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Get ‘Lucky’ with Chaos?

I love betting the Kentucky Derby!  Normally you can identify a select few horses who have a chance to win and the large field and often chaotic results underneath can produce the type of wagering opportunities and payoffs you won’t see for another year.

This year finds us with almost the entire field having recorded a last figure within a length or two of each other, and a pace scenario that figures to make for a lot of easy eliminations.  It should be a recipe for big score but I find myself confused.  Looking at Lucky is no faster than a dozen other horses in the race and he’s coming off a performance that’s way too slow to contend, but he had a legitimate excuse in his last and he’s the horse who, gun to my head, I believe has the best chance to hit the board given his ability and running style.  What to do, what to do?

It doesn’t take a master’s in handicapping to look at the Racing Form and conclude that there will be  a pace meltdown in the Derby, but as much as I’d like to be cute, I can’t see any other plausible scenario.  There’s just too many horses with speed and no sign they can rate or have the stamina to last.  To me this race comes down to a group are really the only ones I can see finishing in the top 2 spots:

Looking At Lucky – No value whatsoever, but most likely to run his race

Ice Box – 50% he’s improving/maturing and ready to move forward again and run a winning race – especially given the race shape – and 50% he just exploded in the Florida Derby due to circumstances and isn’t really a strong closer or a 100+ Beyer horse at this stage.  Note he wasn’t finishing all that well in several of his earlier races.

Super Saver – Will be very tough IF he can rate a little.  Wasn’t cranked up at Tampa and then moved forward in Arkansas.  Could be sitting on a BIG one here especially if he can sit behind the likely speed duel.

Stately Victor – My intention was to make him an obvious toss but he could just be an improving horse and he’ll obviously get the trip.  His dirt races were similar to his grass races previously so he might just be forging forward as much as he may have just loved synthetics.  A definite use for me at a big price.

Devil May Care – No clue what to do with this horse.  She’s actually as fast as anyone based on her last and gets the right setup, but even with excuses she’s run too many mediocre races to feel confident about and her last was under favorable conditions.   A must-use though.

Mission Impazible – Looks like he’s moving forward…and he can rate a little, but I’m not sure if he’s good enough.  A use.

Awesome Act – I’m kinda indifferent on this horse.  He had trouble last time but he’s lost ground in the stretch in both of his last 2 and the Gotham wasn’t a strong race.  He’s easy to make a case for but I’m just not convinced he’s any kind of star.

Others I’ll use a bit on the bottom of the ticket:

Dean’s Kitten, Make Music For Me, Conveyance, Dublin, Sidney’s Candy

So basically I’m looking for some combo of the top 7 to finish 1-2 with something wacky and chaotic to happen underneath for some boxcar payoffs.  I’ll use Looking At Lucky a bit extra as a defensive measure.

I’m heading to Louisville for the 2010 Kentucky Derby – my first in-person Derby.  Best of luck to all.

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