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Three Year Olds in the Spotlight Saturday

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 9/24/2010 6:37:47 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – Exhi, A Little Warm, Morning Line, First Dude, Apart, Hurricane Ike, Golden Moka
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Pennsylvania Derby, The Super Derby
  • Where: Philadelphia Park, Louisiana Downs
  • When: Saturday, September 25th

There’s a pair of derbies this Saturday, and both appear to be interesting betting affairs. The Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park (now called Parx Racing) features a field of seven (although Friend or Foe is likely to be scratched), with First Dude the 8-5 morning line favorite. The Super Derby at Louisiana Downs is a six-horse affair, with Hurricane Ike the 9-5 morning line choice. I’ll be betting against both of them.

First Dude has been a model of consistency, hitting the board in 9-of-10 lifetime starts, including five straight Grade 1 events. The problem is - he’s won just once, breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park in late January. He’s usually forwardly placed, but just can’t seem to close the deal. He gets in with a feathery 114-lb. impost, and Robbie Albarado returns to ride for the first time since ‘Dude’s second career start. First Dude can win, but I want no part of him at 8-5. Exhi is a nice horse, but has yet to win on dirt. A Little Warm won The Jim Dandy at Saratoga in a gutsy effort, but his connections entered him in this race at the last minute, and don’t seem convinced that he’s at his peak.

Morning Line will be my play at odds of 4-1 or better. He’s royally bred with a conformation to match, and fetched $700,000 as a yearling. He won at the Pa. Derby distance of a mile-and-an-eighth last out at Saratoga, cruising under the wire 11 lengths ahead. The Beyer Speed Figure he earned that day (98) stacks up well with these. His most recent 4-furlong work in :46 flat over the deep Saratoga Training Track is one of the fastest I can recall seeing there. It looks to me like Morning Line is ready for prime time.

In The Super Derby, a case can be made for most of the entrants, but I’ll be backing the undefeated Golden Moka. Bred in Canada at Adena Springs, this colt somehow wound up in Panama for his first three career starts, all victories at odds on, sprinting. Then he showed up in The Prince of Wales Stakes, the middle leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, and defeated a solid field at odds of 10-1 off an 8-month layoff! This horse appears to be something special. His 6-furlong breeze last week in 1:12 3/5 suggests he’s ready to roll. Apart won the prep for this race, but hasn’t faced this caliber yet. Hurricane Ike looks like the horse to catch, but he’s a question mark at the distance. Distorted Economy is in good hands (Drysdale/Valenzuela), but has yet to defeat winners. Pick your poison underneath in the exotics. Those are my horse racing betting tips for the weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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