May 15, 2015

Pharoah prepares for Round 2 vs the Dynamic Duo

Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah was widely respected as the best horse leading into the Derby, although pundits questioned his heart, outside post position and need for the lead. In a sense, he has even MORE detractors following his Derby score than he did before, for different reasons (below). Firing Line and Dortmund ran well in defeat, so now the "Great One" talk has turned into the "Big Three" debate. This harkens back to the days of Triple Crown rivalries like Affirmed, Alydar, Believe It (1978), Silver Charm, Captain Bodgit, Free House (1997) and Street Sense, Curlin, Hard Spun (2007) repeating their top 3 finish at Baltimore two weeks later. I'll go out on a limb and say a long-shot will spoil the trifecta reunion!

Knock 1: American Pharoah had a perfect stalking trip with no dirt kickback.
Response: He was parked wide on both turns, which would translate to an additional 3-4 length winning margin and better finishing time. The perfect trips were actually those of the second and third place finishers, who couldn't finish him.

Knock 2: Victor had to use his whip far too much based on his position and the slow fractions.
Response: Pharoah's best weapon is his high cruising speed -- the ability to run his foes "off their feet" and keep going. He was compromised by the dawdling pace such that he won by running down an opponent for the first time. My guess is that Baffert tells Victor "GO" from the opening bell.

Knock 3: The time of the race and final fractions were slow.
Response: True, but this is more of a knock on Dortmund and Firing Line for not being able to hold him off, especially with Pharoah running sideways into the stretch while only Frosted made up any ground through the stretch.

Knock 4: Prior to Derby- he's not battle tested. Now- his stern Derby test probably took too much out of him.
Response:  Well, which is it?! Dortmund has had 7 tough races without even a training break since his Nov. 2 maiden race and Firing Line 6 races dating back to Oct. 25, also w/out a break. Pharoah had 5 1/2 MONTHS off prior to his 3YO campaign.  You tell me who the fresh horse is.


Obviously, my top pick (and Triple Crown hope) remains American Pharoah!  But I think Divining Rod is sitting on a big one and could steal the show. While Firing Line or Dortmund should round out the trifecta, I'll also have long-shot Bodhisattva in my 3rd-4th positions for sentimental reasons.  His dam, Dr. Cheryl P., leapt off the page at me when I recognized that name. Surely, this couldn't be the same mare that dropped a non-descript Louisiana bred foal that I had an ownership stake in a couple years ago named Byappointmentonly? Come to find out, that's one and the same! What drew me to this filly was that her 2nd dam produced juvenile champion Wilko about a decade ago.  Typical of my racing luck, I was a day late and a dollar (errr... horse) short!


May 3, 2015

American Pharoah leads California sweep of Derby 141

To all the handicappers who went with Dortmund because Pharoah wasn't "battle tested," he dang sure had to grind in that last sixteenth to wear down an ultra game Firing Line.  Like a tweet from last night stated, Victor Espinoza landed more right hands than Mayweather - Pacquiao combined! It was a great feeling to hit all exotic bets multiple times thanks to Firing Line's effort to fight on for second. What a gutsy little colt who runs with his head low, giving him an efficient stride that counters the lack of stamina in his breeding line. The closing quarter mile and final furlong were run shockingly slow to stop the clock in 2:03, but final times won't be relevant if Pharoah becomes the 12th triple crown winner we so desperately seek. Chalk another Derby win up for the Fappiano - Unbridled sire line!

Dortmund had absolutely no excuses as he set the slowest fractions to date, wasn't hounded on the front end (thanks to Materiality being left at the gate) and saved ground the entire way. This proves how difficult it is to win the Derby on the lead, a lesson I need reminding of from time to time (see my Verrazano pick 2 years back). Further, this result proves that favorites still do win The Derby (3 in a row) with a fair break and the best horses in this Derby finished as such. Materiality certainly was compromised and still made a great late run to prove this son of Afleet Alex could be dangerous in the Belmont sitting off Pharoah's hip for a change. Upstart ran very poorly while just moderately wide into the first turn but had mucho dirt caked on his face after just a few furlongs and may have simply checked out. Carpe Diem laid an egg - another in a long line of Pletcher horses at Churchill Downs. Slightly cramped early, but then had a dream trip saving ground fourth on the inside and Johnny V had no gas under him turning for home. Kudos to Danzig Moon as the only long shot to threaten, being 4th-5th all the way around the track. If he could have held onto fourth from Frosted I would really be grinning this morning with my winning tickets! 

