Archive for the ‘Horse racing’ Category

2012 Kentucky Derby Preview

Bruce Zoldan and his comrades at Team Valor are in the big race again with Went The Day Well.  The Team Valor entry will start from the #13 position and Johnny Velazquez riding the 20-1 longshot with the local ties.  Last year, Team Valor pulled the upset at the 137th Kentucky Derby when Animal Kingdom crossed the finish line first.

Bodemeister has been tapped the 4-1 favorite to win the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown.  Union Rags can almost be considered a co-favorite at 9-2.  With a field of 20 horses, the gamblers must remember that unless a favorite can go wire-to-wire, it is easy to get boxed in with such a crowded track.  That is why I do not like to bet the chalk in these big races.  They are all good horses and their times are not that different.  The possibility of rain is in the forecast, and on a sloppy track, a mule can beat a gazelle, you just never know what might happen.

Here is the entire field, with jockey and odds in the order of starting gate position:

1.  Daddy Long Legs (O’Donahue)               30-1

2.  Optimizer  (Court)                                  50-1

3.  Take Charge Indy (Borel)                        15-1

4.  Union Rags (Leparoux)                            9-2

5.  Dullahan (Desormeaux)                           8-1

6.  Bodemeister (Smith)                                4-1

7.  Rousing Sermon (Lezcano)                    50-1

8.  Creative Cause (Rosario)                        12-1

9.  Trinniberg (Martinez)                             50-1

10.  Daddy Nose Best (Gomez)                    15-1

11.  Alpha (Maragh)                                    15-1

12.  Prospective (Conteras)                         30-1

13.  Went The Day Well (Velazquez)            20-1

14.  Hansen (Dominguez)                           10-1

15.  Gemologist (Castellano)                        6-1

16.  El Padrino (Bejarano)                           20-1

17.  Done Talking (Russell)                        50-1

18.  Sabercat (Nakatani)                             30-1

19.  I’ll Have Another (Gutierrez)                12-1

20.  Liaison (Garcia)                                   50-1

The best way for me to deal with such a big field is to eliminate the horses I do not like.  Starting with I’ll Have Another, who would bet a horse with a drinking problem?    Hanson was my least favorite 90’s band – whack the 14 for association by name, sort of.  Take Charge Indy sounds like it should be in a NASCAR race, not the Derby.  Liaison, Gemologist, and Sabercat were all named from someones thesaurus, so I eliminate them.

Earlier, I made it clear that in a crowded field, I dislike the favorites, so Bodemeister and Union Rags can’t be in my picks.

My pick to win the race is Dullahan.  I like Desormeaux on the horse, he is a good jockey with a good record.  I think Went The Day Well and Daddy Nose Best will finish two and three, either way.

So your bet should read….  5 over the 13 and 10 in boxed exacta and trifecta wagers.  See you at the window!

Animal Kingdom Shocks Derby Field, Zoldan Victorious


In the 137th running of the Kentucky DerbyAnimal Kingdom took home the roses with an impressive performance at Churchill Downs. This win marks the first Kentucky Derby win for President of Phantom Fireworks Bruce Zoldan.

Zoldan and the other members of Team Valor International entered Animal Kingdom, the first horse from this group to compete in the derby since Visionaire three years ago, after a qualifying win in the Vinery Racing Spiral on March 26 at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. Animal Kingdom’s trainer, Graham Motion, has captured over 1,000 races and his most accomplished horse was Better Talk Now in the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf and Shared Account in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Last week, there was speculation that Animal Kingdom would not run in the derby thanks to torrential downpours in the Louisville area. The status of Animal Kingdom was up in the air until last Saturday after trainer Graham Motion and team leader Barry Irwin determined the track conditions would not put the horse in any danger. Animal Kingdom tested at Churchill Downs and the colt ran six furlongs in 1:13.17, which was a time that surprised the clocker’s. Animal Kingdom was steady in the middle of the pack and jockey John Velazquez made his move down the home stretch. Animal Kingdom has won the first leg of horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown.

