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Kentucky Derby Version 133

Posted by Matt on May 4, 2007

 

Get your Mint Juleps ready as we are just over 24-hours to the “Most Exciting 2-Minutes In Sports” as 20-thoroughbreds will take to the track in the “Run For The Roses” during the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It has been raining off-and-on for the past two days here in the Bluegrass and there looks to be a 60% chance of rain tomorrow in Louisville with a 50% chance at post-time. These conditions will leave the track muddy and slow and this tends to lend favor to the more powerful runners.

Curlin is the early-line favorite for the race, coming in at 7-2 odds, but has only made three starts to date and although he is 3-0, the last horse to win the Kentucky Derby with only three lifetime starts going in to the Derby was Regret in 1915. Additionally, Curlin was an unraced two-year-old, and it has been 125 years since an unraced two-year-old has won the Kentucky Derby with Apollo in 1882. Some fear that Curlin will run away with it all tomorrow but I am not convinced given his inexperience, though I could be wrong. Also, there are a lot of other horses in the field that have proven themselves in dirt-races of 1 1/8-miles (the longest races to date going in to the 1 1/4 miles Kentucky Derby).

1 1/8-miles dirt-race winners of 2007 that will be in the Kentucky Derby:

  • Scat Daddy (T. Pletcher / E. Prado) – Fountain of Youth Stakes – Gulfstream Park – Kentucky Derby Odds: 10-1
  • Hard Spun (J.L. Jones / M. Pino ) – Lanes End Stakes – Turfway Park – Kentucky Derby Odds: 15-1
  • Dominican (D. Miller / R. Bejarano) – Palm Beach Stakes – Gulfstream Park – Kentucky Derby Odds: 20-1
  • Scat Daddy (T. Pletcher / E. Prado) (again) – Florida Derby – Gulfstream Park – Kentucky Derby Odds: 10-1
  • Nobiz Like Showbiz (B. Tagg / C. Velasquez) – Wood Memorial Stakes – Aquaduct Racetrack – Kentucky Derby Odds: 8-1
  • Tiago (J. Shirreffs / M. Smith) – Santa Anita Derby – Santa Anita Park – Kentucky Derby Odds: 15-1
  • Cowtown Cat (T. Pletcher / F. Jara) – Illinois Derby – Hawthorne Race Course – Kentucky Derby Odds: 20-1
  • Dominican (D. Miller / R. Bejarano) (again) – BlueGrass Stakes – Keeneland Race Course – Kentucky Derby Odds: 20-1
  • Curlin (S. Asmussen / R. Albarado) – Arkansas Derby – Oaklawn Park – Kentucky Derby Odds: 7-2

This will be a Kentucky Derby with out big name trainers such as Bob Baffert, Nick Zito, and Hall-of-Famer D. Wayne Lukas, but Todd Pletcher must have felt the need to make up for their absence as he is putting in 5-horses, giving him a 25% chance at victory.

For my winner prediction, I am sticking with my early favorite of Scat Daddy, at 10-1 odds, who won the last race he appeared in leading up to tomorrow’s Derby, the Florida Derby, by 1 1/8th-length. Scat Daddy has a big-name trainer in Todd Pletcher and the sentimental favorite as his jockey in Edgar Prado, who was aboard the now cult-followed Barbaro during the first two legs of last year’s Triple Crown, including Barbaro’s amazing 6 1/2-lengths victory in the Kentucky Derby. Scat Daddy starts from the 14th position.

Place and show were a bit tougher but I am going with race-favorite Curlin to place from the 2nd position at 7-2 odds. As long as Curlin can get off to a quick start and not get pinched along the inside rail, he will be able to compete for the duration of the race with stud-jockey Robby Albarado. To round out my top three, I am taking Nobiz Like Showbiz to show with solid odds at 8-1 from the 12th position. Nobiz Like Showbiz and Scat Daddy have each recorded a win over the other in major races leading up the the Kentucky Derby and as long as he can stay out of trouble, and stalk, he should be in contention on the back stretch, especially with talented trainer Barclay Tagg, who was 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide’s trainer.

As always, anything can happy and it should be an exciting race as there are a lot of thoroughbreds in this one who have shown at least some promise this season. Plus, nothing beats hearing announcer Dave Johnson really digging deep with “AND DOWN the stretch they come!”

Post-time for the Derby is 6:05PM and can be seen live on NBC.

Predictions:

Win: Scat Daddy (T. Pletcher / E. Prado) – Kentucky Derby Odds: 10-1

Place: Curlin (S. Asmussen / R. Albarado) – Kentucky Derby Odds: 7-2

Show: Nobiz Like Showbiz (B. Tagg / C. Velasquez) – Kentucky Derby Odds: 8-1

Bets:

To Win: Scat Daddy

Trifecta: Scat Daddy, Curlin, Nobiz Like Showbiz

Trifecta Box: Scat Daddy, Curlin, Nobiz Like Showbiz, Hard Spun, Tiago

Most Likely To Appear On National Television Wasted: Jerry O’Connell

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