Oh what could have been. The Conductor is still having nightmares about the end of a great Saturday. Now that he can see straight, he’s watched the tape a few times and has a few things to recap.
The auxiliary gate is an absolute joke and #14 Win Win Win lost all chance after getting slammed at the start. He ran very well to split the field and the Conductor hopes he runs in the Preakness.
Watch the start of the race. The 14 post is brutal and it’s all because of the auxiliary gate. CD needs to spend a few bucks and buy a custom, 20-stall, starting gate. The greatest race in the world deserves better. pic.twitter.com/Ecebm7GP1I
This has happened with the 14 and 15 posts most times the last few years. The two gates are angled towards each other. It’s preposterous that in the biggest race of the year you have an amateur hour gate. Build a 20-horse gate @Churchill Downs, you made enough money this weekend.
It rains every 1st Saturday in May in Louisville and the Conductor is sick of it.
He doesn’t have a solution for this, but wants the pony gods to cut the shit. The surface was great all day and then we got a deluge that completely changed how the track was playing right before the Derby. On a day like Saturday with rain forecast for the late afternoon, you could move the post times up, or not have 1 ½ hours between the Old Forester and the Derby. Once the downpour occurred, the Conductor could feel there was trouble brewing.
The Disqualification of Maximum Security
This is the video they should have been showing last night. Maximum Security clearly veers out 5 paths and totally impedes War of Will and Long Range Toddy. Watch it multiple times. Every time your conviction that the right call was made will increase. pic.twitter.com/0kYakwvjin
Upon soberly watching the replays, the Conductor is ok with the disqualification if there was any consistency in horse racing. Maximum Security does drift out on the turn multiple paths and that should not be allowed, but War of Will was already up his ass and the Conductor has seen much worse infractions not get penalized. Thankfully no horses fell after clipping heals, which would of ended in catastrophe. If you were alive to a huge score to Maximum Security, the Conductor feels sick for you and congrats to those loony bins who had Country House. He’ll put it this way, if Baffert or Mott trained Maximum Security, he wouldn’t have gotten DQ’d and that’s a problem.
Saturday took a lot out of the Conductor, but he will not lay down and quit. The Preakness is only two weeks away and the Conductor will get back on the capping train tomorrow. Lesser men like us would take a back seat after getting so close to a life changing score. But that’s why we’re passengers and he is the one we chose to drive the train. Beware Pimlico, you may think the Conductor will come coasting in nice and easy. Instead he’s blasting the train right through your gates full throttle.
The posts were drawn yesterday and the Conductor able to chart out the race. With speed drawn to the far inside and outside and Omaha Beach right in the middle, he doesn’t see how this pace doesn’t heat up. The Conductor still has a lot of work to do in the Saturday under-card, but he’s got the big boy locked up. Only 3 more sleeps, strap in, Let’s Ride.
*UPDATE – Omaha Beach has scratched which stinks for the Conductor. It won’t change his win contenders, but will hurt their prices.
Race 12: 1 1/4 Mile. G1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve Grade I
#1 War of Will (20/1) – Rail draw and a major setback last race, he’s a straight toss for the Conductor.
#2 Tax (20/1) – The Conductor likes this colt a lot. He’s got the heart of the champion but the distance is a question. He’ll be used underneath early.
*#3 By My Standards (20/1) – He’ll be one of the four horses the Conductor will be using on top and trying to get alive to in all his bets. He’s steadily progressing with every start and the Conductor loved the way he kicked home in the Louisiana Derby. He’s working well at Churchill by all accounts.
#4 Gray Magician (50/1) – He won’t be anywhere on the Conductor’s tickets.
#5 Improbable (6/1) – An obvious contender with major talent, the Conductor is still a little undecided on him. He was restless in the gate in the Arkansas Derby and ran a solid 2nd and is working like a monster. He’ll be used in 2nd and 3rd and may be the 5th horse the Conductor includes on top.
*UPDATE– The Conductor is definitely using him on top.
#6 Vekoma (20/1) – Winner of the Bluegrass, he took advantage of a speed biased race track and the Conductor doesn’t like his action. The Conductor doesn’t see him hitting the board.
#7 Maximum Security (10/1) – He romped in the Florida Derby and is a legitimate contender, but if he wins, the Conductor will lose. He still hasn’t proven he can take early pace pressure and still finish. He’ll only be used underneath.
*#8 Tacitus (10/1) – He’s the Conductor’s 2nd favorite colt in here. His Wood performance was very impressive, winning after getting slammed and checked going to the first turn. He proved he can overcome trouble and that is a major key in a 20-horse field. He’ll be used on top.
#9 Plus Que Parfait (30/1) – The Conductor won’t use him anywhere.