135th Preakness Stakes – Odds, Weather, And Predictions

This Saturday will mark the second leg of the Triple Crown of Horse Racing. Post time at Pimlico in Baltimore is set for 6:15 pm.  The small field of twelve horses will be competing for the $1.1 million dollar purse with the winner garnering $710,000 of the total pot.  The weather, which will play a factor in this race, is 65 degrees with a 50% chance of rain.

If the track is deemed sloppy and these twelve horses sift through the mud, no one will touch Super Saver.  Calvin Borel is about the only thing that has worked for Todd Pletcher as a trainer.  Borel is a master in the mud, and he proved that last month at the Kentucky Derby. However, if the track runs fast, I like Lookin At Lucky to win the race.  All depends on the weather, so wait as close as you can until post time if you are wagering.  The only other horse with a chance in mixed weather is Pleasant Prince.

Here is the whole field with debuting odds for the 135th Preakness Stakes:

  1. Alkenite 20-1
  2. Schoolyard Dreams 15-1
  3. Pleasant Prince 20-1
  4. Northern Giant 30-1
  5. Yawanna Twist 30-1
  6. Jackson Bend 12-1
  7. Lookin At Lucky 3-1
  8. Super Saver 5-2
  9. Caracortado 10-1
  10. Paddy O’Prado 9-2
  11. First Dude 20-1
  12. Dublin 10-1

Winner: If sloppy Super Saver. If fast, Lookin At Lucky.

Trifecta: 7-8-3

Sleeper Longshot:  Pleasant Prince.

2010 Kentucky Derby Odds, Positioning, And Prediction

They are at the post… and they’rrre off!  The 2010 Kentucky Derby runs this Saturday at Churchill Downs.  This is the 136th running of the famed race where first place will pay $1,425,200 – a far cry from a claims race.  2009 saw Mine That Bird charge from way back to win the big one.  Is there another longshot capable?

Here is the starting position, followed by the horse and jockey and current odds:

  1. Lookin At Lucky (Garrett Gomez3-1
  2. Ice Box (Jose Lezcano10-1
  3. Noble’s Promise (Willie Martinez12-1
  4. Super Saver (Calvin Borel) 15-1
  5. Line of David (Rafael Bejarano) 30-1
  6. Stately Victor (Alan Garcia30-1
  7. American Lion (David Flores30-1
  8. Dean’s Kitten (Robby Albarado50-1
  9. Make Music For Me  (Joel Rosario50-1
  10. Paddy O’Prado (Kent Desormeaux20-1
  11. Devil May Care (John Velazquez10-1
  12. Conveyance (Martin Garcia12-1
  13. Jackson Bend (Mike Smith15-1
  14. Mission Impazible (Rajiv Maragh20-1
  15. Discreetly Mine (Javier Castellano30-1
  16. Awesome Act (Julien Leparoux10-1
  17. Dublin (Terry Thompson12-1
  18. Backtalk (Miguel Mena50-1
  19. Homeboykris  (Ramon Dominguez 50-1
  20. Sidney’s Candy (Joe Talamo 5-1

The one horse and the twenty horse, Lookin At Lucky and Sidney’s Candy respectively, are starting at opposite ends of the gate, but the experts see them finishing side by side.  Garrett Gomez is a much better jockey than Joe Talamo, but starting from the inside will be tough as all of the other nineteen horses try to close to the inside.  I see (1) Lookin At Lucky getting boxed in and playing no factor in the outcome.  Sidney’s Candy will finish somewhere in the top three.

My longshot to bet is the #8 horse, Dean’s Kitten.  I like Robby Albarado atop this horse and think that it is a blessing to start in the middle.  Another longshot worth checking out is (19) Homeboykris, co-owned by New York Yankees Manager, Joe Torre.  Homeboykris should lose by twenty lengths, but if he loses by more than that, expect jockey Ramon Dominguez to be pitching out of the Yankees pen in middle relief by July.  Post time is 6:24 pm and the weather is calling for a good chance of precipitation.

