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Churchill Downs for Saturday 2 May 2015 Kentucky Derby Day

Just like last year I sure appreciate the good weather forecast for Saturday at Churchill Downs. It is quite rare not to have at least some rain or plenty of rain in the forecast for the first Saturday in May in Louisville. We are much more likely to get a fair racing surface. That makes my job as a handicapper easier to say the least.


race 1    below average clarity

6  Tarpy's Surprise   needed his latest which was run off of a long layoff.......solid history at the distance (5 2 1 2) including 1 for 1 at CD in a key race......good rider trainer/ in the a.m......should give a good account of himself

1 and 1A  Entry    both have a shot in this nw2 affair.......the 1 Indycott    as a deep closer and the 1A  Hazards of Love as a likely stalker who is extremely consistent.......and......trainer Tom Amoss is off to hot start at the new CD meeting 

8  Irish You Well   usually competitive when not placed in Graded affairs which seem to be over his head........that's the case here.......decent history at today's at the distance

5  Coastline   seems best on main track surfaces including CD and yet keeps running on the grass.......back to the dirt where his last win was at CD 10 races back


race 2    average clarity

7  Island Town   big forward move in 2nd lifetime start which was run last fall at out after the 5+ month layoff for this Wilkes runner should make for a dangerous proposition.......trainer is off to a good start at the new meeting

3  Yockey's Warrior   colt has done little wrong in both lifetime starts........should be the controlling speed in the race......and gets a major league rider upgrade

1 and 1A Entry    double barrel action from trainer Wayne Catalano who won his 1st CD training title last fall.......both colts seem meant and ready

8  Lewys Vaporizer   broke MSW by 11 lengths in last with gaps of 3.5L and 6L to 3rd and 4th........tough to gauge this Haw invader but sure seems dangerous


race 3    below average clarity

5  Gandono   price shot had a bad trip in his debut which was on the FG turf or could have been right there at the wire.......showed he can run inside in his next which was on the main track..........blinkers on - decent works - better rider - good post........dangerous superfecta of good stuff

4  West Village   showed he can handle route racing in two decent route races at OP on the dirt......turf today for 3rd lifetime start and he is bred to handle it......stout trainer - stout California grass rider - good post

9  Reach for a Kitten   most turf experience in the race........rider is 8 for his last 16 for the trainer.........would have rated higher if it wasn't for the outside post.......outside posts at CD on the grass have had a tough go of it over the years at CD

2  Thatcher Street   tends to fire every time out but hangs some......nice 1st ever on the sod in last......maybe his best ever maybe he can overcome his tendency to hang if the lawn is his preferred surface

 3  Coyote Moon   nice improvement in 2nd lifetime start......1st ever on the turf today with an adequate pedigree for it


race 4    average clarity

6  Cat Burglar   brilliant works at SA for this invader from the Baffert barn......almost every year the world-class trainer ships in and dominates with an allowance horse or two on Ky Derby day

3  Carve   proven at Churchill......has been facing in the a.m...........jock knows this gelding well having been aboard for 8 of his last 10.......good history in one turn miles

4  Rocket Time   speed of the speed with Mr. CD regular rider Calvin Borel up.........four year old gelding is 2 for 2 out of the one mile chute at CD.......might never get caught 

7  Jessica's Star   1 for 1 at CD......broke MSW in 2nd lifetime start by more than 6L off of 21 days 2nd out after a layoff running back in 28 days rest ought to be a good thing


race 5    above average clarity

6  Competitive Edge   seems very solid here......Pletcher colt crushed his competition by  an average of 8L in three lifetime races and one of them was a Grade 1.....nice reassuring 4F work on the CD surface.....all set to attempt to make it 4 for 4 lifetime

2  Gimme Da Lute   on the improve with every start for Baffert and company........last effort is as solid or maybe better as anything our top pick has run........the way he finishes at the wire and past the wire at 6 1/2 furlongs hint the one turn mile will be a piece of cake

5  Lord Nelson   so far he has been at his bestat  the distance of one turn mile will likely be a good distance for a.m. work on the CD surface

3  The Truth Or Else    arguably his best ever was the only time he ran in a one turn mile.....the race was at Belmont and it was the last time today's rider Joel Rosario was in the irons......trainer is very dangerous taking the blinkers off which is the case here


race 6    average clarity

6  A Lot   like A Lot off of 3 solid lifetime firm turf races ........and his latest which was 1st time on Lasix was very strong.......Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott is always ready in the grass races offered on Kentucky Derby day

1  Luck of the Kitten    Wesley Ward in quite dangerous 2nd out after a layoff which is the case here.....lead type only so far in his career but he does appear to have the most early gas in this spot......usually tough to wire at CD on the grass but still seems dangerous 

8  Conquest Typhoon   very consistent Mark Casse runner both in the a.m. and the p.m.......should be a major player in this spot especially with Mike Smith up who is 1 for 1 on the sod with this colt

7  Nun the Less   improving grass horse conditioned by a solid Midwest trainer in Chris Block deserves a shot at the big time.........colt seems do run well off of short rest.......20 days since his last qualifies for that

Long-shot consideration:   3  Granny's Kitten   ran a 108:3 on the Belmont turf in July in his two year old debut.....been away since but he is training as if he is totally ready to attempt a turf route.......might get very ignored at the windows and go off at a very big price     Also consider:  2  Wireless Future:   not much in latest at TP but was really on the improve before that........might not have cared for the TP AW........good post and decent grass rider aboard......can get a nice mid pack or stalking ground saving trip    


race 7    above average clarity

3  Dame Dorothy   5 for 5 running less than 1 1/8th and the 2 races at 1 1/8th are not too shabby either......Pletcher - Castellano -good preparatory works.....doesn't get any better than that

