As most of you know, Brad and I grew up around horses and the Thoroughbred industry with our dad. While Brad learned the ins and outs of the sport, you can probably guess, I was more concerned with what to wear to the races. Not only did Brad grow to have a huge appreciation for horse racing, but he studied and practiced the art of betting on the winning horse(s). As little as I give him credit for, I am proud of his love for this sport and his admiration for where we come from. For those of you who are reading from anywhere other than Kentucky, you will soon learn that the Kentucky Derby is not only our holiday, it’s our history. Much like last year, I’ve been looking forward to doing this again… Take it away Brad’o!
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Happy Derby and welcome to the 3rd edition of “Brad’s Bets.” I hope to be of much better service to you all this year than the past two! For those of you who really enjoy horse racing, this year’s derby should have you excited. This year’s crop is a deep, extremely talented group of three year olds who bring big pedigrees and big trainers along with them. As a disclaimer, I am NOT using America Pharoah in my bets. I hate betting the favorite whether it’s the Derby or a maiden claimer at Keeneland. I think that he is the horse to beat but I refuse to use the favorite in the Debry. With that said, let’s get right to it. Here are my top picks for the 2015 Kentucky Derby!
- Dortmund – Bob Baffert – Martin Garcia
- A huge colt who has speed, something you don’t see a lot of. The last great, extremely large horse we saw was Zenyatta and she was a stone cold closer. Dortmund has tactical speed that Martin Garcia can use to rate off the leaders going up the back stretch. Look for him to be mid pack coming around the final turn and to use that speed to make the first run at the leaders. This horse is well bred (Big Brown) with a hall of fame trainer and a very good jockey. Unlike the prohibitive favorite, American Pharoah, he has been battle tested and I look for him to grind down the early leaders and use his huge stride to hold off the closers. Although I hate picking favorites, Dortmund, the morning line second choice, is my pick!
- Firing Line – Simon Callahan – Gary Stevens
- If you like Dortmund, you have to like Firing Line. Clearly, I really like both. Firing Line ran second to Dortmund in the Robert B. Lewis before winning the Sundland Derby in a romp. I am a huge fan of Gary Stevens and I think this horse is getting better with each start.
- Carpe Diem – Todd Pletcher – John Velazquez
- This Winstar Farm homebred is visually impressive and has done very little wrong in his racing career. I witnessed his impressive win in the Bluegrass and given the “wise-guy” hype around the second place finisher in that race, Danzig Moon, I have to use him in anything I bet for the derby. Like Dortmund and Firing Line, I look for Carpe Diem to be positioned mid-pack throughout the race. His post position (2) makes it critical that he break well from the gate and try and avoid the inevitable traffic jam going in to the first turn. Velazquez is one of the best in the business and will give this talented three year old every opportunity to win.
- Frosted – Kiaran McLaughlin –Joel Rosario
- Admittedly, I was not high on this leading into Derby week. I typically don’t like horses coming in to the Derby off one, big performance that may appear to be out of the ordinary compared to their previous form. For Frosted, I will make anexception. His win in the Wood was impressive! This Tapit colt is bred to like the 1 ¼ distance and McLaughlin is due a Derby win. They have a top jockey taking the mount and I think this horse has a huge upside. With the right trip can be right there at the finish, at a large price.
- Long Shots with a Shot
- Bolo – Carla Gains – Rafael Bejarano
- Has the look of an Animal Kingdom and Paddy O’ Prado coming in to this race. He is a grass horse who has taken nicely to the Churchill Downs track. I am a big fan of Bejarano and I would not be surprised if this guy closes at the end and catches a piece.
- Danzig Moon – Mark Casse – Julian Leparoux
- Given the past few years, you must consider a deep closer. This horse ran a sneaky good second to Carpe Diem in the Bluegrass Stakes and has been training well since that race. There are few better than Leparoux with true closers and I look for him to make a big run late and catch a part of the trifecta at the end.
- Upstart – Richard Violette – Jose Ortiz
- A horse who has been tough as nails throughout the prep season. Materiality beat him in the Florida Derby but only after taking an easy lead. Speed will be a huge factor in this race and I imagine that Ortiz will want to be close to it with Upstart. I have an affection for horses that may lack in talent but try their ass off. That’s why I put Upstart here. He will be a huge price for a horse that has proven so much!
- Bolo – Carla Gains – Rafael Bejarano
- My Bets
- $1 Tri Box 8-10-2/8-10-2-15-9-5/8-10-2-15-9-5-18-19= $90
- $50 WP 8 = 100
DERBY STYLE VIA @NORDSTROM