Winner:  #4  Super SaverCalvin Borel lives for this day and loves the limelight.  Expect his magic to continue.

Trifecta:  #4 Super Saver, #20 Sidney’s Candy, & #8 Dean’s Kitten.

Leave a comment and let me know what you predict and good luck!

Anyone Want A Pet Horse?

Growing up, I never had a pet.  I used to win a goldfish at the local festival every year, but failed to feed it after a couple of weeks resulting in a toilet flush and an empty fish bowl.  My father used to make it clear to me that if I was not going to be home to take care of a pet, that he surely wouldn’t rearrange his day to do so.  Hence, no pets.  I am not an animal lover because I have not had the exposure some kids have toward many different types of animals.  So a petless home was my tradeoff for playing football, being in a band, working, going to school, and having the social agenda of a rockstar through college.

I watched a disturbing piece on ESPN’s Outside The Lines yesterday about what happens to a racehorse when it can no longer race.  Naturally, an animal story has to be represented by PETA, the animal loonies who are extreme in most cases.  However, on the other side of the coin, ESPN showed disturbing footage of a horse being taken to a barn, shot in the head, and skinned.  The horse was then processed, like a cow, for consumption. 

Horse meat is a delicacy in Japan.  They showed it packaged like beef in a Japanese grocery store.  Then they mentioned that horse meat is also used to make dog food.  I can’t imagine having a slice of Mine That Bird for dinner in a couple of years, but I guess some people can.

Some owners keep the horses and let them live a natural life, but others are quick to sell the horse for consumpyion purposes.  I guess if Wisconsin started a derby race involving cows, we might take the same stand on eating beef.  However, in our structured USDA-stamped meat cases, we learn at a young age where beef comes from.  We accept it, and for the most part, we eat it.

Take Japan off of my vacation destination list. 

2009 Belmont Stakes Field And Odds – And My Pick

The third leg of the Triple Crown of Horse Racing runs this Saturday.  I really don’t think anyone can overtake Mine That Bird, especially with Borel going for the first ever jockey Triple Crown on different horses.  The question is what horse should you put with Mine That Bird in your Exacta and Trifecta picks?

Here is the field, jockey, and early odds for the 2009 Belmont Stakes :

  1. Chocolate Candy (Garrett Gomez)   10-1
  2. Dunkirk (Juan Velasquez)   4-1
  3. Mr. Hot Stuff (Edgar Prado)   15-1
  4. Summer Bird (Kent Desormeaux)   12-1
  5. Luv Gov (Miguel Mena)   20-1
  6. Charitable Man (Alan Garcia)   3-1
  7. Mine That Bird (Calvin Borel)   2-1
  8. Flying Private (Julien Leparoux)   12-1
  9. Miner’s Escape (Jose Lezcano)   15-1
  10. Brave Victory (Rajiv Maragh)   15-1

Calvin Borel is in touch with these horses.  He knows Mine That Bird is a closer running a mile-and-a-half and should blow the field away in this race.  Charitable Man is the same kind of horse as Mine That Bird in the sense that he closes too.  The difference is clearly that Alan Garcia is no Calvin Borel.

Predictions For The 2009 Belmont Stakes

WIN: Mine That Bird

Exacta Prediction: 7-1

Trifecta Prediction: 7-1-6

2009 Preakness Stakes Field & Prediction

The field and opening odds for the 134th running of The Preakness Stakes was announced.  Rachel Alexandra was cast as the early favorite with starting odds of 8-5.  Rachel Alexandra will be led by Calvin Borel (above), who opted to ride the filly rather than the horse he piloted to a Kentucky Derby victory, Mine That Bird, earlier this month.

