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Kentucky Derby Day Picks & Analysis — Saturday, May 6, 2017

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Kentucky Derby Day

It’s the day that all racing fans wait for all year long: Kentucky Derby day! Churchill Downs has a fantastic 14-race card on Saturday, with the first race at 10:30 AM EDT. The Kentucky Derby, featuring 20 of the finest three-year-olds in the country, will go as the 12th race, at 6:46 PM.

To help you out with the card, we’ve got Rob Harding (@Harding_Robproviding FREE picks & analysis of all the action! Give Rob on a follow on twitter when you get the chance!

Race 1:

#2 Saved by the Swell 7-2 ML

#8 Ring Me Up 10-1 ML

#3 Seventh Tee 4-1 ML

#2 Saved by the Swell’s two back race at Tampa is the highlight of this field, as the final time was sharp and this one gets Leparoux. 7-2 is a great price and anything above 5-2 will be a win bet for me. #8 Ring Me Up cuts back off an even race and gets a big jockey switch from Mena to Saez. #3 Seventh Tee is a To Honor and Serve firster who goes first out for Castellano/Lynch, Lynch first time out is a 14% angle and doesn’t need to be much to hit the board here.

Race 2:

#3 Horse Fly 15-1 ML

#5 Hembree 8-1 ML

#7 Salute With Honor 3-1 ML

#3 Horse Fly looks more like a 6-1 shot than a 15-1 shot here, as the turf race is a complete toss and the effort in which this one was eased in the Risen Star has this one’s form looking less than appetizing. However, this one was only a half length back of Kentucky Derby bound Hence, who’s gotten some buzz leading up to this week, and has run competitive races in his dirt tries. 17% Joe Sharp goes turf to dirt for #5 Hembree, and in a race with no real standout, will be an include for me. #7 Salute With Honor looks like he will relish the added ground and will most likely go off favorite at post time.

Race 3:

#1 Flashy Jewel 8-1 ML

#7 Donegal Moon 4-1 ML

#8 Mo Tom 3-1 ML

#1 Flashy Jewel gave it a nice try in the Skip Away in the last, and if able to get away with decent fractions on the lead, should be given a long look at a nice price. #7 Donegal Moon was a little dull off the layoff, but now stretches out and showed some late interest for TAP. #8 Mo Tom is the class of the field best off his 3 year old campaign, but he will be well out of it and will need a nice setup to gain a share of the pie.

Race 4:

#7 Sevier 8-1 ML

#5 Souper Fly Over 3-1 ML

#1 Caviar Czar 7-2 ML

Not really in love with anyone here, but #7 Sevier was drilled down to even money in the initial start, showed brief speed and stopped. Well, Cox is 22% 2nd time out the stretch from 6F to 1 1/8 out of Union Rags should suit this one just fine. #5 Souper Fly Over ran the best last race and will probably go off as the deserving favorite after closing serious ground late. If I had to pick another one, #1 Caviar Czar for JV/Pletcher out of Medaglia D’Oro is logical.

Race 5:

#11 Hockey School 9-2 ML

#6 Sky Flight 20-1 ML

#1 Forge 7-2 ML

#11 Hockey School comes in off a nice race in which he set a pace and ran on well to come up a length short in a nice time for the distance. Looks to be the most logical pick in here. #6 Sky Flight is a bit of a longshot reach for me, but Ricardo Santana is one of my favorite value jockeys on big days. Sure the last two were truly terrible, but I am hoping something went amiss that day and this one can run to one of the better races in the career at a huge number. #1 Forge goes 2nd in USA after finishing 2nd at Keeneland, and should relish any give in the turf.

Race 6:

#5 Finest City 8-5 ML

#2 Paulassilverlining 7-2 ML

#7 Carina Mia 2-1 ML

#5 Finest City scratched out of the La Troienne Friday, and in race lacking early zip, looks like a great chance to go wire to wire. #2 Paulassilverlining really ran a great race against the top pick in the BC Filly and Mare Sprint, but looks to be just a cut below. #7 Carina Mia loves these middle distance races, but could be a bit pace compromised and I would have to think Mott is pointing to future races this summer to have her fully cranked.