One of our racing stable mantras is "live in the moment" and while I loved this outcome, it is human nature to think ahead of what might be. This horse I've come to really admire getting to see up close at Oaklawn Park did what I knew he could. But now I want more. There will be plenty of critics after yesterday's victory but I can't blame people since I was "that guy" last year against California Chrome. But to American Pharoah, a job well done and I pray you stay healthy for "round two" in Baltimore in 13 days. And after that, who knows, I just may happen to be in New York a few weeks later for a little horse race going on there... ��

May 2, 2015

Derby Day picks and toss horse

Well it should come as no surprise that I will stick with American Pharoah as my official Derby pick after trying to beat the winning favorites Orb and Chrome the last two runnings.  I think Carpe Diem is the possible spoiler and should have versatility to be close or make a late move depending on the break. And I hope Upstart can return with his best race to complete my trifecta. In addition, my toss horse will be Materiality - another Pletcher lightly raced speed horse who crawled home in his Florida Derby score after having things all his own way.  My criteria for a toss horse is top 5 odds that I try to exclude from all tickets and only Ice Box has burned me over the last 15 years.

The horse I am worried about is Frosted, who I'm only including near the bottom of my super tickets. If the throat procedure prior to his last race truly made all the difference he should be right there late. But trainers have a tendency to lay blame too much on health issues rather than admitting their horse's shortcomings. Frosted's last 3 furlongs in the Wood were the fastest of all prep winners followed by Int'l Star, Carpe Diem, then American Pharoah (under wraps), Firing Line, and finally Dortmund (13:05 final furlong) and Materiality.

I was very bummed when I learned of my long shot pick El Kabeir being scratched yesterday (sorry Borel), but then Lovely Maria won and got my betting budget kickstarted! Best of luck with your Derby strategy and enjoy the greatest two minutes in sports!
Eric

May 1, 2015

Lilies for the Fillies - Stellar Wind & Oceanwave

What a delightful Friday morning, both here in Dallas as well as in sunny Louisville. The ladies own the day as Friday is known as "Louisville's Day at the Downs" where many locals will visit the race track today, but avoid the madness that is Derby Day. The sad part of Derby weekend is that many top stakes races get overlooked, but from a betting perspective I can't blame people for focusing on the massive payouts of the larger Derby and Oaks fields.

This year's Oaks edition seems to be a little more wide open than The Derby with regards to betting favoritism. Stellar Wind from the west coast is slightly favored at 7/2 over east coast heroine Condo Commando (kick-ass name!) 9/2 and Gulfstream Park (Florida) Oaks winner Birdatthewire 4/1. I like Victor Espinoza's chances to pull off the rare Oaks-Derby double with the stout daughter of Curlin - Stellar Wind.  I will also include two time Oaks winning owner Brereton Jones' Lovely Maria in my tickets as she seems to be improving at the right time when taking the Ashland Stakes. We all know Larry Jones has a special touch with his fillies. #10 Oceanwave (Harlan's Holiday) should be running well late after a couple of rough trips at Oaklawn (fanned 6 wide while just missing in the Fantasy Stakes) and could hit the board at a juicy 13-1. One of my stable's fillies faced Oceanwave in her first Oaklawn start where she weaved through the stretch (avoiding our Cherries backing up in the drive!) and I knew that day this well bred filly could be something special.

I'm also close to rounding out my trifecta and superfecta Kentucky Derby tickets and the only way to play an affordable ticket is to leave out some good horses, for me that appears to be Materiality, Mubtaahij and Frosted.  I'll have to keep chewing on this for a while before I'm able to pull the trigger.  Hope your mint julep syrup is coming together nicely - be sure to secure that mint today before the stores run out!  Best of luck to all today, especially hoping these fillies run their best and come back safe.
Eric

