Racing Ink

My regular daily “Ink in My Coffee” post is below. Scroll down if that’s what you’re looking for.

However, if you want to read my race picks, stay here.

Today, Friday, there are two races at Churchill Downs on which I’ll bet. In the first race, I like Fancy Fusaichi and Tactical Warning (both across the board). In the 10th, the Kentucky Oaks, if both Proud Spell and Eight Belles run, I’ll bet them both across the board and in a boxed exacta. Eight Belles is also scheduled to run in tomorrow’s Derby. If she scratches from the Oaks, I’ll pick another horse in the post parade, but keep Proud Spell across the board.

Saturday’s Race Card at Churchill Downs:

Race 1:
Biker Boy is scheduled to run on Friday, but if he doesn’t, I’ll bet him here. I also like Bullet Rain and Sale Pending. I’ll probably bet all three across the board. Communicated will be a post parade decision – it’s a John Velazquez/Todd Pletcher partnership and I don’t want to dismiss it without one last look at the horse.

Race 2:
Most of my bets today will be across the board. I’m doing it again in this race with Sly Storm, Loving Vindication, and BR’s Girl. My longshot show bet here is Belle Roja. I like Stealing Kisses, but not sure she can triumph in this field. I’ll make the final decision on her in the post.

Race 3:
Spin Master across the board. Forty Grams to place or show if he looks amazing.

Race 4:
I’ll probably sit this one out. I’ll look at Cherokee Artist and Chris Got Even, but they will have to really impress me for me to spend money on them rather than a cocktail.

Race 5: Churchill Downs Stakes:

Looks like it’s time for another cocktail. I’ll look at the long shot Island Warrior and 5/1 shot Elite Squadron (because JV’s on him) in the paddock, but probably sit this one out, too.

Race 6: La Troienne Grade 3 Stakes:

Game Face across the board – that’s what she has, and it’s JV/Pletcher.
Secret Gypsy to place and show.
I want to look at Informed Decision because Jonathan Sheppard is the trainer. I want to look at Keep the Peace because Edgar Prado’s the jockey. If they were teamed, this would not be a decision, but they’re not, so I want to see the horses first.
My long shot pick for this race is Tiz To Dream at 30-1 for a show bet.

Race7: Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Grade 3:
Dreaming of Anna is the favorite here; if the jockey was different, I’d be more inclined to favor her. I’ll look at her in the paddock. If she’s in a good mood and looks sharp, I’ll bet her. If she frets, I may skip her.
I like Sharp Susan and Danzon (JV/Pletcher) across the board. I’m going to take a look at Bayou Lassie (Dale Romans trainer, Edgar Prado up) for a place or show spot. Ventura looks like a pretty safe bet to get in the top four somewhere, but my longshot will be VIP Princess at 50-1 for a show spot, unless she fusses in a bad way in the paddock.

Race 8: Humana Distaff Grade 1:
Sugar Swirl has low odds, but I’m not familiar with her racing style, so I’ll have to wait and see how she looks. Hystericalady, Miss Macy Sue, and Miraculous Miss are all old favorites. I’ll probably go across the board with those three and maybe toss them into a few boxed exactas or a boxed trifecta. Change It Up will probably be my longshot show bet at 15-1. I’m surprised that Baroness Thatcher’s odds are 10-1 – I would have expected them to be shorter. She disappointed me the last time I bet her, so she will have to really impress me to win me back.

Race 9: Woodford Reserve Turf Grade 1:
War Monger across the board. Einstein to place and show. Duveen and Artiste Royal to show. I want to look at the Irish horse Golden Balls, who’s the current favorite. He should like the turf, so he’s worth some money unless he has a very bad day.

Race 10: The Kentucky Derby Grade 1:

Big Brown is the favorite. He’s also got the outside post. He’s going to have to be a Freak horse to keep his poise, not wear himself out early, and win. If he was in the middle post position, I’d throw him out, because I think he’d freak the minute he got squished. I think the outside post helps him, but he’s going to have to move that big butt of his awfully fast AND not run out of steam to win this. Will Kent tuck him to the rail, if he can? Will that make BB feel more confident, or will the pressure of 19 horses to his right upset him too much? Will he lather in the post, like he did in his previous race – because, while it worked last time out, one needs a heck of a lot more stamina in this one. I will probably bet him across the board as a safety bet, but I have my doubts. But then, I was wrong about Street Sense last year, so . . .
Pyro and Gayego are still my favorites, and will get bet across the board. If Eight Belles winds up running here instead of in Friday’s Oaks, I will place a show bet on her, even though I believe she will come in ninth or tenth. Because I’ll support the filly. Tale of Ekati and Cowboy Cal are my longshots, with at least show money going towards them. I think Big Truck will try very hard (he’s a wonderful horse), but I don’t think this is his race. If it rains, Visionaire gets into my picks; and I’ll probably box him with Gayego. If it’s dry, I’m on the fence about him. To my surprise, Smooth Air is running, in spite of being sick last week. I’ll pass. Colonel John’s gotten a lot of good press, but I’m on the fence about him, too. Court Vision is growing on me – we’ll see how he looks. Behindatthebar didn’t make it in. Maybe we’ll get to see him in the Preakness. I’m staying away from exotics in this race because I think the field is too inconsistent.

Race 11:
Sonoma Cat across the board. Tiz Now Tiz Then for place and show. MapMaker to show and Lemon Custard to show.

Race 12:
Maiara and Pious Ashley across the board. I think Quiet Mover and Syrup both have the potential to be upset horses here, so they’ll get at least show money.

Tune in to FemmeFan ( next week for the Derby wrap-up, with commentary on hits and misses. If you want to tips on how to bet a horse, I have an article up on my website:

Have a great Derby day!

Published in: on May 2, 2008 at 11:23 am  Comments (4)  
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  1. I always enjoy reading your race picks! 🙂

    I’m leaning towards Big Brown and Gayego.

  2. I like the way Gayego sounds. Good luck on your Derby picks.

  3. I just saw the news about the horse that had to be put down just after the race. How absolutely horrible.

  4. OMGosh I am so sad about Eight Belles! What a tragedy.
    It’s always heartbreaking when something like that happens. I hope you’re OK–I can imagine how sad you must be.

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