God's Tipster Picks the Kentucky Derby, all 14 races Saturday at Churchill Downs
Friday’s Race Recap from Churchill Downs:
(All odds US)
Race 1: 6th@ 22.30/1
Race 2: 4th@ 4.20/1
Race 7: 2nd@ 0.41/1
Race 8: 2nd@ 4.29/1
Race 10: 2nd@ 8.51/1
Race 11: 7th@ 10.62/1
Race 12: 6th@ 2.06/1
In Race 1, Two Minute Lick was rating off the pace early and looked to be traveling comfortably but didn’t have the necessary punch when it counted. In Race 2, Padma was taken off the pace and rallied mildly late. Through the first two races this track seems to be favoring early speed. In Race 7, Munny’s Gold shot to the lead and was taken on by Red Carpet Ready on the far turn. Red Carpet Ready took the lead and Munny’s Gold battled back gamely losing by a head at the wire. Irad’s mistake there on Munny’s Gold was that he didn’t use Munny’s Gold’s speed. Instead he rated her on the lead which kept Red Carpet Ready in the race. Should have run them off their feet from the start because she’s got the speed to do it. In Race 8, favored Caravel went to the lead and was never challenged. Our selection Bay Storm rallied late for second after catching some traffic on the turn. Traffic or no traffic though nobody was beating this champion today. In Race 10, Revalita stalked the early pace but the loose leader couldn’t be reeled in and we had to settle for our third straight second place finish. In the Kentucky Oaks, Defining Purpose raced near the pace but faded to 7th and in Race 12, Guns & Graces got on track too late but could do no better than sixth.
Happy KENTUCKY DERBY DAY!
We’re expecting fast and firm conditions. A HUGE race card of 14 races is on tap. I’ve handicapped all 14 so pick and choose which races you’re getting the odds on. Let’s get to work!
Race 1: Extra Anejo - 2 pts win (US Morning Line Odds: 6/5)
Allowance optional claimers sprint 6 1/2 furlongs. This race features the return of Extra Anejo - $1.35 million purchase who’s trained by Steve Asmussen. Asmussen typically points his runners towards this meet and to have him ready to run on Derby day tells me they’re looking to show this guy off. He’ll certainly have more competition today than he had in his career debut as Federal Judge is no slouch but this guy has been working well and looks like the real deal. Gate to wire with some Extra Anejo just a few hours removed from Cinco de Mayo.
Race 2: Quality Chic - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 3/1)
Maidens race a mile and a sixteenth and with the scratch of Cape Trafalgar I think that makes Quality Chic doubly tough. After a career best effort at a mile and an eighth Quality Chic cuts back a touch and it’s important to note that while most of these runners have been facing straight three year olds, Quality Chic faced a field that included older runners last time and he was actually the only three year old to finish in the top four. He should have pace in front of him and is ridden by Luis Saez who’s begun the meet red hot winning with 7 of his first 21 starters 33%. If you can lock in the 3/1 morning line with your bookmakers - do it! He’ll be lower by post time here in the US.
Race 3: King Ottoman - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 3/1)
Allowance optional claimers race a mile. Bright Future is our morning line favorite off a layoff win at Gulfstream where be defeated a few also rans from last year’s Kentucky Derby trail but had the race fall into his lap when the early leader came up empty. King Ottoman had a very similar pace setup in his return but to my eye was the more impressive of the two returnees drawing off after taking the lead on the far turn under very little urging. King Ottoman is already a stakes winner with a win in the Texas Derby and is Grade 3 placed so he’s actually the class of the field despite the fact that Bright Future is likely to be favored.
Race 4: Goodnight Olive - 2 pts win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/5)
The Grade 1 Derby City Distaff at 7 furlongs is a race for fillies and mares and features last year’s Grade 1 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner - Goodnight Olive. Goodnight Olive is 7 for 8 in her stellar career and I just don’t see anyone fast enough to compete with her here. I’ve tried beating her in the past so now I’ve to an “if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” mindset. In all seriousness, last time out she handled a stronger field than she faces today and she feels like she’s a bit too much mare for these.
Race 5: Fluffy Socks - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 9/2)
Fillies and mares race a mile in our first turf race of the day where Spendarella was installed as our 7/5 morning line favorite. Spendarella is a Grade 1, 2 and 3 winner in her five race career and even ran 2nd at Royal Ascot for good measure in a Grade 1 race. From a speed figure standpoint she’s below a few of these so at 7/5 I’m taking Fluffy Socks whose resume I prefer. While she has no Royal Ascot trips on her past performances, she does have four wins and 7 second place finishes in 16 starts on turf. She also owns the highest speed figure on turf for anyone in this field along with the top turf connections of Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz. She’s a Grade 2 and Grade 3 winner looking to add another Grade 2 win to her resume. She will be rallying late.
Race 6: Masqueparade - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 6/1)
The Knicks Go Overnight is being run at a mile on dirt. Masqueparade is the selection at what I feel is overlaid odds of 6/1 on the morning line. After spending his late three year old season winning the Grade 3 Ohio Derby he knocked heads with Essential Quality in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Travers. His four year old season was strong as well albeit brief. Finishing second by a head against a tough Twilight Blue and winning his next start he closed out his year finishing second behind future Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup winner Art Collector. He adds blinkers today and retains Joel Rosario to ride for a barn that strikes at a 22% clip with runners coming off similar layoffs. This horse loves Churchill Downs and I think he catches a field he can handle today.
