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Illinois Derby odds - Derby preps looking pretty chalky

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 4/26/2012 10:18:38 AM
Illinois Derby oddsSaturday’s two premier Kentucky Derby prep races, The Wood Memorial and The Santa Anita Derby, are looking like they’ll be dominated by the favorites. Illinois Derby odds, however, have the makings of an upset. We’ll look at each horse betting race in post-time order, with big names like Perfect Song, I Want Revenge and The Pamplemousse in the mix.

Illinois Derby odds: Watch out for Perfect Song

  • WHO: Perfect Song, I Want Revenge, The Pamplemousse
  • WHAT: The Illinois Derby, The Wood Memorial, The Santa Anita Derby
  • WHERE: Hawthorne, Aqueduct, Santa Anita
  • WHEN: Saturday, April 4

In the Illinois Derby, lukewarm favoritism figures to go either Musket Man (morning line odds of 7-2) or Giant Oak (morning line odds of 9-2). Musket Man hasn’t done much wrong in his career, having won 4-of-5, including the Tampa Bay Derby. His Beyer Speed Figures (lifetime best of 92) won’t scare anyone, though, and bettors tend to discount Tampa Bay form, as the racing surface there is difficult for many horses to handle.

Giant Oak, so far, has been long on promise and short on performance. He’s had his share of excuses, though, so maybe Saturday will be his coming-out party. In a race lacking speed, I’m leaning toward Perfect Song to take this group gate-to-wire. He’s bred to relish the extra distance, and trainer Michael Trombetta got the job done in this race a few years ago with Sweetnorthernsaint. I’ll bet Perfect Song to win at odds of 9-2 or better.

The Wood Memorial at Aqueduct figures to be dominated by I Want Revenge. The main threat should come from Imperial Council, who trainer Shug McGaughey said will be closer to the pace than he was last out when he was a distant second to I Want Revenge. The probable odds-on favorite is reported to be training better than ever. He could regress off his Gotham victory and still beat this bunch by a comfortable margin. I’ll bet him again at odds of 1-2 or better, as I can’t see him getting beat under any circumstances.

None of the three favorites in the Santa Anita Derby need the graded earnings to make it into the Kentucky Derby field, but all three figure to run bang-up races Saturday. The Pamplemousse will be forwardly-placed, as usual, and will be tough to catch. Trainer Bob Baffert has said that the “screws are tightened” on Pioneerof the Nile, so I would expect him to be closing strongly through the stretch. Chocolate Candy has kept a rather low profile in Northern California of late, but he should make his presence felt in the lane as well. I’ll use The Pamplemousse on top of the other two in the exacta. If Chocolate Candy can grab second, the payoff will be respectable.

For more tips on horse racing betting or Illinois Derby odds, be sure to check out the Betting Edge every week.

Pete Mitchell has been handicapping horses since his teenage years. He has been a professional horse player for many years, and came to betonline.com’s attention through multiple referrals from industry insiders/sportsbook owners. Pete is revered for his horse handicapping opinion and industry experts acknowledge his impressive career winning record. Thoughts or questions?

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