DeGags has come out of hibernation to make his picks for the Derby and the fight of the year. The smell of the summer ales and grilled meat awoken him from his slumber. Stay tuned as King Ing will unveil his Derby picks later today or early tomorrow.
Queue Trumpet, Call to the post.
What an exciting day this is panning out to be. 20 horses, 7 picks. Let me run through the only 7 that matter. I begin with my new favorite:
I Want Revenge – Winner of the Wood Memorial on April 4th, the track was heavily damp that day. We can expect similar conditions on Saturday in the Blue Grass state. Joe Talamo got stuck getting out of the gate, and somehow fought his horse back to the front to pull off an amazing victory. All factors considered, I Want Revenge is my favorite.
Pioneer of the Nile – Winner of the Santa Anita the same day as the Wood Memorial, PoN crushed the competition, but won with a dismal time of 1:49 in perfect weather. What I like about him for the derby is that he’s being ridden by Garrett Gomez again. He is my favorite jockey, and if he were riding Advice instead; that combo would be my derby winner.
Advice – Winner of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, I’m not sure how much of the last to first run that day was Advice and how much was thanks to his mount Gomez. Either way, this horse is special, and ran a respectable time at Lexington, and I see no reason to think that Rene Douglas can’t make something special out of this horse. WinStar Farm has 3 horses in the run this day, this is the best one of the field, and quite possibly a long shot winner.
Dunkirk – I am rounding out the Superfecta with the horse that didn’t impress at the Florida Derby back in March. He finished second, but still with a better time than Pioneer had in his victory at Santa Anita. Dunkirk was my other early pick from 8 weeks ago to win the Kentucky Derby. I still like him to do it, but only if jockey Edgar Prado can get this horse to give 100% in the final stretch.
For those looking to do more than just a superfecta, perhaps a Trifecta wheel, I’ll give you a couple of more who may give a better showing than my 4 picks:
Papa Clem – Winner of the Arkansas Derby, this horse has speed and ability. If rider Rafael Bejarano can push his horse just a bit harder than he did down in Arkansas, than he might have what it takes to win the first crown.
Musket Man – If America likes any horse, this is the horse. Winner of the Illinois Derby ridden by Elbar Coa, he ran great. My only flaw for him was that he didn’t beat anyone special. I’m skeptical that he will break the top four, but there’s no denying this horse’s heart and speed.
General Quarters – Winner of the Blue Grass Stakes, this is a horse that would have his chances increase if he were mounted by Elbar Coa again. Instead we have Julien Laparoux who started his career in 2005 at Saratoga. Laparoux has 403 victories, 7 of them coming in one day this past fall….at Churchill Downs.
Those are my top 7 to wheel. If you’re looking for alternates, then swap in Friesan Fire, he’s won his last three races. My only concern is that his last race was longer back than any of the other favorites. But if this horse has one quality trait above the rest of the field, it’s stamina. This horse won’t fade in the stretch.
But hold on “Sports that encourage cigar smoking” fans.” This Saturday also brings the long anticipated bout between quite arguably the greatest boxer today, Manny Pacquiao, challenging the current IBO Light Welterweight Title. Fight fans, last Saturday Taylor almost gave us the upset I called for, but instead he was punished in the late rounds despite his powerful start. Yet again, I am taking the underdog, only this time I will be vindicated. Hatton is a great fighter, he beat Juan Urango, one of my favorite power hitters in 12 rounds. I don’t just like him to upset Manny, I love him to upset Manny. Nothing against Manny, I think he’s a superstar for the sport. But he’s not the sport’s next Tiger Woods, or Michael Jordan. He’s the next Bo Jackson. I like Hatton to win this fight, in a grueling Rocky Balboa style bout.
4 Units on Hatton (+200)
$2 Superfecta Box on the 4, 13, 15 and 16 horses = $48
$2 Trifecta wheel on the 13 / 2, 4, 6, 7, 12, 15, 16 / 2, 4, 6, 7, 12, 15, 16 = $60
Record: 81-57 (+39.8 units)
Good luck and enjoy.