2016 Kentucky Derby Picks and Analysis

PACE:

OUTWORK (Uncle Mo/ Empire Maker), #15 Post, 15-1

98 Beyer, 242 Tomlinson

Pros: Showed impressive grit when winning a sloppy edition of the Wood Memorial in his last, setting a decent pace up front and holding on for the win. His pedigree sizes up well in terms of the AWD numbers of his sire and damsire (7.0/7.7). In four career starts, he’s never had a regression in terms of Brisnet figures, although he did level off over his last two. Has been the darling of the Derby works.

Cons: Lightly raced with only four career starts, he enters off winning the slowest Wood Memorial in 92 years, and had to fight tooth and nail to hold off an 81-1 maiden in stretch. If it was surprising that he was able to do so after setting a fast pace, consider the plodding closing fractions the reason. He came home in :40.66 over the final 3/8 and :14.02 over the final 1/8, which all adds up to a fairly brutal Brisnet Late Pace figure of 64. That simply will not get it done in the stretch at Churchill. His Dosage of 11.00 is off the charts in terms of historical Derby criteria (anything above 7.00 is three standard deviations from the mean), and his low Tomlinson seems to confirm these distance questions. Even having run well in his last two, he still has yet to break the Triple Digit Beyer threshold.

Conclusion: He will be part of what is always a torrid pace up front, and we generally veer away from these types of runners unless there is a strong reason to the contrary. Visually, the Wood Memorial was ugly, and we aren’t inclined to use any of those runners on any tickets here.

DANZING CANDY (Twirling Candy/ Songandaprayer), #20 Post, 15-1

100 Beyer, 226 Tomlinson

Pros: Front-runner blew away a pretty strong San Felipe field two back in a wire to wire fashion, posting a 100 Beyer in the process, one of just three runners here to break the triple digit barrier around two turns. The 104 Brisnet figure he earned in that race is actually the highest in the field around two turns.

Cons: The pedigree leaves a lot to be desired for a race of this distance. While the sample size of his sire is small, he shows by far the worst AWD numbers in the field (6.5/6.0), which would also be worse than any Derby winner has ever had, and his Tomlinson is in the lower tier as well. Of course, his damsire set the fastest opening fractions in the history of this race back in 2001 before fading badly. The feeling was that Danzing Candy would endure a similar fate if he tried to set fast fractions in the Santa Anita Derby, and that’s exactly what happened. His come home times (:42.04, :14.81) and Brisnet Late Pace figure (53) are the lowest in the field. As a need-the-lead type out of the widest post, he’ll have to really gun it early to clear the field.

Conclusion: He has virtually no chance in this race unless he can rate behind the pace. If he didn’t show the ability to do that in his last, it is quite the leap of faith to believe he can do it here with a larger field and more speed to contend with. He may just be a headstrong colt whose high cruising speed may be better suited to shorter races. He wants no part of this distance, and is our pick to finish last. (Someone has to)

NYQUIST (Uncle Mo/ Forestry) #13 Post, 3-1 Morning Line Favorite

94 Beyer, 202 Tomlinson

Pros: Undefeated two year old champion comes into this race as a deserving favorite following a convincing Florida Derby win, a classy effort following a ship in from California. He’s beaten Exaggerator in three meetings, so he was highly flattered by the Santa Anita Derby result. His ability to handle races beyond 9f is questionable, but he did come home in reasonable fractions in his last. In fact, in a field full of colts that didn’t close especially well in their final preps, he holds the fastest 3/8 come home time of :37.72.

Cons: His connections somewhat curiously chose to prepare him for this with an abnormally light racing schedule that included only one two turn prep preceded by a 7f sprint tuneup. While all he does is win, he still hasn’t posted a triple digit Beyer around two turns, and will need to improve several lengths upon his prior form to win this race. The fact that his speed figures have declined as the distances have gotten longer is certainly a reason for concern, in combination with the fact that his damsire is Forestry for heaven’s sake. The pedigree data supports this worry as well as it pertains to Dosage, AWD and Tomlinson Distance Rating. His Dosage of 7.00 is especially worthy of raising one’s eyebrows, as it is nearly three standard deviations below the mean of an average Derby winner, and his field-low Tomlinson is right on that line as well; in fact, 202 would be the lowest Tomlinson ever for a Derby winner. His Florida Derby win was billed as a heavyweight battle against Mohaymen, but it is worth asking, via the transitive property, what exactly Mohaymen has beaten of any real consequence.

