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Kentucky Derby PPs

CPA-hole

Well-Known Member
Jose Ortiz stays on Tacticus. Irad Ortiz gets Improbable. Only one question left is who Mike Smith picks, Roadster or Omaha Beach. Would think Roadster is the prohibitive favorite.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Jose Ortiz stays on Tacticus. Irad Ortiz gets Improbable. Only one question left is who Mike Smith picks, Roadster or Omaha Beach. Would think Roadster is the prohibitive favorite.
Yeah I'd be surprised if he didn't stay with Baffert's horse.
 

RBTrojan

Well-Known Member
Obviously a long ways out and many factors can change opinions, but the Servis horse looks interesting at first glance.

Completely agree this crop looks pretty weak...
 

CPA-hole

Well-Known Member
Last year was anointed the best crop in a generation. After the Triple Crown, and the retirement of Justify and a couple of others spent, we were left with Mendelssohn who ended up the highest finishing 3yo in the BC Classic. He finished 5th.

I agree this crop looks weak. I'm just hoping it ends up turning out some of these end up making an impact later on in the year more so than what last years group did.
 

CPA-hole

Well-Known Member
Mike Smith picks Omaha Beach. Florent Geroux will ride Roadster. Kinda surprised he spun Baffert. But interesting none the less.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Some early thoughts looking at the PPs:

Omaha Beach and Maximum Security are the only two in the field to have led a two turn race at both the first and second calls. They were also the beneficiary of slower paced races in those events. 2nd call pace ratings of the final set of preps (fastest to slowest):

Blue Grass +13
Winner Vekoma attended the pace quite nicely, grabbed control on the far turn and maintained a 3 length margin with a 13&2 final 1/8th mile. Potential win candidate.
Runner-up Win Win Win started slow and made one run, closing strong with a sub 13 final 1/8th and passing tired horses in the stretch. Good exotics prospect.

Wood +12
Tacitus
showed for a 2nd time he can settle mid-pack and close well, pulling away late in 13&3.
Tax tracked just ahead of Tacitus on the backstretch and had first run, but was quickly eclipsed by Tacitus. Hard to trust for the win, would need to be a hanger-on type to finish in the money, which is usually not a great option.
Haikal gave up too much ground early, sitting about six lengths further back than in his Gotham win. Closed well but still finished four lengths back. Good exotics prospect.

Santa Anita +5
Roadster with his 2nd consecutive nice finish at two turns in what ended up being a fairly slow SA Derby. Still on the improve for Baffert but Money Mike opts out?
Game Winner now 2 for 2 in being repelled in 2019. May not have improved much relative to others. That Churchill win last year might factor in though.

Louisiana -1
By My Standards ran a decent race and seems to still be improving, with back to back winning stretch drives. Maybe that last maiden win clicked the light bulb on, hard to say. Will be a very attractive price for a major stakes winner.
War of Will laid a big egg after taking three straight including the prior two preps at Fairgrounds. Overall speed ratings are a problem as well. Has a nice slop win at Churchill which is a sneaky line on the PPs. He also started out on turf running in huge events last fall, so he has a highly regarded pedigree. Training has been good. A really mystery that will probably be 18-1 or so.
Spinoff punched his ticket in his lone prep race running huge before getting caught by the winner in the last 100 yards. Lightly raced, Pletcher trained, improving numbers, will be a big price. John V jumped off him but Manny Franco is aggressive and should have this guy in a great spot entering the far turning. The question is will he be good enough the last 1/4 mile? If someone handed me $10 and said bet a longshot that might not win but can thrill me I'd put it on Spinoff.

He didn't run in the LA Derby but Plus Que Parfait ran the two prior preps at Fairgrounds and burned a lot of money with little distinction. Now we're to assume that he found himself in Dubai and is ready to run big next weekend? Smh

Sunland -4
Cutting Humor beat a so-so field that was surprisingly tepid paced compared to the usual speed fests they have at Sunland. Pletcher has moved this one around looking for a home, having run him at top level tracks like Belmont, Keeneland, Oaklawn and Gulfstream. Ironically his two wins at low 2nd tier tracks Sunland and the old Calder race course. Still looking for a jockey at this point?