1  Sweet Reason   filly fires some of her very best efforts fresh.......5 months "fresh" today and working nicely.....2 for 3 at the distance.......1st time on the CD surface is a ? mark

8  Judy the Beast   2 straight in the win column since switching to Mike Smith.....seems very likely to get a very nice stalking position in a race void of much speed

7  Sweet Whiskey   speed of the speed in this affair and a tough to get by guy aboard in Johnny V.......can also chase if need be which is always a big plus as races aren't run on paper


race 8    average clarity

3  Tepin   seems highly likely to get a nice ground saving trip close up in a race that seemingly sets up for those sitting up near the front early.......hard to train any better on the CD dirt especially for a grass horse

8  Sandiva   very sharp right now and carries 5 lbs less than her last.........good history with Castellano who might be the best grass jock in the good old U S of A these days

5  Coffee Clique   good post.........and a good time for 1st time Velasquez as he is likely to send and that appears to be a good thing in this Grade 2 lacking early speed types.....won the 2014 edition of this race last year

6  I'm Already Sexy   another likely to sit close.....can pull off an upset if she is up to her "A game".........3 for 6 at the distance on the grass


race 9    above verage clarity

2  Bayern   seemingly the best work tab (albeit all at Santa Anita) of any runner on this fabulous race card and he is trained by Bob Baffert........needs to avoid a suicidal duel with our 2nd choice one way or another

4  Private Zone   seems to show up every time.......can handle nasty fractions and still stick around......few can.......Pedroza knows this six-year-old lights out......1st ever at CD is a concern

5  Pants On Fire   2 for 2 at the somewhat specialty distance of 7 furlongs.......very sharp work regiment has more than ready........connections will have their fingers crossed that the 2 and the 4 (and maybe even the 3) will bang heads and set a pace that will be costly to both of them 

1  C. Zee   Zito colt will likely sit well back (likely last at the 1st call)  off of a very hot pace and pass those that tire


race 10    below average clarity

8  Stephanie's Kitten   good spot for this mare to challenge the boys as she is very sharp.......gets a nice weight 3 for 3 on the CD sod........and maybe more importantly seeming catches a soft group of males

1  Optimizer   away since early Oct but he ran a strong turf race at Saratoga two races back (lost to the great Wise Dan by a nose) off of a 4 month hiatus......Corey Lanerie is up and he is off to a sizzling start at the spring CD meeting

7  Jack Milton   nice Grade 1 win at Kee in last.....back in short rest and the last two times this five-year old ran off of short rest he ran strong efforts.....1 for 1 at CD on the turf

2  Sky Captain   seems to deserve this step up into big time racing as he just keeps getting better.............and better............and better...............and better...............

10  Chocolate Ride   likes the front end and has a decent chance at getting it here........3 for 4 at today's distance on the grass


race 11    average clarity

8  Dortmund   big powerful colt can take substantial pace and so far he has shown will and staminia........and his pedigree for the surface and the distance fits this grueling race......6 for 6 lifetime  including an impressive win at CD at two.......definitely believe in the long run he is the best three-year old ......and hopefully he gets to show in on the 1st Saturday in May

18  American Pharoah   another outstanding Baffert colt but never had to face Dortmund or Firing Line or he might not be the Ky Derby morning line favorite.......then again he might be even a lower priced favorite......doubt Baffert has his 2 stars dueling and my guess is (60/40) that our top choice takes back some if both horses remain trouble-free in the early stages

10  Firing Line   yes another S Cal runner.....all three I have adjusted figs for pace, position and final time better than California Chrome and Shared Belief and I picked Chrome to win the Derby and I would have picked Belief if he hadn't gotten hurt........easy win by 14L in Sunland Derby.....says he likely feels great coming off such a stress-less effort 

15  Frosted   big awakening in last in the Wood with some breathing problems seemingly fixed and a switch in jocks....solid a.m. work since.....likely to get a nice mid pack position.....not impossible if the pace up front is fast

2  Carpe Diem   has hit some softer foes and had decent position in his winning races......but he did win them quite easily........Pletcher is 1 for 40 at the derby and will need top effort and a clean trip 

6  Mubtaahij   world traveler has plenty to prove but he sure is the unknown commodity to some degree.........and sure is a very smooth runner 


 race 12    above average clarity

4  Guapo Man   hellllooooo distance racing.........broke his MSW at the FG by 17L in a cantor in his 1st ever at a since strongly suggest he has held form......should be up for another strong two turn race.......jock knows this colt well having been aboard for all 3 lifetime starts

1  Flash Trading   nice wake-up and maiden breaking win 1st time on the dirt at a race at Kee.........working on the CD dirt like he should handle the new surface

6  Raagheb   likely needs a little more than he produced at OP but considering he just popped a solid 5F bullet at CD he might provide it......and Mike Smith and his agent want the mount 

12  Comfort   nice horse - bad post...........needs a very clever trip from a difficult low % post at 1 1/16th at CD......or an outside biased track

13 AE  Unbridled   same as above


race 13    average clarity

6  Bent On Bourbon   big awakening in 2nd lifetime start and it was at today's 7F distance.......reassuring 4F drill since........repeat of his last should take this providing he takes to the CD surface

9  Coaches Challenge   Wayne Catalano is good with MSW 1st timers when they train well and this colt is doing just that.......and he gets the more than capable hands of Rafael Bejarano to ride and get the job done

7  Cat Ride   another 1st timer training as if he is meant and ready to rock and roll in his MSW debut

5  Imslopokerodriquez   not as impressed with this 1st timer's drills as I am with our 2nd and 3rd choices but trainer Rudy Rodriquez can be rather tricky to decipher as far as his readiness with his debut runners.....somewhat dangerous


Posted on May 1, 2015 at 3:46 pm by richs · Permalink
In: Free Information, Selections