"It's so much easier to have no expectations than to have big ones." - Ann Brashares
It is that time of the year again - the first Saturday of May is upon us... everyone is buzzing with Derby Fever. I confess that I have looked at the race and will offer my two cents like everyone else, but this year I am undeterred by my traditional poor showing in the biggest race of the year. Typically I have no expectations of cashing a winning ticket on this race - but this year will be different.
The last month has been a total whirlwind on many levels. I took a few weeks off of regular handicapping to refresh my approach and deal with upcoming home improvement projects, with the exception of the short Atlantic City Race Course meet. Work has gotten busier than it has been since the pre-Recession era and I am taking on a few new roles and responsibilities on that front - a welcome change of pace to the daily grind (well, in addition to my usual daily grind anyway).
My software is progressing while still making some minor tweaks as I find problems and getting ready to rework my track-to-track adjustments. I still need to clean up the final product and make some of the figures a little easier to compare against each other (velocities, EP, SP, AP). Some of the correlations between the figures and certain race conditions are starting to grow more obvious and profitable, yet still require further tracking before I make any great claims here...
On to the big one...
Saturday 5/4 - Churchill Downs - Race 11 - Kentucky Derby G1 - 1-1/4mi for 3 year olds
Rather than go horse by horse like I would normally do here, I am just going to cut to how I feel the pace will set up and highlight the horses...
As is always expected, there will be a mad dash to the lead (and some serious jostling and traffic) - here I expect to see 2 Oxbow, 6 Mylute, 7 Giant Finish, and 13 Falling Sky bolt to the lead and set the usual torrid fractions. 8 Goldencents and 14 Verrazano will try to be close and sit a few lengths off of the pace through the first six furlongs. As they hit the far turn, the speed will start to falter and the pack will start to make a move. I expect 8 Goldencents to still be a factor through the stretch, but he'll be no match for the late runs by 3 Revolutionary, 5 Normandy Invasion, 9 Overanalyze, and 16 Orb. Of the four late runners I see being a factor late, I give an edge to 3 Revolutionary. My order of finish - 3 Revolutionary - 5 Normandy Invasion - 16 Orb - 9 Overanalyze.
I'll probably throw a few bucks across the board on 3 Revolutionary - I can't imagine his odds dipping below 6-1 with this field.
Good luck all!