The racing world will stop for two minutes on Saturday night when one of the three Triple Crown events over in America takes place when some of the best horses in racing embark on the famous Kentucky Derby.
This race is synonymous around the world and will set us up for the remainder of the fantastic races to come on this side of the pond. We’ve had a good look through what is a wide open betting heat and come up with one bet.
23.57 Churchill Downs: Kentucky Derby
It’s the 148th running of what is considered to be the greatest 2 minutes in the sport, the Run of the Roses, the one & only Kentucky Derby. This year, we have a field of 20 & there’s no stand out with bookies going 5/1 the field. Epicenter is a winner of 3 of his 4 starts but hasn’t run in a Grade 1 which is a big negative for me & his low draw in 3 might prove his undoing if he doesn’t have the requisite early pace. The horse that has been talked about all week & is the most backed horse in the lead up to the race is Zandon. He won the Blue Grass on his most recent run beating Smile Happy in the process but was beaten by Epicenter immediately prior to that. My concern is that he’ll get a long way back & might struggle to come from out the back in such a big & competitive race, whilst all the fancy prices have gone. Taiba’s form is hard to knock but it’s rare that a horse with such limited racecourse experience (2 runs) can win a race of this calibre. I like the chances of Messier although he has something to find with Taiba but I genuinely feel he will turn the tables today.
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However, in a very open looking Derby this year, I think White Abarrio will go well at a price. A winner of 4 of his 5 starts, he’s improved from run to run & that culminated in an almost 2 length win in the Grade 1 Florida Derby last month. He comes out very well on speed ratings & that’s always a good place to start in these big races over the pond. He’s drawn in 15 but I like that draw given wide drawn runners often do well. He has excellent early pace & should be able to get a good stalking position on the outside before making his run around the top turn. In fact, his only defeat came when not getting a run where he finished Smile Happy 3 starts ago. He often travels well & generally has little trouble in settling which will be crucial in a race of this nature. His trainer has already come out & said that he was surprised by the selection’s 2 most recent wins as he missed time in the prep including a day out with a fever. The fact he ran so well in both, travelling well & galloping his rivals into the ground both times, is a good omen & with no reported hiccups this time around, it’s fair to assume he will improve again. He’ll appreciate every yard of this trip & appears to be one most suited by a mile and a quarter. From what I can deduce, he’d probably be favourite or very close to it if hailing from either the Baffert or Brown yard so at double figure odds, he’s well worth an each way investment.
Back White Abarrio (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 Coral (⅕ odds 1-4)
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