The 2016 Kentucky Derby is officially less than 2 weeks away. I’m almost done with my handicapping. I like to handicap the Derby well before the actual race, make my wagers as soon as I get to the racetrack, and then take my time figuring out the other races on which I’m betting. In this blog, I run down the Kentucky Derby entrants in point standings from 11 to 15. See below for my take on 5 more of the likely entrants in this year’s Kentucky Derby field!
11. Destin – He has been ultra-impressive in his last 2 races. The main knocks are that both were at Tampa Bay Downs and that Destin won’t have another prep before the First Saturday in May. I’m not worried about any of that. The Derby will be Destin’s fifth race of the year. Todd Pletcher did right by the horse and the owners by resting Destin after his smashing Tampa Bay Derby win. Destin was sired by Giant’s Causeway. His mom is Dream of Summer, who was sired by Siberian Summer. Distance won’t be an issue. One thing to note is that Destin is one of only 4 other horses that have run a triple digit Beyer figure leading up to the Run for the Roses. Nyquist ran his triple digit figure in the 7 furlong San Vicente. Danzing Candy ran his while loose on the lead in the San Felipe. Exagerrator ran his triple digit Beyer in themuddy Santa Anita Derby. If you love speed, he’s a must use. I think he’s a must use even if you aren’t a speed handicapper because he’s tractable enough to stay close if need be but he also has a nice turn of foot. He’s one I’m using in my exactas, trifectas and supers.
12. Suddenbreakingnews – Here’s another that I’m putting into my exactas, trifectas and supers. First, Suddenbreakingnews will be going off at massive odds. Second, if you watch the Arkansas Derby again, he may have been the one to get to the finish line first if he had gotten the jump on Creator instead of the other way around. Suddenbreakingnews went widest of all and was finishing up the best in the Arkansas Derby. Finally, his breeding, out of Mineshaft and an Afleet Alex mare, says that he can run all day. This is one leggy colt that could jump up and get the job done on May 7. I’m using with a lot of confidence in all of my exotic bets.
13. Oscar Nominated – This Michael Maker trainee looked good winning the Spiral Stakes. But the Spiral, with the exception of Animal Kingdom in 2011, hasn’t been all that great of a barometer when it comes to the Kentucky Derby in recent years. Does anybody remember Dubai Sky, We Miss Artie, Black Onyx and Went the Day Well in terms of the Triple Crown Races? Oscar Nominated was sired by Kitten’s Joy. He’s from a Theatrical mare. He’s bred to excel over the turf, and there’s no doubt that unless the rigors of the Triple Crown ruin him in some way, he most likely will excel over the turf. I’m throwing him out.
14. Shagaf – Based on breeding and connections, I’m definitely including Shagaf in my trifectas. I might put him into my supers as well. It depends on how much money I want to invest in this year’s Kentucky Derby. He’s trained by the awesome Chad Brown. His owner is Shadwell Stable. Up until the Wood Memorial, where he broke strangely and never seemed to get a hold of the muddy track, Shagaf had been undefeated. He is sired by Bernardini and is out of an Unbridled’s Song mare. I think he could sneak into the tri at huge odds.
15. Whitmore – I’m not sure what to make of Whitmore. He strikes me as a horse that has a single move in him. The move doesn’t seem to last long, which should put him in a bad position come Kentucky Derby Day. The biggest question I have is why, unlike Suddenbreakingnews, he didn’t accelerate for a second time when asked. He hung in the Rebel Stakes and then he hung in the Arkansas Derby. It could be that after 4 races this year, 2 of which were at 1 1/6 miles with 1 being at 1 1/8 miles, Whitmore is tired. He took a step backward in the Arkansas Derby. I’m not sure he takes a step forward in the Kentucky Derby. I’m putting Whitmore on my exotic possible list until next week.
The second biggest day of the year is almost here! Start sharpening those handicapping skills by playing the BetAmerica Race Contests!