04/28/2011 2:21PM

Kentucky Derby questions: Horses to bet against


Which horse can't you wait to bet against?

Brad FreeAssuming he is among the favorites, Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude is a stone bet-against, for reasons beyond his lack of 2-year-old experience. His recent Santa Anita Derby win might be grossly overrated because of the relatively high 97 Beyer. Midnight Interlude was under a drive at the quarter pole in a slow-paced race short on quality. The overall visual impression was negative. The main thing Midnight Interlude proved at Santa Anita was he can grind out a win in a slow-paced race. The pace will be fast in the Kentucky Derby, and the belief is Midnight Interlude will not cope.

Another obvious bet-against is Uncle Mo, who has gone six months since running a good, true race. He was a fast 2-year-old, but the gastrointestinal alibi for his disappointing performance in the Wood hardly means he will return to top form. Pass.

Byron KingDialed In, with the aim to keep him out of the exacta. He just looks like one of those late-running types whom people always expected to relish the 1 1/4 miles of the Derby. And with some question marks surrounding others, he will probably take on the role of favorite by default. Most deep closers face a challenge in a 20-horse field, and his price will be too short to gamble on him winning the race from so far back. Bear in mind that when he won the Florida Derby, he capitalized on how the race was run – with fast early fractions and slow late splits.

Mike WatchmakerIn order for a bet like this to really mean anything – and in order for you to make real money if you’re right – you have to take a stand against a prominent horse who is sure to take a good chunk of action. For me, that horse is Dialed In. Although I acknowledge that Dialed In is capable of winning, he is likely to be the favorite despite having no appreciable edge over a handful of his opponents. His victory in the Florida Derby came in a race in which To Honor and Serve, Flashpoint, Soldat, and Stay Thirsty failed to race close to their capabilities, leaving Dialed In to run down only the 68-1 Shackleford. And even then, Dialed In was all out to win through a final furlong in a slow 13.69 seconds. That’s not the kind of favorite I like.

Next: Contenders without a prep win »

• After Uncle Mo's disappointing third in the Wood Memorial, does he deserve another chance?
• Which horses are live longshots, and what should their approximate odds be?
• Which horse can't you wait to bet against?
• Which horse hasn't won a prep race but can win the Derby?
• Not one of the most recent major prep races produced a winning Beyer Speed Figure of 100. How does that change the way you will handicap the Derby?
• Which prep race is most likely to be misinterpreted?
• Among the surprising prep race winners, which one is for real?
• Who is the horse to beat?