Race 7:

#3 Hillhouse High 10-1 ML

#6 Roca Rojo 3-1 ML

#2 Miss Temple City 9-5 ML

#3 Hillhouse High did nothing but beat #6 Roca Rojo and #7 Harmonize in their last race, yet shes 10-1 on the ML. I will take this one with Castellano all the way to the bank at 10-1. #6 Roca Rojo was coming but came up just short to the top pick in the last race. #2 Miss Temple City is the class of the field but comes in off a lengthy layoff and not sure Motion will have her fully cranked for her best, look elsewhere for the top spot today.

Race 8:

#5 No Dozing 5-1 ML

#11 Sonic Mule 10-1 ML

#10 Youre to Blame 10-1 ML

The toughest race of the day so far, as this running of the Pat Day Mile is completely wide open. I will side with #5 No Dozing, who had a rough trip while finally hitting his stride late to come up only a neck short at Keeneland last out. #11 Sonic Mule comes in out of the Tampa Bay Derby and the cutback to a mile will be to what looks like this ones liking. #10 Youre to Blame is a very similar horse to the 2nd pick, and should get a nice trip in behind the early speed.

Race 9:

#10 Good Samaritan 5-1 ML

#1 Holiday Stone 15-1 ML

#4 Oscar Performance 7-2 ML

#10 Good Samaritan’s initial race at Saratoga was so eye catching, I had extremely high hopes for this one and while she hasn’t found the winners circle since, the races have been competitive, and this might be the last time to get 5-1. #1 Holiday Stone nearly shocked the world at a huge number last time out and should not be discounted at a huge number. #4 Oscar Performance last race was too bad to be true, and has to be considered off the efforts last year.

Race 10:

#14 Bluegrass Singer 15-1 ML

#13 Toms Ready 15-1 ML

#1 Awesome Slew 4-1 ML

#14 Bluegrass Singer quit last time out, but the race 2 back was an effort that it very competitive in here. I am just hoping that this one bounced off that big effort and will rebound tomorrow. #13 Toms Ready is a great fit at the 7F distance, as evidenced by his win in the Woody Stephens last summer. This race is a tough group of ponies but the value is right on Toms Ready. #1 Awesome Slew is an obvious use off that last win but will have to take a short price.

Race 11:

#12 Ballagh Rocks 10-1 ML

#8 Beach Patrol 5-1 ML

#2 Divisidero 4-1 ML

#12 Ballagh Rocks was flying late in the mile try at Keeneland last out, and the stretch out to 1 1/8 should be of a big help to this ones stretch kick in the lane tomorrow. #8 Beach Patrol is coming out of a race with an incredibly strong time and has to be considered. #2 Divisidero is very talented horse but always comes from well out of it and leaves himself a lot to do, but is a use of the kick he brings to every course he tries at.

Race 12:

#15 McCraken 5-1 ML

#16 Tapwrit 20-1 ML

#1 Lookin at Lee 20-1 ML

#15 McCraken wasn’t fully cranked last time out, and the hope is that Wilkes just wanted to get some foundation underneath him to fully unleash in the Derby. This one loves Churchill downs and will be getting my money. #16 Tapwrit won in the off going at Gulfstream and is another coming in off a dull effort in the BlueGrass, but I like him for reasons similar to McCraken and the price is certainly right. #1 Lookin at Lee was loaded in the lane last time out in the Arkansas Derby, and with a good ride probably wins that race. The jock had him all over the place, switching from lane to lane before leveling out to finish 3rd.

Race 13:

#5 One of a Kind 15-1 ML

#6 Bookman 15-1 ML

#10 Chargin Storm 20-1 ML

This race could produce some wild results, as I see #5 One of a Kind to be an incredible value off the layoff, for the Churchill perennial leading rider, on the cut back, and a win in October at this very track. #6 Bookman shocked the world across town at Keeneland and could present a similar effort in the first against winners. #10 Chargin Storm two back effort at Keeneland puts this one in the serious mix and at 20-1 you cannot ignore.

Race 14:

#11 Wicked Macho 8-1 ML

#2 Moroco 7-2 ML

#3 Arch Cat 10-1 ML

#11 Wicked Macho goes first out for Casse and Castellano, and JJ is not sticking around after a long day to ride a horse with no talent. #2 Morocco goes turf to dirt and the race at Churchill last fall fits well here, especially on the cutback. #3 Arch Cat rounds it out for me on this long day of racing.

Good Luck.

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(Cover photo courtesy USA Today)


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1 Comment

  1. todd saunders

    HillHouse High did not race against Rocc Rojo or MTC
    Good Samaritan won his next start after maiden win

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