Conclusion: The pedigree and speed figure concerns raise several red flags, and it is an uncommon thing indeed to see an undefeated Derby favorite with so many apparent negatives. But what makes it even more difficult to support him in this spot is the fact that he doesn’t really show any qualities above what we’d expect to see from a Derby winner. What is his overpowering advantage against this field? On paper, it doesn’t exist, aside from the fact that he simply doesn’t let horses past him in the stretch. He’s the horse to beat, but with so many question marks, it is worth a shot to beat him on the top line at these odds. Use defensively in the bottom of trifectas, but the real value in this race may be keeping him out of the exacta. While it would certainly be no real surprise to see him win, he’d break some serious historical precedents in doing so, and would also be the fourth consecutive favorite to win this race, which hasn’t happened since 1975.

DESTIN (Giant’s Causeway/ Siberian Summer) #9 Post, 15-1

100 Beyer, 310 Tomlinson

Pros: Tampa Bay Derby winner will certainly be well rested and fresh for this, entering off a somewhat unprecedented eight week layoff. The form of that race has held up well, with beaten horses Outwork and Brody’s Cause coming back to win the Wood Memorial and Blue Grass stakes respectively. While he’s never run beyond 8.5f, his Brisnet Late Pace figure at that distance is 100, which is highly competitive here, and his figures were ascending through each stage of his last two races. In fact, if we are throwing out distance altogether, his Late Pace figure of 109 two back in the Sam Davis is tied for second best in the field. He also posted triple digit Beyer and Bris figures in his last, one of only three runners to do so, and his Dosage is strong enough to suggest he should be fine with the distance. He’s trained well over the track.

Cons: It’s the giant pink elephant in the room: THAT LAYOFF. No horse has ever won this race off an eight-week layoff, but not many have tried. The connections had good reasons for campaigning him this way, as his Thorograph number for the Tampa Bay Derby was simply off the charts, and they didn’t want to risk him peaking too soon. What bothers us more than the layoff is the jump from 8.5 to 10f, which also has not been done before in this race by a winner in about 100 years. For a horse that likes to run near the pace, that’s putting a whole lot of stake in a pedigree that appears competitive but not exactly towering over the rest of these. The feeling here is that he has to be short for this.

Conclusion: He’s probably the biggest mystery in the field, because there just isn’t a lot to go on in terms of handicapping angles. He is a full brother to Creative Cause, who was our 2008 selection to win this race. We will find out how talented he is soon enough, but the overwhelming sentiment has to be that he simply doesn’t have enough bottom under him to be considered a win candidate here. Still, there’s enough going his way for him to be highly useable on the bottom of exotics, and if he does win, look out for similarly unorthodox training patterns to continue.

MOHAYMEN (Tapit/ Dixie Union), #14 Post, 10-1

95 Beyer, 249 Tomlinson

Pros: Looked professional as could be in winning the Fountain of Youth at 8.5f with push-button authority, and earned a Brisnet Speed Rating of 102 for that effort. Before that, he stormed home in the Holy Bull at the same distance, showing a field high Late Pace figure of 115.

Cons: No colt has ever won the Derby after being beaten as badly as he was (8.25 lengths) in the Florida Derby. Form and regression questions abound, as the horses he had beaten prior to that dud, including Greenpointcrusader, Flexibility and Zulu, all failed to even make the Derby field. Who has he beaten? He faded so badly in the Florida Derby over a wet track that is was hardly even believable. It could be that he simply didn’t take to the track condition that day, or it could be that he is simply not the type of horse that wants to go much further than 8.5f; that does happen to Tapit colts without classic breeding on the damside. Even for all the hype surrounding him leading up to his Florida Derby dud, he had still never ran anything faster than a 95 Beyer. His works over the track have bordered on ancy and he may be very close to a pace. Amazingly, no horse has ever won the Derby out of the #14 Post in the last 40 years.

