Happy Horsebleep

April 30

Nothing is more fun than the once-a-year events where we get to sound like experts on sports we rarely cover. The Indy 500 is one. The Boston Marathon is another. And, of course, the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown races.

Based on my many years covering the Sport of Kings for the Daily Racing Form, including my prediction that Pass Catcher would ruin Canonero II’s bid for glory in 1971, here’s what I’m looking for tomorrow between the Twin Spires for the 136th Derby.

I like these horses to finish in the money:

The 10-horse, Paddy O’Prado. He’s been a juggernaut in training sessions, and he’s peaking. He is the first horse to have a posse since, well, posses. Some 340 people are at Churchill Downs in support of P O’P. The forecast is for rain and they’re loving it, because he ran a 58 and 2/5 in the mud last Friday. I’m jumping on this 20-1 longshot like many of our listeners would jump on Kim Kardashian. Hey, have at her … in the mud if you like.

The 4-horse, Super Saver. This beauty has taken to the C-Downs track like Jamarcus Russell takes to a buffet line. One of three Todd Pletcher entries at 12-1, a smart money bet in my considered opinion. Why? His jockey is Calvin Borel, who loves the rail and who took Mine That Bird to the roses. In the 4th post he’s not far from the rail.

The 1-horse and favorite, Lookin’ at Lucky. The inside gate is usually the kiss of death but this Bob Baffert horse is expected to be in the mix despite the mud, the rail, and 19 other nags. He can smell the finish line like John Daly smells home brew. The 2-1 favorite is a winner, and has had good workouts.

Just on the outside looking in …

#20 Sidney’s Candy, part of the Jenny Craig heritage. His training runs have been indifferent, overall. He’s normally a front-runner but in the slop he might need to pick his way through traffic, much as I do through the Bay Bridge toll plaza Fastrak lanes at 10:05 a.m. First let me get around this idiot blue truck who is backing up Fastrak traffic as he cuts back into the cash lanes.

My dark horse …

The 14-horse Mission Impazible … another Pletcher entry at 15-1. Sleep on him and you could be shocked like Ovie and the Caps were this week. He’s had great workouts in Florida and Kentucky, much like Joslyn James.

You can thank me on Monday. Unless I’m not there because I’ve retired off my winnings. Or left the country.


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