#10 Cutting Humor (30/1) – He has strong late pace figures and has an outside shot to run 3rd or 4th but no higher.
#11 Haikal (30/1) – Same analysis as #10 Cutting Humor
#12 Omaha Beach (4/1) – *SCRATCHED The Derby favorite and rightfully so. He’s been tough as nails, turning away grade 1 winners in his last two preps. The Conductor sees him running a solid race, but will be up in the teeth of what he sees as a hot early pace. One of the Conductor’s horses will pass him late.
#13 Code of Honor (15/1) – He had no chance trying to close into a tepid place in the Florida Derby. The Conductor can see him rounding out the bottom of the tri or super.
***#14 Win Win Win (15/1) – Exiting the Bluegrass Stakes he’s the Conductor’s top pick in this year’s running of the roses. He got absolutely stopped on the turn at Keeneland and still re-rallied against a speed favoring track for a game 2nd. He’ll appreciate the added distance and will have pace to run at. The Conductor sees him sitting mid pack and engulfing them at a big price down the stretch. Kick Home!
#15 Master Fencer (50/1) – Toss
*#16 Game Winner (5/1) – The 4th horse the Conductor will absolutely use in the horizontal wagers and the Baffert the Conductor like most. He’s was wide on both turns in the Santa Anita Derby and galloped out past Roadster despite getting nailed before the wire. He can run all day and is battle tested.
#17 Roadster (6/1) – He had a perfect trip in the Santa Anita Derby and the Conductor doesn’t see him getting another one from the 17 post. He has talent, but the Conductor will only use him underneath.
#18 Long Range Toddy (30/1) – He ran a dud in the slop last time and it looks like there will be rain in Louisville Saturday. He’ll drop to the back and make one run, the Conductor will only use him in 3rd and 4th.
#19 Spinoff (30/1) – The Conductor likes him, but he’ll have to expend a lot of energy early to get position going into the first turn. He’ll be in the mix when the turn for home, but the Conductor doesn’t see him getting his picture taken. Underneath for sure tho.
#20 Country House (20/1) – He’ll be coming from the back of the back, again no better than 3rd.
#21 Bodexpress (30/1) – He benefited from being up close to a slow pace in the Florida Derby. From the far outside the Conductor can’t see him running better than 4th.
Top Pick: #14 Win Win Win (15/1)
Winning Contenders: #3 By My Standards (20/1), #5 Improbable (6/1), #8 Tacitus (10/1), #14 Win Win Win (15/1), #16 Game Winner (5/1)
The Conductor’s Derby Stakes Under-card analysis will be up tomorrow.
Full card plays will be up Friday, but the Conductor is generously giving us his contenders in the feature races on the Oaks card. Nothing like hitting the pick 4,5 and 6 Friday so we can unload on Saturday. Let’s Ride.
Race 6: 1 1/16 Mile. (Turf) F. G3 Edgewood Stakes
#1 Newspaperofrecord (3/5) – This super filly is making her 1st start of the year, but she can’t possibly lose. The ground will have some cut in it as well, which she’s proven to relish.
#1 McKinzie (8/5) and #8 Seeking the Soul (5/2) look to be the only two contenders to the Conductor.
*UPDATE – Upon Further Review the Conductor will also use #6 Instilled Regard (8/1) as a backup.
Race 8: 1 1/16 Mile. G1 La Troienne Stakes
#1 She’s a Julie (7/2), #2 Blue Prize (3/1) and #9 Secret Spice (3/1) are all logical contenders that have big chances, but the Conductor has a price he will key in the exacta and trifecta and use in the horizontal wagers.
#7 Teresa Z (15/1) – This mare is a closer and looks to get a nice setup with lots of speed signed on in this one. She impressed the Conductor last fall and looks primed to run a top effort 2nd off the layoff. She’s done her best running on a wet surface as well and the forecast calls for rain like every derby weekend.
Race 9: 7 Furlongs. OC 62500n2x
This is the most open race in the sequence and the Conductor will likely spread wide and deep unless number #15 Soul Streit (2/1) gets into the field. He’ll be tough to beat. #7 Solid Wager (5/2) is a solid favorite but can be beaten.
#12 Fuel the Burn (20/1) – The Conductor’s favorite bomb in the race is this horse exiting a solid win at Keeneland. Winner of 3 of his last 4, he’s become a new animal on the dirt. His figures fit against this group and the Conductor sees a peak performance coming 2nd off the layoff.
#6 World of Trouble (1/1) – He’s the best turf sprinter in the country period. The Conductor will likely single but may use a saver with #8 Undrafted (8/1) and #9 Will Call (10/1). He can see a scenario where #1 Bound for Nowhere (3/1) makes World of Trouble go too quick on the lead and give the two best closers a shot down the lane.