Arkansas -9
Omaha Beach has gotten below average paces in his two prep wins but has shown some really impressive gameness fending off Game Winner and Improbable down the stretch. Has preferred leading over stalking, with a bit of a reputation for hanging in the stretch. Post draw and early positioning will be very important.
Improbable ran a pretty nice Derby considering how wide Jose Ortiz left him, to the point where I've heard his Thorograph number was better than the winner's. Brother Irad takes over. Will be 3rd off the layoff for the master, so obviously deserves respect. Has a sharp Churchill win under his belt and figures to be 8-1 or more.
Long Range Toddy has been good/bad/good/bad in his four Oaklawn races this year, so the optimist will say he might be due for another good run. More realistically he's just a little too slow to compete on a regular basis. He beat nobody in the Smarty Jones and caught Improbable off the layoff. When the big names all got together for the Derby he was a non-factor. Wouldn't expect much different next week.
Country House is a bit of a compiler...2nd at the Risen Star for 20, 4th at LA Derby for 10, then a distant 3rd at Oaklawn for enough points to get in the field. As a result he's been beaten by a quarter of the field already. But with this been his 3rd race in 6 weeks, he figures to be fit, and he's a pick up the pieces type. Could challenge for 4th.

Florida -25
It's a tough call to make on Maximum Security who lucked out with an extremely slow pace for his first two turn race. He took full advantage. I'm inclined to downgrade him but must remember he's never been asked for more yet, so we don't really know what he's capable of.
Code of Honor was naturally unable to cut into the lead late, but also showed a bit of shyness as well. Interesting that Johnny V wants to stick with him. He's going to need to jump up a bit to be in the mix.


Gray Magician and Master Fencer don't figure to see any of my money....
 
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CPA-hole

Well-Known Member
Vekoma looks better on paper than watching him run. Lol. Been awhile since I've seen a Gr. 1 winner move like that.

The Sunland Race was very fast. But that track was very fast that. I actually thought the horse that ran 2nd, Another Tist of Fate was much the best, but he unfortunately won't have enough points to get in.

The Wood has been in a pronounced drought of producing Derby winners but Tacticus could change that. World class pedigree behind him.
 

P-Unit

Beacon of Calmness
Good thoughts fellas. I'm headed to Vegas on 5/1 and plan on throwing down a few wagers on the race. Keep the thoughts coming... :shake:
 

Dollaz

Well-Known Member
This will be the first derby I've been to. Any tips on attending. We just got infield seats, but debating trying to get real seats.
 

B.A.R.

CTG Partner
Staff member
This will be the first derby I've been to. Any tips on attending. We just got infield seats, but debating trying to get real seats.
I've never had 'real' seats but I just had fun paying my 50 bucks and being 'everywhere'.
 

Dollaz

Well-Known Member
What days you going? Where you staying?

Going up Friday (wont be there for the Oaks). We ended up trying to be cost concious and flying into Nashville, staying Friday/Sat night in Eliabethtown, going to Nashville on Sunday and staying the night there.
 

Dollaz

Well-Known Member
I've never had 'real' seats but I just had fun paying my 50 bucks and being 'everywhere'.
Dumb question, but can you walk around inside if you just have infield seats? The only track I've ever been to is colonial downs.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
I went the year I'll Have Another beat Bodemeister, what, 8-9 years ago? Had reserved seats in the grandstand about 10 rows back from the starting gate (it's really bench seating in most of the place). Back then they only had a small video board, much smaller than what they have now, and the sound system had no chance against the crowd noise. We basically saw them whip into and around the far turn and then disappear down the stretch. Then you'd need binoculars to try to identify the chiclet colors at the bottom of the screen. You actually bond a lot more with the people around you, as you're all asking each other either "what happened?" after the race or "who ya got?" before it.