Race 7: Go Bears Go - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
The Twin Spires Turf Sprint is run at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. Big Invasion is the horse to beat. With a record of 7 for 9 on the turf he’ll take some beating but I think Go Bears Go is up to the task. Go Bears Go is a 4 time turf sprint winner and races for Wesley Ward whose runners own the turf sprint title in the US virtually every year. Go Bears Go has raced twice in the US - once when he shipped in for the Grade 2 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint - a race he fell 1/2 length short of winning at 12/1 and last year’s Grade 1 Breeders Cup Turf Sprint where he caught traffic and was taken wide. His best races however have come over at tracks in Ireland and England where he put up Timeform figures of 115 and 114. Those would be enough to win this and at overlaid odds for a top turf sprint barn I think he’s dangerous.
Race 8: General Jim - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/1)
The Grade 2 Pat Day Mile is run appropriately at a mile on dirt for three year olds. Fort Bragg is 9/2 on the morning line but a lot of handicappers seem to like him. I’m not on board with him as I think he’ll be overbet and I’m not sold he’s not a sprinter yet. General Jim is a little interesting here. Originally campaigned on turf, trainer Shug McGaughey decided to take a stab at dirt racing and he’s proven more than capable. He had a horrible trip in the Mucho Macho Man where he finished fourth behind future Grade 2 Wood Memorial winner Lord Miles. He then ran down a loose on the lead - Super Chow - not an easy feat for a closer to do against a quality sprinter. Today he’ll have plenty of pace and he has a steady worktab. I think we may even get higher than his 4/1 morning line.
Race 9: Far Bridge - 1 pt win - (US Morning Line Odds: 7/2)
The Grade 2 American Turf will be run at a mile and a sixteenth for three year olds. Far Bridge is the selection based on two impressive scores in his first two starts. First time out he defeated Carl Spackler by a head and second time out he didn’t have the cleanest trip but won for fun. He changed barns from Christophe Clement to Todd Pletcher since his most recent start but hasn’t missed a beat in his morning workouts and should sit the trip from just off the pace.
Race 10: Cody’s Wish - 2 pts win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/5)
The Grade 1 Churchill Downs at 7 furlongs features the return of Grade 1 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile winner - Cody’s Wish. He defeated Cyberknife and Slow Down Andy that day and before that he took down multiple Grade 1 winning Jackie’s Warrior. Today he faces a strong field but in terms of class he’s just better than these. Rail runner White Abarrio scratched early so that’s one less competitor he’ll have to deal with and he drew perfectly towards the outside with post 7 so he should be able to stalk and pounce.
Race 11: Wolfie’s Dynaghost - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
The Grade 1 Old Forester Turf Classic at a mile and an eighth on turf is our co-main event of the day and it brings together an evenly matched field of runners. Speed has been deadly on the Churchill Downs turf and Wolfie’s Dynaghost has an abundance of that. A winner already on dirt, turf and synthetic, Wolfie is a rare horse that seems to handle whatever gets thrown at him. Without a ton of early speed here he could get a flyer early and if that happens it could be a quick day for everyone else. Last time out he stole the Kentucky Cup Classic on the front end. The Synthetic surface at Turfway is generally favorable to closers but that didn’t stop Mr. Dynaghost. I look for Wolfie to lead them on a merry chase.
Race 12: Derma Sotogake - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
The Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at a mile and a quarter brings together the best of the best three year olds from around the world. Japanese runners have been competing in the big races on the world stage for some time now, but in 2019 they struck with their first surprise winner when Marche Lorraine stunned the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Distaff at 49/1 odds. This year on the Dubai World Cup program, Japanese runners ran 2nd in the Dubai Turf and took top honors in the Sheema Classic with Equinox and the Dubai World Cup with Ushiba Tesoro in addition of course to Derma Sotogake’s win in the UAE Derby. This is a trend that has been building for a few years and I don’t see it stopping the Timeform US Speed figure Derma Sotogake generated with his win in the UAE Derby fits very well with these and he’s been working up a storm. Japan for the win!
Race 13: Equivoque - 2 pts win (US Morning Line Odds: 3/1)
Allowance optional claimers race a mile and a sixteenth in the penultimate race of the day. Todd Pletcher and Irad Ortiz team up with Equivoque who was a sparkling winner in his career debut at Keeneland a few weeks ago. Sired by Good Magic with Giant’s Causeway breeding underneath today’s distance shouldn’t pose a problem. He’ll be closer to even money here in the US so if you can lock in the 3/1 morning line I encourage you to do so.
Race 14: Golden Sombrero - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
Maidens sprint 7 furlongs to close out our day and we opened our day with Extra Anejo and I’m looking to close it out with a Golden Sombrero. Trainer Doug O’Neil sprinter this guy on turf in his debut and he just missed when stretched out to a mile first time dirt putting up a speed figure that fits well with this group. Ridden by Jose Ortiz this guy has a bullet workout leading into this race and is very likely to be overlooked with all the big name trainers having runners here.
Wishing our members the very best of luck on your wagers on Kentucky Derby Day 2023!!