Foolproof Kentucky Derby 2017 Strategy
Twenty three-year olds were entered Wednesday in the 143rd Run for the Roses at a mile and a quarter. Indicating how wide open the race is, the morning line favorite at a tepid 4-1 is Classic Empire.
“I think it’s as wide open as they say,” said Gary Young, a private clocker and bloodstock agent.
“Of the leading contenders, no one truly got helped or hurt that much in the draw although I did kind of like Lookin At Lee a little. His post (one) won’t help him, but he’s a downtown horse anyway.
“The horse I give a little edge to is Irish War Cry. He’s only been here a couple days, and the first day, Tuesday, he was a bit head strong and turned his head a little, but nothing like Always Dreaming had done before in the week.
“Wednesday, he galloped like he owned the place. I don’t know what happened to him in the Fountain of Youth (seventh by almost 22 lengths). If that race never took place, he’d be about a 3-1 favorite for the Derby. I enjoy the way he’s trained. He’d be my top choice.
“McCracken would be my second pick, although they have entirely different body types. Irish War Cry is really tall with an average body, as far as just how much weight he takes.
“McCracken is smaller, moderate at best, but he’s very, very well balanced and his gallop outs after his work outs here were excellent. He’s also three for three over this track.
“A longshot I think will run nicely would be Tapwrit. Much like Irish War Cry, he’s had a race that was too terrible to believe, only his was in his last race (fifth by 11 ½ lengths in the Blue Grass April 8); Irish War Cry’s was two races back (March 4).
“Everything Tapwrit has done at Churchill Downs this week–working, galloping, body language–everything he’s done has made you believe he’s going to run like he did winning the Tampa Bay Derby (by 4 ½ lengths March 11) and not like he did in the Blue Grass.
“It is concerning that he ran such a poor race right before the Derby, but additionally, it makes his price more attractive. He’s trained OK.
“The top two California horses, Gormley and Battle of Midway, have trained OK. However, for those people who are rooting for California to continue its winning streak in the Derby (following successes by Nyquist this past year, American Pharoah in 2015 and California Chrome in 2014), California’s chances aren’t what they were the last three years, but we’ll see what the results are.
“I could definitely see Gormley and Battle of Midway hitting the board, and if all the important players don’t bring their ‘A’ game, it could set up for one of them or Tapwrit.”
Approximate post time for the Kentucky Derby is 3:46 p.m. Pacific Time.
Santa Anita hosts party
To accommodate buffs on Kentucky Derby Day, Santa Anita will offer extended hours on the Gold Line Shuttle Service in Arcadia, managing between 12 midday and 2 p.m. to handle peak attendance hours.
Enthusiasts at Santa Anita Saturday can enjoy the biggest Derby party west of Kentucky and view and wager on the Run for the Roses. Derby Day highlights include a Kentucky Derby Trackside event; a KROQ Super Games and Craft Beer Festival; a Chandelier Room Derby Party; a Kentucky Derby Hat Contest; the Bud Light Lounge; and a guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool of $500,000 and Pick 6 pool of $100,000.
The DerbyDay Hat Contest presented by Southern California Life Magazine is free to enter and boasts three grand prizes including $1,000 cash and a year’s subscription to the publication for each victor. The three types (Most Creative, Most Glamorous and Fascinators and Fedoras) will be judged by a panel of fashion industry specialists just west of the winner’s circle at 2:30 p.m.