April 30, 2015

Post position draw - El Kabeir feature

After reading numerous articles and reflecting on the Derby post positions assigned about 24 hours ago, the thought is that Carpe Diem (2), Materiality (3) and Upstart (19) were the top contenders most  negatively impacted by their respective posts. Carpe Diem and Materiality - both pressers - will now likely be forced to use more energy sprinting clear from the gates to hold their position into the first turn.  Not ideal for reserving energy for that demanding 10th furlong when several closers will be picking up the pieces. Upstart is perhaps more of a stalker than a speed/presser, but especially in this year's Derby edition a large percentage of the field will want to be laying 3rd - 6th. Translation, Jose Ortiz will have a hard time not being at least 4 wide going into that first turn, losing precious ground for a horse who has had issues closing out races near the finish.  Dortmund had a dream draw at #8 and Ken Ramsey was jubilant when International Star was assigned pill 12. American Pharoah is parked wide in the 18 stall, however many winners (Big Brown #20, Animal Kingdom #16, I'll Have Another #19, Orb #16) have managed to overcome their outside post over the last decade and surely his camp would prefer being a few spots wide with the best horse as opposed to breaking slow and getting a ton of dirt kickback in his face for the first time. Great horses can overcome wide trips.

The horse I'm not able to shake today for whatever reason is El Kabeir (lucky #7) at a juicy 30-1. And it has nothing to do with his jockey Calvin Bo-rel, who will likely be reserved early with the son of Scat Daddy before making a move on the far turn, either on the rail or splitting horses into the stretch. It started with seeing his two published workouts since his April 4th Wood Memorial, the latter of which was a blistering :46.4 seconds for four panels at Belmont Park. You can't compare times at different venues, but that's zooming for a closer, which would typically work in slow licks such as Far Right (:49.0) and International Star (50.4). El Kabeir is coming out of a belated 3rd place effort by five lengths in the Wood Memorial that was won in impressive fashion by Frosted (Tapit sired). The pace over said Aqueduct's main track (as opposed to inner winterized track that El Kabeir had won twice over) that day was painfully slow with splits of :49, 1:13.2 and 1:37.3, so I can forgive his non-threatening third. If you're looking for a historical angle, like Secretariat did in 1973, El Kabeir both won his 3YO debut race and Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct prior to his third in the Wood... hhhmmmmm.

Recall that in 1998 when all eyes were on Baffert's big horse and 5/2 favorite Indian Charlie, his unheralded stablemate sshhh - Real Quiet paid $19 to win (from the #2 hole, mind you) while 'Charlie tired late to finish 3rd. Not only that, but Real Quiet would go on to be the narrowest loser of a Triple Crown by a whisker to Victory Gallop. So it is not unprecedented for Ahmed Zayat's "B" horse El Kabeir to steal Pharoah's thunder come Saturday. Other respected handicapper friends of mine are touting Danzig Moon and Far Right as closers to use in the bottom of your exotic tickets. These two also stand at 30-1 on the morning line and should only drift higher without the Calvin Borel money flowing to them. Good luck in building your tickets. Let's hit a big one, even if/when Pharoah hits the line first!

April 27, 2015

Derby Week 141 has arrived!

Happy Monday Derby fanatics -- are you all ready to Talk Derby to me?  I'm finally recovering from the grief of losing the incomparable Cigar last fall. Oaklawn Park was also a downer meet for our stable this winter, from all the bad weather and lost racing days to training setbacks and poor performances from our fillies. But hope springs eternal and with Derby 141 at hand, all things turn to the positives of perhaps the deepest crop of sophomore race horses we have seen in many years (ultimately only proven with time).

How about Zayat homebred American Pharoah making his Oaklawn competition look like miniature donkeys in the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby?  Or that beast of a horse Dortmund kicking clear race after race at Santer Aniter (actually, Santa Anita) giving Baffert a two headed monster?  Speaking of kicking clear, Firing Line stormed home at Sunland Park by fourteen widening lengths after knocking heads with Dortmund previously. Carpe Diem only has a 2nd place blemish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on his record and has two stalk and pounce wins during his Derby prep season for Todd Pletcher. Frosted tries to become ubersire Tapit's first Derby winning offspring after annexing the Wood Memorial. Materiality (by Afleet Alex) is the fresh shooter of the bunch after out-dueling Upstart in Florida and finally, all International Star keeps doing in Louisiana is just win baby! Yes, we've got some heavyweights lining up to face the starter on Saturday that could even steal the show from the welterweight "Fight of the Century" between Mayweather and Pacquiao later that night.

