As normal, I’d like to give a little intro to my brother before he officially takes over the blog for the day. Horse racing is one thing my big bro knows much better than I do. I come by that honestly, unlike a few other things I think I know better, but that’s another story! We both grew up around the horse industry with our Dad as kids, and now as adults we love it just as much. Brad learned about horses and studied the sport from a young age, while I was more concerned with fashion at the races (obviously). I give him big props for his love of this sport and its rich history. Today, Brad has two little boys who I am sure will love it just as much as he does. Ford, his oldest son, already loves the “Nay Nay’s” and watching them from the rail. I can’t wait to watch them grow up and have similar experiences around horse racing that we enjoyed.
Disclaimer: I say this every year, but 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 and a part of our lifestyle. Much like last year, I’ve been looking forward to doing this again… Take it away Brad’o!
Follow Brad on Twitter: @Tbradmclean
Here we are again. The week of the Kentucky Derby and my sister has asked me to write yet another Derby post. To freshen your memory, the idea is for this below-average handicapper, who has never worked a day in the horse business, to provide expert insight and perspective in to the most unpredictable race in the world.
How is that for a confidence-boosting intro? Ready to make some money? Good, because once we nail the tri, give Uncle Brad a call. I have scouted some oceanfront property in Arizona that is priced to sell….
The fact is I believe this to be one of the most open Derbies I have followed. Some will make the case for Nyquist, the undefeated favorite and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall and the Florida Derby last month. Others will argue that Exaggerator, winner of the Santa Anita Derby last outing, is improving the most coming in to the Derby. Still more pundits will be keen to put Creator, winner of the Arkansas Derby, or Mor Spirit, runnerup in the Santa Anita, at the top of their lists. And each horse deserves the praise and high rankings. But my philosophy for this Derby is to use the parity that exists in this crop of contenders and try to get Donald Trump rich. (What? Don’t you want to make America great again?)
What that means is that I will stick with some horses I have been high on throughout the road to the Derby whose odds will be inflated thanks to some apparent shortcomings. Below, in no particular order, are the four horses I plan to use the most in my betting.
- Mo Tom – Trainer: Tom Amoss – Jockey: Corey Lanerie
- Arguably the unluckiest horse in the field. Twice, in major preps, the son of Uncle Mo was making a winning move coming around the backstretch and had to steady due to traffic. He is a horse who drops way back and makes one run. He certainly will need better steering from Jockey Corey Lanerie in the crowded 20 horse Derby field, but I think he is sitting on a huge race and will likely be double-digit odds.
- Whitmore – Trainer: Ron Moquett – Jockey: Victor Espinoza
- Like Mo Tom, Whitmore has had a number of very troubled trips in the prep races leading up to the Derby. He has a strong turn of foot and acquired the services of Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza. In a 20-horse field, an experienced jockey can make be the difference in winning and losing. Whitmore will relish the added distance and his turn of foot should put him in a winning position turning for home. The key will be a clean trip and a clear running path.
- Mohaymen – Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Jockey: Junior Alvarado
- Prior to the unexplainable dud in the Florida Derby, Mohaymen was most hyped horse in country. His races prior were dominant, albeit against what has turned out to be soft competition. I firmly believe that race was a fluke and look for a big bounce back on Saturday. The fact is this horse has too much talent and tactical speed not to be a contender.
- Nyquist – Trainer: Doug O’Neil – Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
- I just can’t bring myself to leave him out. I bet him in the Breeders’ Cup when most people doubted him and I am going to use him again on Saturday. The good news is that his doubters will drive his price up. I would not be shocked if he was 3-1 as they loaded the gates. His consistency, his talent, and his ability to rate make him a no brainer on any exotic ticket.
- Given the depth of this Derby field I also plan to use the following horses on some exotic tickets: Destin, Gun Runner, Exaggerator, Brody’s Cause and Suddenbreakingnews.
A few of the bets I plan to make before indulging in the Lyster’s Mint Julep bar:
- $10 WPS: Mo Tom = $30
- $5 Exacta Wheel: Nyquist, Mohaymen, Mo Tom/Nyquist, Mohaymen, Mo Tom, Whitmore, Destin = $60
- $5 Tri Box: Nyquist, Mo Tom, Whitmore, Mohaymen = $120