The Conductor’s Kentucky Derby Preview

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!

fail home video GIF by Cheezburger

#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.

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