier it gets to coming up with a winner.

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