It just does not get much better than the betting action coming up on Saturday, as we have a couple of very competitive Derby preps and the world’s richest race.
The Grade 1 $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park drew a field of ten and there are a couple of highly graded three-year-olds that need to run well if they are going to head to Louisville.
The 2012 juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby would already have locked up a spot in the starting gate at Churchill Downs in previous years with his wins in the Grade 1 Champagne and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
However, he comes into Saturday’s race with just 24 points and needs to run first or second to guarantee a spot in the Derby. A third would give him another 20 points which may get him in.
Same goes for Itsmyluckyday, winner of the Grade 3 Holy Bull. Despite his perfect record in two starts this year (he won the ungraded Gulfstream Park Derby in his first start this year), the colt only has 10 points.
There are a total of seven stakes on the 13-race card and I’ll have my full card report available on Friday night.
The Grade 2 $1 million Louisiana Derby drew a full field of 14 with the Todd Pletcher trained Revolutionary the 3-1 morning line favorite. The colt is another without much room for error. The colt only has 10 points.
The race drew a solid group including Code West and palace Malice, the runner up and third place finishers in the Grade 2 Risen Star, and Departing, winner of the Texas Heritage Stakes in his last outing.
And let’s not forget about Saturday’s Group 1 $10 million Dubai World Cup. The American team consists of Dullahan, Animal Kingdom and Royal Delta.
I will have selections for the race in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.
Analysis: Beggarthyneighbor makes his first start off a 2 1/2 month layoff here while dropping into a weaker spot for the Chad Brown barn. This guy showed some talent as a three year old, winning the Dancing Count at Laurel Park last January in his first start against winners. He has not been the same runner after taking a seven month break and the drop here is not exactly a good sign. The colt has decent works and the barn is 28% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
Taproot is coming off a sixth place finish where he got hung up in traffic briefly approaching the quarterpole and then did not have enough punch left late. He was claimed out of the race by the Servis barn that is 31% winners first off the claim and is coming off a good inner track meeting where he won at a 24% clip overall. He is 0 for 3 in New York after beating $30,000 non-winners of two at Churchill Downs four back. He has been claimed in all three local starts which looks like a good sign.
WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,6,7 / 2,3,4,6,7
Analysis: Sacred Success pressed the early pace from the outside and weakened to finish fourth last out over a wet track as the beaten chalk. She comes back here with blinkers added to the mix and owns back speed figs that are good enough to beat this group. She has gone off as the betting favorite in every one of her nine career start, three wins. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and with the hood added she figures to be on the lead here. Expression exits the same race as our top pick, checking in third as the 9-5 second choice. She saved ground early, ended up six wide turning for home, altered course back down to the inside and finished evenly, beaten three lengths for the top spot. She is reunited with Alvarado who was aboard her two back when she beat $35,000 non-winners of three or a race since Oct. 17. Her last pair of figs are tops in here and just needs a better trip which she should get today.
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,5
TRI: no play
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R3: #1 Pleaseandthankyou 8-1
R5: #5 Shankopotamus 12-1
R6: #5 Red Leader 8-1
R7: #9 Spectacular Act 10-1
R7: #9 Power of the Heart 12-1
R9: #7 Wise Choice 15-1
Mike DempseyMike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick. Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike daily with top picks from Belmont. You can also get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins. Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. Jerry is always looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes. Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis. Join Jerry daily with picks from
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