Conclusion: It’s amazing what one race can do to your stock as a Derby contender. Had he won the Florida Derby with authority as the odds-on favorite, he’d be as heavy a favorite here as American Pharoah and California Chrome were before him. Instead, he’s liable to be completely overlooked. We were always going to be against him based on his pedigree, however, and if he hits the board after that disaster of an effort in his last, well, that’s gambling.

JUST OFF THE PACE

MOR SPIRIT (Eskendereya/ Dixie Union), #17 Post, 12-1

97 Beyer, 262 Tomlinson 

Pros: He showed a high cruising speed running close to the pace and devouring the leaders in his stretch wins in the 8.5f Los Alamitos Futurity and the Robert Lewis over fast tracks. In the Lewis, he posted a massive Late Pace figure of 108, and had actually posted three straight double digit Late Pace numbers before the Santa Anita Derby flop. He’s a bit of a grinder that is always in the mix. He’s never finished outside of the exacta in seven career starts, so there is a lot to like in terms of his consistency. He shows a strong Dosage profile of 1.57, and his sharp work of :59.80 over the track seems to indicate Baffert is training him to be in the early mix.

Cons: Finishing 2nd in his last two races, he has seemed to lack a turn of foot or a will to win. Maybe he didn’t care for the wet surface in the Santa Anita Derby, but he plodded home in :40.0 over the final 3/8, a dreadful 76 Brisnet Late Pace figure, and that will not get it done in this race. His training at Churchill has been a bit overly eager with bizarre internal fractions and he may be closer to the pace than expected. Drawing far outside, he’ll need to be in order to avoid a wide trip.

Conclusion: It would certainly seem like poetic justice for him to win this race for his sire, who might well have been a Triple Crown winner if not sidelined from this race with an injury. We were prepared to make him our top selection had he won the Santa Anita Derby convincingly, so maybe he deserves a bit of slack given the track condition that day, although he did run well when 2nd over a sloppy Churchill track as a two year old which would seem to nullify that excuse. Still, the feeling is that he is not a flashy colt and lacks dazzle or the will to win, but could be usable underneath in superfectas.

SHAGAF (Bernardini/ Unbridled’s Song), #16 Post, 20-1

87 Beyer, 236 Tomlinson

Pros: Perhaps he deserves a bit of a pass for his horrendous 5th in the Wood Memorial considering the trip he had. His pedigree holds up well from an AWD standpoint, even if the Tomlinson leaves much to be desired. Lightly raced colt has upside potential.

Cons: Difficult to support off only four career starts given his current trajectory. He has yet to run above a 90 Beyer, and plodded home in a Wood Memorial that was already on the slow side.

Conclusion: This is a tough spot to expect the type of improvement he would need to factor here, and if we are tossing the whole Wood Memorial and he was 5th there, we have to look elsewhere.

LANI (Tapit/ Sunday Silence) #8 Post, 30-1

83 Beyer Equivalent, 278 Tomlinson

Pros: UAE Derby winner will ship from Dubai and is very well-bred, with highly competitive Dosage and AWD numbers. He figures to be placed tactically.

Cons: It goes without saying, but Dubai shippers have not historically had much success in this race, with a 5th place finish by Master of Hounds the highest to date, and with many more off the board well beyond that. They’re always a bit of a mystery, but if his Beyer equivalent is to be believed, he is many lengths behind this group, and that’s in a slow year to boot. He has not looked good at all over the track and did not even care to finish his 6f work last week.

Conclusion: The pedigree, especially on the bottom is intriguing enough to justify inclusion on the bottom of the deepest of superfecta tickets, but not much more. The day a horse from Dubai wins or even hits the board in the Kentucky Derby, we will have ticket confetti.

MAJESTO (Tiznow/ Unaccounted For) #18 Post, 30-1

89 Beyer, 364 Tomlinson

Pros: His daddy is one of our all-time favorites, and his Tomlinson Distance Figure is tops in the field. He ran close to the pace when 2nd in the Florida Derby and managed to come home reasonably behind Nyquist, missing the favorite by just 3.25 lengths and galloping out ahead of him. If Nyquist is considered such a likely winner by some here, then this guy stands a chance to make an impact as well, considering he is far better bred for the distance. It bears mention that at a shorter distance (8.5f), his Late Pace figure of 109 when breaking his maiden is tied for second highest in the field.

