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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Derby Blahs

It's late at night on the Friday before the first Saturday in May, and I don't have a definitive Derby horse. Gun to my head, and without regard to odds, I'd pick Dunkirk. Though I still have serious qualms about him at this still early stage of his career and with no two-year old racing experience, I believe him to be the most talented horse in the field. I figure that's worth something. I don't care for any of the other horses considered to be the main contenders as win bet candidates for the reasons I've stated before (although, at the present early odds of 9-1 on Pioneerof the Nile and 8-1 on Dunkirk, I'd look at the race differently. Since General Quarters is 5-1, I expect the odds to change drastically.)

As I've mentioned, I think Papa Clem represents value at his morning line of 20-1. I've also written that I do not think he's the likeliest winner. Man, I'm getting crap from you guys over this horse.....I think I've made far lamer suggestions than he on this blog!

Anyway, I'll be watching the board and studying the Form as post time approaches, hoping that I get some kind of revelation if I just handicap as if it's just another race, the 11th at Churchill. Other horses of some interest are:

West Side Bernie - Everyone seems to like this horse for the bottom of the exotics, so don't expect any payoffs with him in the 3rd or 4th spot to be quite as lucrative as his win odds, currently 48-1, might suggest. West Side Bernie ceded much ground on the turn to I Want Revenge, and got his final three furlongs in a field-best 36 4/5; so if you like the latter as the favorite, isn't this son of Bernstein worth a deuce on the nose? I mean, just a couple of bucks at inflated odds?

Musket Man - Son of Yonaguska out of a Fortunate Prospect mare would give the Alan Porters of the world something to ponder if he gets the mile and a quarter distance with that pedigree. He's won two graded stakes in a row, five out of six overall, and comes off a career high Beyer in the Illinois Derby. But he was reported to have been uninspiring in his last work, in which, according to Welsch, he was under heavy pressure but could not get by his stablemate, a recent maiden winner who actually was stronger during the gallop-out. So actually this is not a horse of interest; I don't like him much at all.

Hold Me Back might get more consideration from me if his only dirt race wasn't bad, and if this race had more pace. But he has shown nice improvement at three, a solid closing kick - sub-12 second final eighths in each of his last two - on the synthetics, good reviews by Welsch, and Kent D on board. I'll likely use him underneath.

Chocolate Candy seems to be getting some love, but has never run on real dirt. Though his Beyers are low, they show a long-term pattern of improvement; and besides, what do synthetic figs have to do with dirt ability anyway. I could see him at his morning line of 20-1, but he seems to be picking up wise-guy support. (He currently stands at 9-1 in this very early wagering.)

I have no idea about Desert Party and Regal Ransom; not a fucking clue. General Quarters is a horse I'll use in exotics.

And that's really about it. I find it all quite uninspiring, and I'm not all that enthusiastic about any of the horse mentioned above. Each of the favorites has major questions marks in my mind, and the supporting cast is not deep. Not a good combination. Sorry to be a drag on the big day, but that's just the way I see it. Still, I plan to be enjoying the race, whether I end up betting much or not at all, with some straight bourbon and a ceremonial mint julep made with fresh mint grown in the backyard. At least the Head Chef is excited about something.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Musket Man's work partner(Bull Toccet) might be of interest in the 4th race against a bunch of one time winners. Couldn't handle the surface at Tampa Bay.

Anonymous said...

I like Musket Man. Yes, he may trip over his pedigree but IMO he has the best last race. His last work isn't good but the one before that, when the CD strip was deeper,is fine. This is reminiscent of 02 when War Emblem was a huge overlay at 20-1.

Horse racing is in desperate trouble but we can forget that for today. We have a twenty horse field to bet into and a good undercard.

I'll play Musket Man to win and a five horse exacta box: Musket Man, Advice, Friesan Fire, Pioneer of the Nile & Desert Party. I'll also cover some of these with I Want Revenge who deserves to be favored. But I hope he fails because of Mullins who is the posterboy for everything that racing has become.


Anonymous said...

I think IWR is getting scratched(Bloodhorse).

Alan Mann said...


forego is my witness said...

It's 9:12 and the DRF STILL doesn't have this story on their website?? Sad.

Anonymous said...

your a drag everyday Alan. No need to apologize.

Alan Mann said...

>>your a drag everyday Alan.

Thanks for checking in every day and adding to my hit count.

steve in nc said...

The all-star scratch list for the 2 days (IWR, Zen, JWDixie) is a little deflating. Suprised Mullins didn't just rub some of that magic cough syrup on Revenge's ankle (where's Biancone's jar of cobra venom when you need it?).

I will be putting Bernie in the top spot, without any real expectations of cashing. One of these plays I'm supposed to make on my sheet reading method. I've made a few scores on plays like these I reluctantly make only because I'm supposedta. The SF box with Dunkirk, Papa Clem and Summer Bird would sure as hell perk me up if it came in.

Here's to Stewart Elliot and the rail. I think I need more than a few juleps. Alan, can you have the Head Chef make mine pink?

Erin said...

$2 w/p/s Hold Me Back

$2 ex box Pioneerof The Nile, Friesan Fire, and Papa Clem (based on his 13-1 odds)

$2 tri singling Friesan Fire over Pioneerof The Nile and Papa Clem