05/04/2013 11:45AM

Derby Day 139

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11:45 am: Happy Derby Day. A mere 415 minutes to Derby post time, the track is extremely fast at Churchill Downs but the predicted rain is just starting. The opener, an N2x allowance for fillies, went in 1:08.75 for 6f and the 2nd, an N1x for males, took just 1:21.68 for 7f.

If you didn't get down on the pick-4 beginning with the 2nd, there are three more on the card (races 4-7, 8-11 and 10-13), not to mention a pick-5 (7-11) and pick-6 (6-11) ending with the Derby. The stakes racing starts with the 6th at 1:19 pm, the first of six straight graded stakes and the 10th, the G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, features an intriguing showdown between Wise Dan and Point of Entry.

Scratches from the stakes so far are the longshots Class Included from the Distaff Turf Mile, Swift Warrior from the Turf Classic, and the previously-announced Black Onyx and Fear the Kitten from the Derby.

After being sidelined on the vets' list the last couple of weeks, my bankroll and I are jumping back in once the stakes begin and I'll be posting my multirace tickets here later. Below is my cheat sheet on the 6th through 11th, and you can find my Derby Day column picking Overanalyze (currently 14-1) over Orb, Normandy Invasion and Revolutionary by clicking here.

 

12:45 pm: I'm making only a token pick-6 play and instead saving my bullets for the pick-5 and pick-4 ending with the Derby. It was going to cost me over $3k to use everyone I wanted in the first four legs just to get alive to Wise Dan and Point of Entry in the WR Turf Classic and then just my top four picks in this wide-open Derby. So I'm making the justincase caveman pick-6 play as follows:

2,3,6,8/6/3,5/5,8,9/8,9/3,5,9,16. That's 4x1x2x3x2x4 for 192 combos and $384.

The single is Aubby K in the Humana Distaff. A more robust play, and the lower-minimum multirace bets I'll play later on, would also use Rumor and Emma's Encore.

Marketing Mix is now scratched from the Distaff Turf Mile.

 

1:30 pm: Arggh. Good news is I wouldn't have used Berlino Di Tiger if I'd put in $3k instead of $384, bad news is the caveman died as Chamberlain Bridge fell a stride short of getting up at an overlaid 8-1. Berlino Di Tiger dueled early with Southern Dude, won the battle, and just held off 9-year-old Chamberlain Bridge as that one made a furious late rally at the tiring leader.

On to the pick-5:

Track has been downgraded to sloppy as rain continues.

 

2:20 pm: Aubby K., who should have been ML favorite and was narrow 7-2 post-time choice, took over from Jamaican Smoke in upper stretch and held off Burban and Holiday Soiree to win the G1 Humana Distaff. The 4-year-old Street Sense-Lilly Capote filly, a James Spence homebred trained by Ralph Nicks, paid $9.20 and ran the 7f in 1:22.93 on the increasingly sloppy track. 

 

2:40 pm: Turf course downgraded to "yielding" for upcoming G2 Distaff Turf Mile.

 

3:05 pm: Stephanie's Kitten, making her 4-year-old debut off a nearly seven-month layoff, ran down Hungry Island to win the Distaff Turf Mile. Winner of the Alcibiades and BC Juvenile Fillies Turf at 2 and the Lake Placid at 3, Stephanie's Kitten p;robably ran the strongest race of her career today to catch Hungry Island, who won this race last year.

The Ramsey homebred, a Kitten's Joy filly trained by Wayne Catalano, is now 3 for 3 over the CD turf course. The rain has clearly slowed things down: The winner's time was 1:37.94, sharply slower than the 1:41.98 for amile and a sixteenth turned in earlier in the day by Atigun in an allowance victory.

 

3:25 pm: Point of Entry just scratched from the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. Pick-4/5/6 tickets through him will be moved to the post-time favorite, which figures to be Wise Dan at odds-on.

 

4:00 pm: Delauney ($5.80) won his sixth straight race and his first graded stakes with a flourish, dispoing of champion Trinniberg in upper stretch and drawing away to a runaway victory in the G2 Churchill Downs in 1:22.35 for 7f. Pass the Dice was up for second with Laurie's Rocket third.

The 6-year-old Smoke Glacken gelding, owned by Maggi Moss and trained by Tom Amoss, has turned into a new horse since being claimed by that duo out of a $40k claimer at Churchill last May 12. He came into today's race having won five straight ungraded stakes including three straight over Gantry at the Fair Grounds.

On to the diminshed Woodford Reserve, and time to switch from NBC Sports Network to NCB proper, which picks up the Derby coverage from now until 7 pm before the post-race show back on NBC Sports.

The Woodford Reserve is scheduled to go at 4:44 pm, and then it's at least an hour and 40 minutes until the 6:24 post time for the Derby.

 

4:30 pm: The hat-centeric, Tweet-centric coverage on NBC is just excruciating. Yes, I know, this isn't a simulcast for bettors but no other sport so thoroughly dumbs down the coverage of its signature events this way. Unless I missed it, no one has yet mentioned that the sport's reigning Horse of the Year is running in 15 minutes. It's a missed opportunity to explain to people what racing is and how it works and why Wise Dan is considered the best horse in America as opposed to any of the Derby horses.

 

4:40: They just announced there would be "bonus coverage" of "the Turf Classic" after the next commercial. We saw a shot of "Gary Stevens's horse" near the gate but still no use of the words Wise or Dan.

 

4:55 pm: Wise Dan cruised to an easy victory in the WRTC, stalking Silver Max and Optimizer until the head of the stretch, when he took over under a hand ride and stopped the timer in 1:51.84. Optimizer was second with Middie up for third. Hope NBC gets the water blotches off the camera lenses before the Derby.

Wise Dan's victory was his sixth straight and 9th in his last 10 starts.

Now begins the waiting.

 

5:05 pm: The current Derby odds, which really haven't changed much throughout the afternoon:

 

 

5:10 pm: And here are the multirace willpays into the Derby (except for the pick-5's, which are not posted on the NYRA Rewards site.)

Looks like 15 of the 19 Derby starters are covered in the pick-6, with only Golden Soul, Giant Finish, Falling Sky and Charming Kitten open to produce a carryover.

 

5:48 pm: Win odds updated above as of 5:45 pm. Nobody has moved more than a point except Vyjack, who was 43-1 yesterday and has come down from 33-1 to 26-1 in the last three hours.

 

7:00 pm: Orb's victory was impressive, deserving, satisfying and popular. He's an easy colt to root for and so are his connections. On to Baltimore.

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