Cons: Not only has he not cracked the triple digit Beyer threshold, he hasn’t even broken 90. He took five races to break his maiden, unable to accomplish such as a juvenile, and has only one career win. After Mohaymen stopped running in the Florida Derby, somebody had to finish second. It simply was not a fast race.

Conclusion: He is interesting from a pedigree standpoint for sure, and it bears mention that even though he shows only one win in six career starts, that five of those races have been around two turns. Still, if we’re playing against Nyquist, then we’re playing against Majesto as well. Those who think Nyquist is a sure fire winner should use him in exactas, however, as top Tomlinson has usually been one of our favorite angles.

STALKERS

GUN RUNNER (Candy Ride/ Giant’s Causeway) #5 Post, 10-1

91 Beyer, 261 Tomlinson

Pros: His pedigree is among our favorites in the entire field, and his field-low Dosage number adds support to this opinion (1.25). He should only improve with the added distance. He has enough tactical speed to stay near the leaders and make a winning move late in the race, as he shows a competitive Brisnet Late Pace figure in a field fairly devoid of closing punch (98), and came home his final 1/8 in :12.94 in his last. He descends from the Mr. Prospector sire line, which has won 13 of the last 24 Kentucky Derbys. He is one of only two colts in the field to post ascending Brisnet Speed figures in each race of his career. He has a win over the track, having broken his maiden at Churchill. He may have drawn the very best of all, somehow getting four deep closers all inside of him, and should enjoy a ground-saving mid-pack trip if he wants it.

Cons: Enters off a six week layoff since his Louisiana Derby win. No horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby straight from the Louisiana Derby, and only one, Animal Kingdom, has ever won it off a six week layoff. He’s light in terms of Beyer numbers, with a career high of just 91, although this is somewhat at odds with his higher Brisnet (100, recently revised down) and Equibase (105) figures. He has a tendency to veer towards the rail once he loses a target in front of him, but he has had six weeks to mature and gain professionalism since his last race.

Conclusion: The star of the Fairgrounds show takes a bit of a step up in class here having not beaten a lot there, but looks like the value of the race to our eyes. In fact, Gun Runner has only a single negative, his Beyer numbers. It is rare for speed figures to be at such odds with each other; usually even if the numbers are different, they still confirm the same thing. He has the right running style and pedigree to win this race, and is very useable on top and in outright wagers. Perhaps our favorite angle is the ascending Bris figures, and the layoff should ensure a fresh horse that is less of a bounce risk off his last, ready to take another step forward. One of two that we believe can win.

EXAGGERATOR (Curlin/ Vindication) #11 Post, 8-1

103 Beyer, 238 Tomlinson

Pros: Son of Curlin is the closest descendant of Mr. Prospector in the field (great grandsire). He enters with great foundation off nine career starts and having won as a two year old, and we are fans of how he campaigned leading up to this race, tuning up with a sprint and then running twice around two turns. His dominating Santa Anita Derby win over a sloppy track earned field high Beyer and Brisnet figures for the 9f distance (103, 102), and he’s also the only colt in the field to post four consecutive triple digit Brisnet figures; by any reasonable measure, he’s the fastest colt in the field in terms of figures. He demonstrated an impressive turn of foot in that race as he blew by the leaders around the turn, the type of move that wins Derbys, and posted a respectable Brisnet Late Pace figure of 98. He has now won on three different tracks, and this would be a fourth.

Cons: Since he had won as a two year old over a sloppy track as well, there is validity to the argument that he may have benefited from the off-going at Santa Anita, which he will probably not see at Churchill. While his move was visually impressive, his come home times were not, as he finished his last 3/8 in :38.09 and his last furlong in :13.36. On the flip side, the slop and the fact that he was not fully extended may have had a say in those fractions as well. He has lost to the favored Nyquist in all three of their meetings. The Tomlinson number is well below where you would want it to be to pick him for the win, as only Giacomo has ever won with a lower number (215), and there are some distance concerns based upon the bottom of his pedigree (6.9 AWD).

