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Down the Stretch

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Oddsmakers have prepared a smorgasbord of propositions, matchups and updated odds-to-win on next month's 133rd Kentucky Derby, the "fastest two minutes in sports."

The race will be held May 5 and leading sophomore earners, based on graded stakes money won, are eligible to enter.

A trio of millionaire 3-year-olds have been produced so far: Tampa Bay Derby winner and reigning Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Street Sense, Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby champ Scat Daddy and Louisiana Derby victor Circular Quay.

Current Run for the Roses favorite Curlin is next with $780,000 and closely is followed by Wood Memorial champ Nobiz Like Showbiz and Robert Lewis Stakes winner Great Hunter.

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Right now, Teuflesberg, with $122,942, is holding tightly to the 20th and last spot in the Derby's anticipated starting lineup.

Chelokee, whose trainer, Michael Matz, handled Barbaro last year, and Deadly Dealer are on the bubble with $100,000 apiece.

Defections already have paved the way for some expected starters and more well could follow.

Barn connections are weighing the pros and cons of competing at Churchill as opposed to, say, in the Preakness Stakes, the Triple Crown's second leg, two weeks later.

That's where Santa Anita runnerup King of the Roxy is headed.

Other colts, like Adore the Gold and Notional, have been sidelined with illnesses or injuries.

Saturday's $325,000 Grade II Lexington Stakes also could upset the apple cart, though only two weeks separate that event and the one at Churchill Downs just down the road.

First prize in the Lexington is just over $200,000, so the winner automatically will become eligible for Louisville, though the trip won't necessarily be taken.

The Lexington field features such colts as Belgravia (generally 70/1 at offshore books) and Joe Got Even, who currently are just outside the Derby picture, but still looking in.

Charismatic in 1999 is the only Lexington Stakes winner to also have claimed the roses.

Curlin, who broke his maiden at Gulfstream Feb. 3 and is unbeaten in three outings, emerged as the pre-Derby favorite after he won Oaklawn Park's Arkansas Derby.

Bodog.com had the Rebel Stakes winner at 4/1 on Thursday, while Pinnacle's odds were plus $4.00.

Street Sense, who finished second in the Blue Grass, appeared to be a popular second choice.

He was 5/1 at Bodog.com and plus $5.22 at Pinnacle.

Early "hype" horse Nobiz Like Showbiz at 6/1 and plus $7.33 was the third choice.

Scat Daddy and Circular Quay fill out the first tier (under 10/1) of candidates.

The second tier (10/1 to 20/1) consists of Any Given Saturday, Great Hunter, Hard Spun, Santa Anita Derby champion Tiago and Blue Grass Stakes winner Domican, the last two a pair of colts barely heard of a month ago, even in intimate racing circles.

Bettors seeking something to spice up their Derby-Day diets had an array of distance propositions at VIP.com from which to choose.

They asked what the difference between win and place would be.

A nose was 20/1, a neck 10/1 and a length to 2 3/4th lengths was 4/1, with numerous stops between.

A dead heat was the long shot at 50/1.

Another offshore prop asked if the Derby winner's saddle cloth number would be odd or even.

  
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  HORSE RACING EXPERT
  Mike Dempsey
Mike 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.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, 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 has 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!

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Jerry "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's is 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.

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