One of the reasons I love thoroughbred racing is the history and tradition that it represents. There have been small tweaks to the eligibility requirements for Derby starters as of late (points instead of earnings), and I'm still struggling with "... presented by Yum! Brands" associated with the official sponsorship.  But they still load up to 20 horses with 126 pounds on their backs the first Saturday every May at approximately 5:30 CST to run 10 furlongs around the same track that Aristides trod back on May 17, 1875. Two thousand and fifteen represents the 25th anniversary of one of the most memorable Kentucky Derby days in my lifetime.

The human and emotional drama of the greatest two minutes in sports was on full display in 1990 when Unbridled's owner, 92 year young Frances Genter, received the race recap from trainer Carl Nafzger.  "We're taking the lead...He's gonna win... he's gonna win. He's a winner, he's a winner. There he goes, right there. We won it, we won it. He's a winner, Mrs. Genter. You won the Kentucky Derby! Oh, Mrs. Genter I love you!" What a special moment for the widow of the pop-up toaster founder who was known as an astute handicapper and breeder and had spent countless "leggo my eggo" dollars chasing her Derby dream.

The legend of Unbridled grew with time, as he went on to prove his $26 Derby payday was no fluke by winning that year's Breeders' Cup Classic and siring several branches of Kentucky Derby and triple crown race winners. Unbridled captured a cumulative breeding Triple Crown with Kentucky Derby winning son Grindstone in 1996, 2000 Preakness winner Red Bullet and 2003 Derby runner-up and Belmont Stakes captor Empire Maker. Further, his sire line includes Classic winners Birdstone (Belmont), Mine That Bird (Derby), Summer Bird (Belmont) and near misses (Bodemeister, Pioneerof the Nile, Empire Maker). Surprisingly, no son of a Derby winner has claimed the roses since Grindstone in 1996. Unbridled is also the damsire of 2013 Derby winner Orb and 2011 Preakness winner "the big white face of" Shackleford, etching his bloodlines in triple crown lore.

Empire Maker is the grandsire to the buzz horse in this year's Derby edition, American Pharoah. After witnessing this epitome of a racehorse twice demolish his opponents at Oaklawn Park, I am anxious to see if Pharoah can even the score for his dad Pioneerof the Nile (Mine That Bird) and grandsire Empire Maker's (Funny Cide) Kentucky Derby defeats. As the saying goes, revenge is a dish that is best served cold.

October 8, 2014

CIGAR - farewell to a legend


Cigar was my favorite race horse of all time, along with so many other racing fans in their 30's and 40's. He epitomized the tough race horses from decades long ago, running 10 times in his first Championship season of 1995, winning all ten under the conditioning of Bill Mott. Coincidentally, he was post #10 in the season finale Breeders' Cup over a sloppy Belmont Park where Tom Durkin proclaimed "He beat the best the world could offer, and mother nature too!"  He was voted horse of the decade of the 1990s and 18th best horse of the 20th century and was a first ballot 2002 Hall of Fame inductee for owners Allen and Madeleine Paulson. He retired with career earnings just a shade under $10 million.
Today's owners and trainers who want to bitch and complain about their "star" horse being treated unfairly need to go back and watch some of Cigar's 1996 race replays. Cigar routinely carried 128 and 130 pounds in handicap races (spotting up to 20 lbs to opponents) and was pressed and baited repeatedly in the Pacific Classic by the duo from Dick Mandella's barn (Siphon and winner Dare and Go). I am often asked by friends attending horse races with me if horses know if they won or lost. Well, it was reported that Cigar would not eat for three days after his loss in what would have been his record breaking 17th consecutive win (since passed by Zenyatta at 19). 