Race 11: 1 1/8 Mile. F. G1 Longines Kentucky Oaks
In the feature race of the day, the Conductor is going to TOSS the favorite Bellafina (2/1). She’s been beating up on nobodies in California and this looks like a complete pace meltdown on paper. The Conductor will look for contenders who can pass horses down the lane.
He’ll use #1 Out for a Spin (15/1), #3 Lady Apple (20/1), #10 Champagne Anyone (6/1), #11 Jeltrin (15/1), #14 Restless Rider (6/1) and #15 Dunbar Road (5/1) and #16 Point of Honor (20/1) if there are scratches and they draw in.
UPDATE: The Conductor will also be using #2 Chocolate Kisses (20/1)
Closing day at Keeneland, opening day at Belmont. The train will stay in the bluegrass for one more slumber then will be stationed at big sandy for the meet moving forward. From now thru Saratoga is horse racing heaven. Let’s change our stupid little lives. Let’s Ride.
Race 1: 6 Furlongs. Clm 40000b
#1/1A Entry (9/2) – The Conductor like both of the Presque Isle shippers, he’ll take either if one scratches.
Race 2: 6 ½ Furlongs. F.Alw 50000s
#6 Change of Control (5/2) – 2nd off the layoff, she has an early pace edge and is steadily improving.
Race 3: 1 1/8 Mile. (Turf) Mdn 79k
#7 Scattered Strikes (5/2) – He’s the one to beat after dueling in his debut on a scorching pace and hanging on for 3rd. #10 Sandy Lane Kitten (12/1) is a price horse the Conductor likes.
Race 4: 6 ½ Furlongs. Alw 50000s
*Never a Doubt Friday Night Free Stews Lock of the Day #2 West Texas (2/1) – 3rd behind two next out winners last start, she’ll handle this group.
Race 5: 1 3/16 Mile. (Turf) F.Mdn 79k
#7 Passionof the Nile (4/1) – This filly was well bet in her debut, was very wide and only beaten 2 lengths closing into a slow pace. Easy bet back.
Race 6: 7 Furlongs. Alw 81000n1x
#6 Uber Kick (8/1) – 3rd off the layoff, he ran a good 2nd at this level last start and the Conductor sees him taking another step forward.
Race 7: 1 1/8 Mile. (Turf) Alw 81000n1x
*Gullet Shot of the Day #8 Crafty Daddy (6/1) – 2nd off the layoff, he’s steadily progressing for top connections.
Race 8: 6 Furlongs. F.OC 100000n3L
#3 Lady T N T (5/2) – 3rd off the layoff, she looks to run her best today.
Race 9: 1 ½ Mile. (Turf) F.G3 Bewitch Stakes
#7 Maroubra (5/1) – The Conductor liked her late kick, closing into a slow pace last start. 2nd off the layoff, she’ll be even better.
Race 10: 6 Furlongs. F.MC 40000
#2 Baladera (8/1) – She just missed at this level last start in her 1st try on dirt. 2nd off the layoff, she has a big chance.
#3 Unsweet Tea (6/1) – She had a a troubled trip and was cooked in a hot early pace last start. She showed real ability in her debut.
Race 6: 6 Furlongs. OC 75000n1x
#7 Rowayton (9/5) – Cutting back to a sprint, the others don’t stand a chance.
Race 7: 6 Furlongs. Mdn 100k
*Gullet Shot of the Day #4 Rocknroll Rocket (10/1) – 1st off the claim and a 1st time gelding, he shortens in distance and the Conductor likes the confidence to step him back up in class.
Race 8: 1 1/16 Mile. OC 50000n2x
#1 Ike (5/1) – 2nd off the layoff, he’ll be fit today and has run multiple races that give him a big chance in here.
Race 9: 1 1/8 Mile. G2 Oaklawn Handicap
#7 Quip (4/1) – 2nd race as a 4-year old and 2nd off the layoff, he has a major early pace edge over this group.
Race 10: 1 1/16 Mile. OC 16000n1x
#5 Single Gem (6/1) – He was very impressive in his blowout win last start. He set a hot pace and still finished strongly.
Race 11: 1 1/8 Mile. G1 Arkansas Derby Grade I
*Never a Doubt Bob Baffert Lock of the Day #1 Improbable (8/5) – 2nd off the layoff, he’s working well, and the Conductor sees him putting on a show today. He’ll be your Derby favorite after this race.
Race 12: 1 1/16 Mile. Mdn 95k
#8 Verve’s Humor (7/2) – His last race was the best of the bunch and Mike Smith hops aboard.