Well the first Saturday in May is upon us as of tomorrow and that means the annual Run for the Roses is here.
I realize the great majority of this board probably doesn't care but I have to imagine there's at least a few other degenerates like myself who enjoy bettin' the ponies. This is your place to discuss with your fellow M brethren what you think will go down in the fastest 2 minutes in sports (outside of Denard running the 2 minute offense of course).
I think Trinniberg will get out front early and set a blistering pace through the first 6-7 furlongs before fading. Hansen and Bodemeister will be right behind him slightly off the pace. I don't think Hansen has the distance anyways but even if he did I don't think he'll be able to resist the temptation of trying to keep up with Trinniberg early, further burning him out before the finish line. If Bodemeister breaks well he has a chance (duh, he's the favorite) but I don't know if he can rate off the pace like he'll need to to win this race. Bode will want to go early because of Trinniberg and Hansen, and his rider will want to hold him back and save something for the longer classic distance of 1 1/4 miles. This will waste valuable energy for Bodemeister, though, he may just be good enough to win it anyways.
This frantic early pace sets up the race perfectly for a middle of the pack stalker or a deep closer from the back. Anytime you have 20 horses racing on a track meant for 14 things are going to get crazy and luck will play a big part. I like Gemologist and I'll Have Another's outside post positions because they'll be able to settle in nicely coming into the first turn and not get caught up in the mix inside. If they can be placed favorably I like their chances for a stretch run as stalker types.
Union Rags is probably the best horse in this field and if he gets the right trip should win the race. However the right trip is tough to get in this race as it is, much less with starting from the 4 post. This leaves his connections an interesting decision. Try to get in a good stalking position early but risk being bumped and closed off, or, sit back early if the horse isn't fighting and try to come from further off the pace than they'd probably like. I don't know what they'll do, but he's a horse that can win this race from either scenario if it breaks right for him.
Daddy Nose Best has been the hot training horse this week and it seems like he's setting up for a real good race.
Dullahan is a deep closer who I like but he's been much better on grass and synthetic surfaces - I just don't know if he likes dirt all that much, and being a closer, he'll have plenty of dirt being kicked in his face the first mile of the race.
Alpha had a bad trip in the Wood Memorial and still almost beat Gemologist, but he missed a critical work due to an infection after that race and he starts from the 11 gate, which gets loaded 1st with the 1, and he has had gate issues in the past.
Creative Cause has been very consistent but lost a shoe shipping and hasn't trained well this week. He's still very capable, but I don't like seeing things "not go to plan" the week leading up to the derby when everything has to fall into place perfectly to win.
El Padrino will go off at longer odds just because of a bit of a dud in his last prep race the FL derby, finishing 4th. I don't put too much stock into that. He's a good horse, and can come from the back late. If it's raining, I'll have him involved in more tickets, his Mudda was a mudda!
Wow I can't believe I've typed all this and I've barely broken down half the field. Sorry for so TL;DR - I've got Derby fever!!
I'm sure I'll change my mind 5 times before actually placing my bets, but, currently I have it...
I'll Have Another (12-1)
Daddy Nose Best (15-1)
Union Rags (9-2)
El Padrino (20-1) (you can't bet on 5th place but I couldn't decide between him and Gem)