Cigar ran into some tough 3 year-olds (Skip Away and Louis Quatorze) getting weight breaks late in his career but still brought his best effort near the finish line each race. After getting an extremely wide trip under his regular pilot Jerry Bailey in the Woodbine hosted Breeders' Cup Classic of 1996, he still finished a charging 3rd to Alphabet Soup and Louis Quatorze in a three-way photo. Cigar set a track record that day with his effort despite the wide trip, but the top two ran a split second faster. After that defeat, the much anticipated match race with l'Arc de Triomphe winner Helissio fell apart with concerns Cigar was no longer performing at his best and needed a break.
Ironically, the last of the modern day "iron horse" competing at the highest level was a horse Cigar passed the baton to in the 1996 Jockey Club Gold Cup, Skip Away. "Skippy" made a dozen starts at 3, eleven starts at 4 and nine starts at 5, winning divisional Eclipse Award honors each year.  By comparison, the reigning back to back Horse of the Year Wise Dan only started six and seven times in his last two championship seasons and will only have five starts after the Breeders' Cup due to a mid-season injury.
One of the highlights of my year since his retirement to the Kentucky Horse Park was visiting the incomparable Cigar annually at the Lexington horse haven. A few years ago upon an early morning visit I caught Cigar having a bad day and not responding to visitors near his stall. I was so upset leaving the horse park to see him in that sunken state that I could not leave that way. After driving around viewing area farms and having lunch, I drove back to the Horse Park before my departing flight in hopes of seeing the real Cigar. Fortunately, he was moving around much better and I was able to coax him to the stall gate to share a peppermint and a pet for a final goodbye.

Now we are learning that Cigar had been suffering spinal debilitation in his lower neck for a while. That same massive, regal neck that was once his hallmark was now causing him increased pain. He recently underwent an advanced surgery to attempt to relieve his spinal cord compression which led to a fracture that took his life. I can't help but think of his long-time caregiver at the Hall of Champions, Cathy Roby, who passed away in 2011 upon this news today. For a special glimpse into the bond these two shared, see the video below where Cigar learns to paint...

Commenting after his final start in that Breeders' Cup, owner Allen Paulson said it best...
"He didn't disgrace himself; he tried damn hard," Paulson said. "He's one of the greatest ever. But the horse can't go on forever."
Nor can horses live forever, which makes this gray October day a somber one. I can only hope Cigar is ushered into the animal section of the pearly gates by St. Francis of Assisi himself.  Maybe then Cigar and Citation can share some stories from their gloried past and take a stroll around the pasture to settle the long-debated argument of who would have won if they faced each other going for that 17th victory.  My ten bucks would be on Cigar.

May 7, 2014

Chrome is the new Gold

As Bill Murray (another horse racing fan) stated in Ghostbusters, "He came, he saw, he kicked their ass!" http://www.barntowire.com/smf/index.php?topic=41622.0

California Chrome did what he was supposed to do "on paper" by getting a clean break, perfect stalking trip with mild fractions (some idiot analyst opined the first half would go in :44 change, when it instead went in :47.37) and spurted clear on the turn where 80% of winners already have the lead (sorry, Normandy Invasion). Based on Victor Espinoza gearing Chrome down in deep stretch and the furious rally by deep closer Commanding Curve (I did not bet the CC-CC exacta), the winning margin appeared closer than it probably was in reality. Much has been made about the slow time (both final time of 2:03.66 and closing quarter-mile over 26 seconds) being the 2nd slowest Derby running on a fast track in over 30 years. Whereas, the previous day Untapable and Rosie Napravnik damn near bested the KY Oaks stakes record with a zippy 9 furlongs in 1:48.68. But let's reserve judgement until after the Preakness, as most people had anointed ORB the 12th Triple Crown champion after his last to first flourish in last year's Derby but then missed the board in the Preakness and checked in a well-beaten 3rd in the Belmont Stakes.

There is another expression, "the bigger they come, the harder they fall."  That is certainly true of the poor rides by some of the world's greatest jockeys. This list starts with John Velazquez aboard 4th choice in the wagering and one of my top win candidates, Intense Holiday. Breaking from the 16 post, I expected him to be 3-4 wide with a post that has claimed a couple of Derby trophies in recent memory.  Rather, he pressed the pace 6 wide on the first turn to stay near the lead pack while he had plenty of room to "tuck in" had he chosen to take back.  In a 10 furlong race, being caught that wide is the kiss of death and Johnny took away any chance of his horse hitting the board in that first furlong.  Next on the list is Gary Stevens, who claimed his problem of clipping heels and severely "checking" on the first turn was due to rogue riding by Wicked Strong's jock, Rajiv Maragh.  But again, why are you wanting to be in the top tier of horses when your trainer/owner has already stated they want to take him further off the pace this race?  Laying back early and rallying late worked out much better for Commanding Curve, Wicked Strong and Dance with Fate.

