This year is the easiest time I've had tossing the Derby favorite since Empire Maker in 2003. I kinda knew I would regret it when I bet against Street Sense and Big Brown. But in the case of I Want Revenge, if he's really 3-1 - and I have my doubts about the morning odds in general - I won't give it a second thought. That does not, of course, mean, at least in this particular case, that I think he's a bad horse, or that I'd be surprised if he won. But at that price - or even up to 4-1, 9-2 or so - given the generally lame quality of the horses he beat in New York (though I guess I must reluctantly admit that Mr. Fantasy gets some props), as well as the usual possibility of traffic troubles and general mayhem along the way in the big field, I'll just take my losses and move on to the 12th if he wins.
Likewise, though to a somewhat lesser extent, for Pioneerof the Nile at 4-1. As for Dunkirk, also 4-1.....wow, do you really think he'll be 4-1? I love this horse, I thought he was a monster in defeat at Gulfstream; but I can't bet him at odds like that, in his 4th career start and having run just once in the last ten weeks....though I will certainly be saving with him in exotics.
And maybe it's time for me to hang up the laptop, but....I just don't get Papa Clem being 20-1...and you guys got on me when I said that I wouldn't be shocked if he wasn't too far off Baffert's horse on the tote; OK, so, maybe I have a gaffe every once in a while. But forget Mike Welsch for a moment, I'm saying, it's right there in black and white! Here's a son of Smart Strike who has turned it around since stretching out to two turns, beat I Want Revenge, lost by a half length to Pioneerof the Nile, got spanked by Friesan Fire on a sloppy track at Fair Grounds, but held second and bounced back to win the Arkansas Derby with a career best Beyer of 101. My point here is more that he's going to get bet because of positives in his form which are plain for all to see than that I think he's the likeliest winner of the race. But if he's really 20-1, I'll have a nice bet on his nose.
Oh, and about that horrible workout, Haskin reports today:
Yesterday, I mentioned that after observing Papa Clem’s last work, I was of the firm belief the rider misjudged the finish line. I finally was able to speak to trainer Gary Stute, who confirmed that the rider did indeed misjudge the finish line. Stute will give the colt a good quarter-mile blowout, going out three-eighths on Thursday to help make up for that. [Bloodhorse.com]