The fact is 90% of the seats in the entire building need to watch the video board for 75%-100% of the race. There are luxury suites two stories high on the infield side of the stretch that block all but the top couple of floors (5 and 6, maybe 4) from getting a view of the backstretch.

As far as what the infield ticket gets you, there's a tunnel under the stretch so you can go to the paddock area, the museum, various food places, souvenir shops and the betting windows in the open air under the grand stand. They're pretty strict against letting non-grandstand ticket holders enter the grandstand.

I'll go back someday, but I much prefer the Belmont, where there are no infield seats, no infield luxury suites, two levels of stadium style grandstand seats where you get a good look at the whole track, and they cap the attendance at 90.000. The card is top notch and if there's no Triple Crown at stake they only draw 2/3rds the capacity so there's plenty of room to roam.
 

Dollaz

Well-Known Member
I went the year I'll Have Another beat Bodemeister, what, 8-9 years ago? Had reserved seats in the grandstand about 10 rows back from the starting gate (it's really bench seating in most of the place). Back then they only had a small video board, much smaller than what they have now, and the sound system had no chance against the crowd noise. We basically saw them whip into and around the far turn and then disappear down the stretch. Then you'd need binoculars to try to identify the chiclet colors at the bottom of the screen. You actually bond a lot more with the people around you, as you're all asking each other either "what happened?" after the race or "who ya got?" before it.

The fact is 90% of the seats in the entire building need to watch the video board for 75%-100% of the race. There are luxury suites two stories high on the infield side of the stretch that block all but the top couple of floors (5 and 6, maybe 4) from getting a view of the backstretch.

As far as what the infield ticket gets you, there's a tunnel under the stretch so you can go to the paddock area, the museum, various food places, souvenir shops and the betting windows in the open air under the grand stand. They're pretty strict against letting non-grandstand ticket holders enter the grandstand.

I'll go back someday, but I much prefer the Belmont, where there are no infield seats, no infield luxury suites, two levels of stadium style grandstand seats where you get a good look at the whole track, and they cap the attendance at 90.000. The card is top notch and if there's no Triple Crown at stake they only draw 2/3rds the capacity so there's plenty of room to roam.
Have been trying to get to Belmont the past 3 years. This might be the years! Thanks for the insight and I will probably tail your picks.
 

B.A.R.

CTG Partner
Staff member
As far as what the infield ticket gets you, there's a tunnel under the stretch so you can go to the paddock area, the museum, various food places, souvenir shops and the betting windows in the open air under the grand stand. They're pretty strict against letting non-grandstand ticket holders enter the grandstand.
all this... basically where I usually hung...
 

B.A.R.

CTG Partner
Staff member
Looking at the forecast, that infield will be an absolute muddy mess. I did 12 hours in the rain there the last time I went.

I like being in the Paddock area and whatnot. Even though you cannot see the races live you can still watch on the screens there and its pretty exciting when they post the finish on the board...

Watch your feet, broken glass everywhere.

If you are there with a significant other, wear sunglasses so you can leer at the women ;)

You'll get a rhythm of when it is the right time before each race to go to the betting lines.

I still haven't been to the other two, even though we have tried to plan it out a few times. This is the closest one (6.5 hours to stay in Lexington or Frankfort). I love it though, it is just a great experience overall. I still haven't been for Friday though but want to do that sometime.

-------------

I was discussing going this year but I cannot get out of work in time to get down there... its been like 4 years.
 

B.A.R.

CTG Partner
Staff member
Yeah, with wife. If it rains, I gotta find a dry spot. Too old to be flopping in mud.
Ponchos.

If she is bringing a fancy hat, get her something to cover it so it doesn't get ruined.

This sounds like small stuff, but a moody wifey could ruin your day :)

There are a couple of spots just outside the betting windows to hide from any rain, but it is tight. I remember finding one perfect spot so I could watch the screen and also stay dry. That year I went to the infield once and someone tried to get me into a mud fight so I scurried along.
 