Below is a complete listing for the Preakness race:

PP      Horse                          Jockey                    Odds

  1. Big Drama                    (John Velazquez)                10-1
  2. Mine That Bird             (Mike Smith)                       6-1
  3. Musket Man                 (Eibar Coa)                          8-1
  4. Luv Gov                    (Jamie Theriot)                  50-1
  5. Friesan Fire                  (Gabriel Saez)                     6-1
  6. Terrain                          (Jeremy Rose)                    30-1
  7. Papa Clem                    (Rafael Bejarano)                12-1
  8. General Quarters         (Julien Leparoux)               20-1
  9. Pioneer Of The Nile    (Garrett Gomez)                  5-1
  10. Flying Private               (Alan Garcia)                     50-1
  11. Take The Points           (Edgar Prado)                    30-1
  12. Tone It Down                (Kent Desormeaux)           50-1
  13. Rachel Alexandra         (Calvin Borel)                      8-5

Lots of talent in this race!  I believe Rachel Alexandra, the favorite will finish in the top 3, so make the filly a trifecta staple.  I like the 2, Mine That Bird, and the 9, Pioneer of The Nile in either order to win.  Its a solid box trifecta bet – 2, 9, 13.

My pick to win the race is the 9 – Pioneer of The Nile

2009 Kentucky Derby Field, Odds, And Predictions

The running of the 135th Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday.  The mile and a quarter race has a set post time of 6:24 PM and a field of 20 horses to pick from.  Here is the complete field in starting gate order, jockey, and opening odds:

  1. West Side Bernie (Elliott)  30-1
  2. Musket Man (Coa) 20-1
  3. Mr. Hot Stuff (Velazquez) 30-1
  4. Advice (Douglas) 30-1
  5. Hold Me Back (Desormeaux) 15-1
  6. Friesan Fire (Saez) 6-1
  7. Papa Clem (Bejarno) 20-1
  8. Mine That Bird (Borel) 50-1
  9. Join In The Dance (DeCarlo) 50-1
  10. Regal Ransom (Garcia) 30-1
  11. Chocolate Candy (Smith) 20-1
  12. General Quarters (Leparoux) 20-1
  13. I Want Revenge (Talamo) 3-1
  14. Atomic Rain (Bravo) 50-1
  15. Dunkirk (Prado) 4-1
  16. Pioneer Of The Nile (Gomez) 4-1
  17. Summer Bird (Rosier) 50-1
  18. Nowhere To Hide (Bridgmohan) 50-1
  19. Desert Party (Dominquez) 15-1
  20. Flying Private (Albarado) 50-1

I have a theory on a race with this many horses running – bet the underdogs.  The reason I feel this way is because a field of 20 horses makes coming around the turn and down the stretch an additional unrehearsed challenge.  It is hard to maneuver a horse through that much traffic without getting boxed in or having to go so wide that you lengthen the race for the horse.  So my advice for this race is to use a favorite that wont pay much and put him with two underdogs.

Another rule I need to follow, at least for this derby, is to eliminate the 17, 18, 19, and 20 horses.  Desert Party, the 19 horse, has a shot but I feel that as a closer the horse needs a narrower field.  The other of these three horses are all 50-1 and starting outside isn’t good news for any of them.

I like the favorite to finish in the top three.  I Want Revenge, at 3-1, is a solid bet.  Since there isn’t much money to be made I want I Want Revenge to finish third in my box trifecta.

My pick to win the race is Hold Me Back.  At 15-1 this is a horse that closes in 6 1/2 furlong races, shorter than The Derby.  Using this logic, I am hoping that the horse has enough in the tank to use that kick down the stretch at Churchill Downs this Saturday. 

The weather forecast for the race calls for a 30% chance of rain and temperatures in the low 70’s.

Predicted Winner: #5 Hold Me Back

Trifecta Prediction: 13 – 5 – 11

Let me know what you think! 

The 13 horse and favorite, I Want Revenge Is Probably Going To Get Scratched.  If this is the case, then I like the 5-6-11 box trifecta.