Conclusion: He’s been our Derby pick since last fall, and nothing about his Santa Anita Derby performance leads us to jump off now. The truth is that the progeny of Curlin have shown a tendency to develop late and improve rapidly, just as the sire himself did. Both Palace Malice and Keen Ice won Grade I races later in their three year old seasons. While the slop certainly didn’t hurt Exaggerator in his last, this space feels it is highly likely that he is simply experiencing a similar sort of move forward. His campaign has been perfectly planned, having run a 7f prep as a sharpener before stretching out to 8.5 and then 9f. The pick, wet or dry.

OSCAR NOMINATED (Kitten’s Joy/ Theatrical), #7 Post, 50-1

82 Beyer, 355 Tomlinson

Pros: Came home in field best fractions (:37.29 and :12.38) when winning the Sprial for the Ramsey connections, but that of course was on a synthetic surface and into a plodding pace of 1:13.70 up front. His breeding shows mostly turf influences, but in terms of the distance itself, that shouldn’t be a problem based on pedigree, and his is actually the best AWD composite in the field.

Cons: In seven career races, he’s contested strictly turf and synthetic surfaces, never racing on dirt. Only one horse has ever won this race without previously running on dirt (Animal Kingdom in 2011), and his works over the track have not caught clockers’ attention the way that one’s did. His career best Beyer of 82 is well below the competition here and virtually eliminates him, unless there is some reason to believe he will improve massively with the surface switch that we are missing entirely.

Conclusion: Of course Ramsey is going to run him here because he can, but this is not the right spot for this colt, who should be a complete non-factor.

WHITMORE (Pleasantly Perfect/ Scat Daddy) #10 Post, 20-1

92 Beyer, 264 Tomlinson

Pros: He had a rough trip when 3rd in his last in the Arkansas Derby, and his running style suggests he possesses a turn of a foot he is waiting to unleash under the right circumstances.

Cons: He has yet to win a two turn race, and his speed figures are well below the best here. His pedigree numbers are somewhat mixed, with classic influences on top but more of a miler pedigree underneath. There are certainly others that scream “10f horse” more than this one does, and the fact that he’s lost ground in the stretch of his last three races, two at 8.5f and one at 9f, may indicate he is more of a miler.

Conclusion: Some like his chances a great deal more than we do. Perhaps it is the Scat Daddy association, which has been a wise play against every time. He just appears very middling in this group. In a race this wide open, he has every right to hit the board with an improved effort, but there are others we like a bit more for exotics wagers.

TOM’S READY (More Than Ready/ Broad Brush) #12 Post, 30-1

85 Beyer, 322 Tomlinson

Pros: He doesn’t have a lot of red flags outside of the fact that he hasn’t run fast yet. He did lose ground in the stretch when 2nd in what on paper appears to have been a slowly run Louisiana Derby, but criteria such as pedigree and closing ability seem average enough.

Cons: He was handily beaten by 4.5 lengths when 2nd in the Louisiana Derby, and shows just one win in eight starts. Having not run higher than an 85 Beyer, his speed figures are among the lowest in the field. He has only one career win, and only Giacomo has won this race in the last quarter century with such a profile.

Conclusion: Dallas Stewart colts like Golden Soul and Commanding Curve have crashed Derby exactas in recent years with similar profiles that don’t appear to stack up, so he can’t be dismissed completely, but the feeling is that we are due for some mean reversion…meaning this time, he’s finally off the board.

CLOSERS

CREATOR (Tapit/ Privately Held) #3 Post, 10-1

96 Beyer, 356 Tomlinson

Pros: Showed an explosive stretch kick when winning the Arkansas Derby in his last, coming home impressively for his final 3/8 and 1/8 (:37.91, :12.64). Along with that final 1/8 time, his Brisnet Late Pace figure of 101 is tops in the field for 9f, and he showed ascending pace figures at each stage of the race; there is every reason to believe he is the field’s strongest closer based on the numbers. His pedigree data is very strong, mostly thanks to the bottom, which is laden with international classic winners. Sons of Tapit have never been our favorite plays in races beyond 9f, but that all went out the window with Tonalist. He has a win over the track, having broken his maiden at Churchill.