Dollaz

Well-Known Member
Ponchos.

If she is bringing a fancy hat, get her something to cover it so it doesn't get ruined.

This sounds like small stuff, but a moody wifey could ruin your day :)

There are a couple of spots just outside the betting windows to hide from any rain, but it is tight. I remember finding one perfect spot so I could watch the screen and also stay dry. That year I went to the infield once and someone tried to get me into a mud fight so I scurried along.
Yeah, thats sounds like a good idea.
 

P-Unit

Beacon of Calmness
With respect to the race, I'm liking Win Win Win a bit as a late closer, especially on a sloppy track. I haven't checked the forecast yet, but he could hit the ticket, so it might be worth a wheel bet. Looking for one other horse to play. My father in law really likes Maximum Security.
 

Dollaz

Well-Known Member
Ponchos.

If she is bringing a fancy hat, get her something to cover it so it doesn't get ruined.

This sounds like small stuff, but a moody wifey could ruin your day :)

There are a couple of spots just outside the betting windows to hide from any rain, but it is tight. I remember finding one perfect spot so I could watch the screen and also stay dry. That year I went to the infield once and someone tried to get me into a mud fight so I scurried along.

Is there any way to do anything in Louisville over the weekend or is it too crowded?
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
My numbers are telling me Game Winner and Vekoma are the two top win choices, with Tax, Roadster, By My Standards and Tacitus in the next group, and Win Win WIn and Haikal the most likely closers to hit the board.

Horses coming off good efforts in preps with a taxing pace have done very well in recent Derby's. Think Battle of Midway hitting the board in 2017.

Closer types who gained two or more lengths on the winner in the stretch of their last prep have also been good ITM plays. Think Lookin at Lee, Commanding Curve.

So it'll probably be Maximum Security-Omaha Beach-Improbable running 1, 2, 3
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Oaks looks like it will be loaded with speed, Bellafina, Flor de La Mar, Jaywalk, Motion Emotion and Serengeti Empress are all front-runner types, so is Liora. I could see a withering pace opening this up for Champagne Anyone, Street Band and Restless Rider to fight it out late, with Bellafina, Jaywalk, Serengetti Express and Out for a Spin all trying to hang on to catch a piece.
 

CPA-hole

Well-Known Member
Thought Omaha Beach got the best draw. No speed on his outside and he can just go sit off Maximum Security.

I'm gonna stick with Improbable. Liked what I saw from his training at CD leading to this. Just hoping this being his third start of the year that he's ready to fire his biggest race.
 

CPA-hole

Well-Known Member
No clue what to do in the oaks yet. Just won't be playing Belafina. She flopped in the BC at CD last November, her worst race. Could see a big pace meltdown.
 

Jab v2.0

Well-Known Member
What’s up, strangers

I laid out Maximum Security, Improbable and Tax as my potential trifecta box a few weeks ago, so I’m sticking with it. Sure as I change it, they’ll come in.

I’ll have a dozen or so other bets but that’s it for now.

First year going. Section 111, Box 3, if anyone’s around.
 

Two Utes

Well-Known Member
Is there any way to do anything in Louisville over the weekend or is it too crowded?
Everything downtown and in the highlands will be a shit show. We got lucky to get reservations for Thurs and Fri night just this Sunday. If you can get to the Oaks, go. It's a great time and I prefer to derby, tbt.

We'll be there with a group of 4 both days. I need to get my picks squared away.
 

Da Hoss

Well-Known Member
About five years ago my brother had a box next to Belicheat Brady and Molly Wes Welker. Said Belichick was a complete dick to people around him.
 

P-Unit

Beacon of Calmness
My numbers are telling me Game Winner and Vekoma are the two top win choices, with Tax, Roadster, By My Standards and Tacitus in the next group, and Win Win WIn and Haikal the most likely closers to hit the board.