That leads us to my love-hate jockey, Calvin "Boo-Boo" Borel. I started by hating him as a 16 Y-O lad for screwing me out of a pick 6 ticket at Louisiana Downs by getting blocked on the rail and rallying late to just miss the win (and my perfect pick 6 bet!). But after Arkansas Derby day 3 weeks ago when he romped home on our Sammy's Bandit by 12 lenghts, I've finally released my previous resentment towards the Hall of Fame jockey. Trainer Billy Gowan was very critical of him lagging the field to dart directly to the rail, running sideways instead of forward. Then turning for home he tried to stay on the rail until he steadied due to Vicar's In Trouble rapid retreat and then wasted ground having to swing 9 wide. Several of my esteemed colleagues expect Ride On Curlin to hit the board in Pimlico at a square price if you are so inclined to test California Chrome again. Finally, Rosie Napravnik and her mount, Vicar's In Trouble, looked uncomfortable from the break from #2 post and Vicar was very headstrong early, fighting the bit and basically was pulled up in the stretch for the last place finish. Be careful what you wish for Mr. Ramsey! On a positive note, I was impressed with my long-shot Chitu's effort after setting the pace and only fading to 9th very late in the race. If they would have skipped the Derby for next Saturday's 1 3/16th mile Preakness he could have proved more effective on that speed favoring strip. And while I would have been very wealthy had Danza won The Derby due to my $20 futures bet last November in Vegas, the toughness he displayed getting bounced around twice in the stretch and still finishing strongly may set him up nicely for the Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles.

Major congratulations are in order for one of SRS' founding members. Matt Lasko's lovely bride delivered the couple's first child, a "healthy foal" on May 5th - Evelyn Anne Lasko. Taking the best qualities from Matt and Ellie, I would say this filly is a lock to be a future superstar # LASKO STRONG!!

May 3, 2014

Intense Holiday over Danza, Chitu, Candy Boy

My official pick for Derby 140 will be Intense Holiday. I expect Johnny V. to revert to coming from further off the pace with the high number of front-runners expected today. This horse reminds me of Revolutionary last year who didn't get the best trip in Kentucky but finished 3rd under Borel.  If California Chrome breaks alert and able to stalk a couple of others in the first part of the race they'll all be running for 20% 2nd place money, but the best horses certainly do not always claim the roses. 

Danza could be tough if he's able to back up his huge effort in the Ark. Derby in a 3 week turnaround.  Samraat and Candy Boy seem to be flying under the radar and could run well at a nice price.  If the wicked pace doesn't materialize, look out for Rosie on Vicar's In Trouble, who is all heart!  She's on a roll this weekend under the TwinSpires. Also, Baffert's lone entry, Chitu, looks to be coming up to this race with a solid numbers progression and if he's able to lay off the leaders early could get the jump on them turning for home.   I wish them all a safe trip most importantly! 

Best of luck with your bets,
Eric

Toss the Florida horses!

While it is true I've only had a couple of winners since I began with my official picks back in 1997 (Silver Charm), I have had much more success choosing a 10-1 range horse to toss completely from all bets (Goldencents last year, finished 17th at 8-1).  My lone miss was with Ice Box, who rallied strongly for 2nd place in the slop to Super Saver in 2010, but never threatened again in another graded stakes race.

With California Chrome being a heavy morning line favorite and clearly the best horse "on paper" and 2nd choice Hoppertunity scratching, the odds are not dispersed typical this year. IF CHROME LOSES, THIS MEANS PAYOUTS WILL BE HUGE!! So while I can't toss Danza or Wicked Strong (only other single digit odds) I will give you a pair of 15-1 horses to short, Wildcat Red and General a Rod (Florida Derby toss). Gulfstream Park has developed a worsening reputation each year for its speed-favoring track (sans Orb last year) and this pair has taken turns beating each other with very slow times aided by this bias. Wildcat Red being sired by D'wildcat is probably the least bred horse in this race to win at 10 furlongs and 'a Rod also has a similar running style as many sophomores in here with better chances to fight on for a top 4 finish (Vicar's In Trouble, California Chrome, Chitu). So short these Florida horses and use other 15, 20 and 30-1 horses on the bottom of your exotic tickets. 

Two long-shots I will be using prominently include #13 Chitu (Baffert's "other" horse) and #18 Candy Boy (hoping Gary Stevens keeps him covered up until the far turn).

Best of luck with your bets today - HAPPY DERBY DAY 2014!!!
E