Cons: He took six races to break his maiden, and would be the first horse to ever win the Derby having broken his maiden in February. The 96 Beyer he posted in winning the Arkansas Derby was his career high. He has a lot of races under his belt and this is a quick turnaround. And, he did get a bit of a weight break against his rivals in his last, and will move up from 118 to 126 in the Derby.

Conclusion: It depends on how rapidly improving one believes this colt is and how tired he will be wheeling back on three weeks rest. He does show the least red flags in the field, as only his Beyer figure is well below the mean of an average Derby winner. If he can take another step forward equal to his last, then that goes out the window, and there is very little to hold against him in this spot. Leave the best closer in the field off your tickets at your peril.

MY MAN SAM (Trappe Shot/ Arch), #6 Post, 20-1

95 Beyer, 283 Tomlinson

Pros: Lightly raced son of Trappe Shot ran on well to be 2nd in the Blue Grass in just his fourth career start, and had already paired 90+ Beyers before that. His final 1/8 time of :12.65 is tied for the fastest in the field, and he shows every indication of a colt that is begging for more ground, especially in a long stretch like Churchill. The post draw is great, as he can drop back and save ground.

Cons: While there is room to improve, he enters this race still light on speed figures relative to the top candidates, and actually regressed from the 95 Beyer he ran two starts back in an allowance race back to an 88 in the Blue Grass. The Derby is a difficult race to win with so little foundation; he has just four starts under his belt, which only 2 such winners in the last 98 years have had; he enters without a win as a juvenile and with only one win, a profile which only 3 of the last 25 winners have shown. His pedigree is a bit mixed, with sprint influences on top and strong distance influences underneath. His sire AWD of 6.6 is the 2nd lowest in the field.

Conclusion: His inexperience makes him tough to play on the top line, although he may have as much upside as any of these runners, and since his speed figures appear to be his lone negative, those confident of improvement will find a lot to like. He appears very playable as an outright wager and underneath in exactas and trifectas, as he will most certainly be running on late.

MO TOM (Uncle Mo/ Rubiano), #4 Post, 20-1

87 Beyer, 209 Tomlinson

Pros: He’s one of just two colts in the field to show ascending Brisnet Speed Figures in each of his seven career races, and he’s done so with tremendously bad racing luck, having been checked badly in the stretch in each of his last two outings. This makes his true ability somewhat of a mystery. He’s the only runner in the field with a stakes win at Churchill.

Cons: The pedigree data is somewhat mixed, with the field’s 2nd lowest Tomlinson paired with a strong Dosage number. That’s what you get with all of these Uncle Mos, but we are hesitant to assume his progeny will excel as distances get longer considering he was a dynamite miler but limited beyond that. His closing style is somewhat perplexing to begin with, and we will learn in time, with eventual clean trips, whether he’s better closing at 8f or 10f. Whether he gets that here, with a post that is again near the rail where he tends to find trouble, remains to be seen.

Conclusion: His Beyer numbers are low, but it’s tough to hold those against him considering the trips he’s had in his last three races. The Tomlinson is a huge historical red flag, but one must remember when weighing all of these Uncle Mos that the sample size is very small for this data, this being his first crop. Of course, any deep closer is going to depend on racing luck, especially in this race, so either he is due for some or he is simply the type of horse that always finds his way into trouble. The question isn’t whether he will be coming late, it is simply whether he is fast enough, which makes him interesting on the bottom of trifectas, but difficult to support any higher than that.

BRODY’S CAUSE (Giant’s Causeway/ Sahm) #19 Post, 12-1

91 Beyer, 332 Tomlinson

Pros: He bounced back from his Tampa Bay Derby fiasco by winning the Blue Grass with authority, and enters this race third off the lay, which is a great spot to be in the form cycle. Closer is well bred for this distance, showing Dosage, Tomlinson and AWD numbers that are among the field’s best, and all above the mean for an average Derby winner. He has a win over the track, having broken his maiden at Churchill, and has looked great training over it.