Horses coming off good efforts in preps with a taxing pace have done very well in recent Derby's. Think Battle of Midway hitting the board in 2017.

Closer types who gained two or more lengths on the winner in the stretch of their last prep have also been good ITM plays. Think Lookin at Lee, Commanding Curve.

So it'll probably be Maximum Security-Omaha Beach-Improbable running 1, 2, 3
How would you suggest I play Win Win Win to hit the ticket? What options give me the best upside, especially if a big favorite doesn't win?
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
How would you suggest I play Win Win Win to hit the ticket? What options give me the best upside, especially if a big favorite doesn't win?
I’ll be using him in 2,3,4 spots on exactas/tris/supers. One option is using a reverse tri key where you single him in the 2 and 3 spots on two tickets and use the other horses you like in the other spots.
 

P-Unit

Beacon of Calmness
I’ll be using him in 2,3,4 spots on exactas/tris/supers. One option is using a reverse tri key where you single him in the 2 and 3 spots on two tickets and use the other horses you like in the other spots.
:shake:
 

B.A.R.

CTG Partner
Staff member
Uber in or self park (where/how much?)
First year we had a DD luckily and parked right by Papa John's Stadium for 20 bucks. A lot of homeowners sell out their yards etc for parking. They even had a bunch of pizzas when we came back later which was awesome (guessing that was luck of the draw). The next few years we stayed in Frankfort and took a prearranged service test cost us like 30 bucks a person total (15 each way). That was well worth it. It's been since 2015 so I'm guessing Uber/Ride-sharing is prevalent.
 

Two Utes

Well-Known Member
Parking by the track changed last year. Many of the roads are closed for shuttles coming from the expo center. If you don't have a parking pass just find the nearest neighborhood you can and hope to find a spot.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
I don't see much hope for replacement Bodexpress unless you have a thing for betting on maidens in Grade 1's. Took advantage of the super soft pace in the Florida Derby to ride the merry-go-round behind Maximum Security.
 

Gandolf

Offensive Guru
Im not seeing reasons to pass on taking Improbably. What the negatives for him?
He's a bit of a diva at the gate, can waste some energy trying to load him. Now faces 150,000 screaming fans.

New jockey. Irad is great but not familiar with the horse. Will he get him to settle, will he move him at the right time, will he know how much horse he has left at the 3/4 mark?

Ran down by Long Range Toddy in the Rebel, who is not on anyone's list as a win contender.

Equipment change for the Derby (blinkers off) is typically a bad sign, but Baffert bucks the trend on that.

Other than that he's not bad. But he'll get a Baffert discount, so is 6/1 a good price?
 

Lloyd Braun

Well-Known Member
He's a bit of a diva at the gate, can waste some energy trying to load him. Now faces 150,000 screaming fans.

New jockey. Irad is great but not familiar with the horse. Will he get him to settle, will he move him at the right time, will he know how much horse he has left at the 3/4 mark?

Ran down by Long Range Toddy in the Rebel, who is not on anyone's list as a win contender.

Equipment change for the Derby (blinkers off) is typically a bad sign, but Baffert bucks the trend on that.

Other than that he's not bad. But he'll get a Baffert discount, so is 6/1 a good price?

I do wonder if the blinkers which he only wore last race was part of the reason for his pre-race antics last time out, but yes I will certainly be watching him in the paddock and post parade and seeing how he is acting and how hot he gets.

Being out of City Zip that last extra furlong may be tough for him even if the bottom side of the pedigree does have stamina influence.

With Omaha Beach being scratched I think all 3 Baffert's are going to be overbet and shorter prices than they should be but there is a reason for that as well, unfortunately.

I don't know how much he wants to run inside of horses as he has been wide in all races, even with the rail draw in last race he was 5 wide around second turn although some of that might have been due to the track conditions as the rail might have been the slowest part of the track with the slop, but leaving from Post 5 of 20 on Saturday he's going to have horses outside of him which he might not be comfortable with
 
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