Saturday, May 05, 2012
2012 Kentucky Derby Selections
Last year I looked like a handicapping genius; Animal Kingdom et. al. were right on the money. And there was money!
Bodemeister, installed as the morning line favorite at 4-1, is appealing and promising, especially after his impressive Arkansas Derby win last month. But no matter what I do, I just can't get past that one miserable statistic: Horses that do not race at age two are 0 for 129 years. Curlin couldn't even do it and Bodemeister is no Curlin. But I'll definitely put him in the mix.
I love Hansen! Okay, maybe I'm not the biggest fan of front runners at 1 1/4 miles but in this case I don't care. I love how he's raced. I love how he looks. I love how his owner is somewhat eccentric and just wants to make horse racing fun. And Hansen's sooo beautiful! He would make the perfect Poster Child for horse racing, looking regal and immaculate, accessorized with roses. I was surprised to find bestowed on him a morning line of 10-1, however I should think the odds will not be that generous at post time.
From a purely handicapping standpoint, I like Gemologist. Truthfully, I haven't even watched him race, but he displays every positive angle that I use: successful trainer (Pletcher), regular rider (Castellano), increasing speed figures, success at Churchill Downs. Most notably, he's undefeated. And undefeated is undefeated, a statistic that should never be overlooked nor ignored.
And finally, it's "déjà vu all over again": Went The Day Well has me giddy as a longshot. He's been a little of a world traveler in his brief career but he's exclusively run routes and, from the appearance of his past performances, has run them well. His speed figures are on the rise - a trend that appeals to me as a handicapper. I watched his Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes victory last night and he really fired up in the stretch. Graham Motion isn't sure if lightning can really strike twice or if Went The Day Well is as good as Animal Kingdom, but if Went The Day Well goes forward from the Spiral, he could very well hit the board at a fat price.
Have a great Derby Day! Good luck!