Cons: All of his best races have come at Keeneland, and even as visually impressive as his Blue Grass win was, it didn’t come back very fast in terms of speed figures. He would need a huge jump forward from that effort to win. While his late punch appears to be his best asset, there are several others in this field that show better Brisnet Late Pace numbers.

Conclusion: We’re willing to completely toss his flat Tampa Bay Derby; perhaps he needed that race off the layoff or he simply didn’t take to the notoriously finicky track there. But you do have to wonder about his consistency. His speed figures don’t inspire much confidence in him as a win contender, but given his running style and pedigree, he is highly playable in exactas and trifectas, and if we like Exaggerator to win and this one has beaten him twice, he is certainly in the conversation.

SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS (Mineshaft/ Afleet Alex) #2 Post, 20-1

94 Beyer, 359 Tomlinson

Pros: That pedigree is astonishing. Talk about a horse bred for the distance, with Grade I winners at 10-12f in his immediate family. We will overlook his rather high Dosage number of 4.20 in favor of common sense. He ran his best career race last out when stretching out to 9f, while at a 4 pound weight disadvantage to the winner, and should only get better with the extra panel here. His Brisnet Late Pace figure of 98 stacks up well among these. He turned in a sharp sub-60 second 5f work training up to this, and adds equipment called a shadow roll, which sounds pretty badass.

Cons: His running style could leave him with too much to do late in this race, as he hasn’t started his move soon enough when beaten in his last two, and while he could save ground from his inside post he has to be careful to not get buried on the rail behind a curtain of horses. With middling speed figures, perhaps he simply isn’t fast enough to make an impact.

Conclusion: One thing is for sure, he’ll be flying late. Whether he has enough speed to hit the board is anyone’s guess, and how far back he is at the quarter pole will likely dictate his fate, but we can’t look away from that pedigree. Seems very logical for the bottom spots in exotics, and although there are other closers here that we like slightly more, the feeling is that if you are using Creator, he has to be used as well.

TROJAN NATION (Street Cry/ Summer Squall) #1 Post, 50-1

93 Beyer, 304 Tomlinson

Pros: He is a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line, and from a pedigree standpoint, shouldn’t struggle much with the distance.

Cons: He’s the lone maiden in the field, and had never even finished 2nd before coming out of the clouds to get there on the rail in a very slow edition of the Wood Memorial. As impressive as his closing move appeared visually in that race, it actually doesn’t stack up at all with the best closers here in terms of fractions of Late Pace figures. He draws the dreaded #1 Post, although given his running style, it shouldn’t make that much of a difference in his finish.

Conclusion: The feeling is that his 2nd in the Wood is more an indictment of that race than anything else. He should be flying late and could improve enough to manage a finish in the top half of the field if the race implodes up front, but anything more than that is a stretch. The Kentucky Derby is a rough spot for a maiden.

Picks:

  1. Exaggerator
  2. Gun Runner
  3. Creator
  4. Brody’s Cause
  5. My Man Sam
  6. Nyquist
  7. Suddenbreakingnews
  8. Mo Tom
  9. Mor Spirit
  10. Destin
  11. Majesto
  12. Mohaymen
  13. Tom’s Ready
  14. Whitmore
  15. Oscar Nominated
  16. Trojan Nation
  17. Outwork
  18. Shagaf
  19. Lani
  20. Danzing Candy

How To Bet $100 On The Kentucky Derby:

$10 Win, $20 To Place on EXAGGERATOR

$20 To Place on GUN RUNNER

$2 Exacta Box: EXAGGERTOR, GUN RUNNER, CREATOR, BRODY’S CAUSE ($24)

$0.50 Trifecta Part Wheel: EXAGGERATOR, GUN RUNNER/ EXAGGERATOR, GUN RUNNER, CREATOR, BRODY’S CAUSE, MY MAN SAM/ EXAGGERATOR, GUN RUNNER, CREATOR, BRODY’S CAUSE, MY MAN SAM, NYQUIST, SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS, MO TOM ($24)

$1 Superfecta: EXAGGERATOR, GUN RUNNER/ EXAGGERATOR, GUN RUNNER/ CREATOR/ BRODY’S CAUSE ($2)

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