KevinCoxItem


We ended up with a pair of 3rds yesterday. One was the result of getting smushed at the start, and we got "Bobbleheaded" in the other.

The Big Day is upon us, and let's hope we can replicate some of our Derby successes from years gone by. ( 1991-Strike the Gold $12...1999-War Emblem $44...2003 Funny Cide $28...and even Lookin at Lee finishing second last year at 33-1 ! )

Just a reminder that you can also get today's Belmont full card selections & analysis by merely going back one page.

Have fun, everyone !!


Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None


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Graded Stakes - 5/5 - Kentucky Derby all stakes Pick 4

 

     Race 9        American Turf

1. Threeandfourpence

2.Rushing Fall

3.Arawak

#3 THREEANDFOURPENCE was positively annihilated in the UAE Derby, so it's safe to say they won't be putting this one on the sand anymore. That being said, Lasix is now in the mix, so perhaps he bled a little bit that afternoon. There are no Mendelssohn's here, and the turf form is honest enough, so we'll give this one one Moore shot with an eight pound drop to his career low. There's an old adage in this game to never discount an undefeated runner at 3-1 or more, and that's exactly what we have with the #12 RUSHING FALL today. Brown runner ( cross entered yesterday, so check the changes ) has won from the inside and out...rating from just off the pace or coming from the back...off the layoff or not, and is difficult to fault. #8 ARAWAK finished third when having blinks removed in the past & may spice things up if able to catch firm turf today ( rain in the forecast ).  OFF TURF: 12-16(AE)-15(AE)-10-1  NOTE: AS OF 11:12, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #16 (AE) WILL B OUR 3RD SELECTION.

 

 Race 10      Pat Day Mile

1.Givemeaminit

2.Madison's Luna

3.National Flag

Second leg of the Pick 4 is the "Patient Pat Day Mile" ( Don't even get me started on Easy Goer this Derby Day... ) and we'll give a tepid nod to the #9 GIVEMEAMINIT. Stewart charge is 4:1-2-1 going one turn ( 5:0-0-0 otherwise ), won by a pole beneath C-Lan at the end of January, and from a teensie sampling, the aforementioned shot caller is 4:2-0-1-1 when going two turns to one with his graded runners at less than 40-1 ( $17, $18, 36-1 & 35-1 ). #7 MADISON'S LUNA is another flawless runner at generous odds ( 5-1 ), and we love how the Beyer went up about 14% while being hiked up the class ladder. No knocks. #1 NATIONAL FLAG regressed somewhat from a figure standpoint in winning his second straight, but any number in between the two could be enough to complete the hat trick.

 

Race 11     Turf        Classic

1.Camelot Kitten

2.Beach Patrol

3.Shining Copper

#4 CAMELOT KITTEN has that type of "declining" record that we love so much ( 17:6-3-0 ) as it shows he knows where the line is, and won his only start right here on Derby Day two years ago. Amazingly, the six scores were accomplished by less than a length in total, so this fella is as game as they come. Enters off a poly win today, and gets a Hall of Famer at 8-1. We'll bite. #10 BEACH PATROL is a deserving favorite here, what with the back class, gaudy numeros, and decent familiarity with the dist. If there was any bugaboo here, it would be the 0-2 mark here & 1-5 ledger when starting from the outermost three slots ( 4-12 from other posts ). I know, I know, we're nitpicking. But hey, he's still in the top three, no? #2 SHINING COPPER is a pretty cool story. Claimed at the end of May in 2015 to be a rabbit for Big Blue Kitten, this one finished 4th at 130-1 in the United Nations next out, and is a two time graded stakes winner and two time Grade 1 placed since then! Been freshened up since the game runner up finish down in Barbados, and we find it had to believe this one'll be 15-1 come post.  OFF TURF: 3-10-4-7-6   NOTE: AS OF 3:49, DUE TO THE TURF BEING "GOOD", OUR UPDATED SELECTIONS ARE NOW 7-6-10.

 

Race 12  Kentucky     Derby

1.Flameaway

2.Justify

3.Free Drop Billy

On our first draft of this year's rendition of the Kentucky Derby, we were able to lop off a dozen of the 20 signed on -- which is nice ( "Gunga galunga." ), and a few in that twelve are decent odds as well. We went with the #4 FLAMEAWAY. Right off the bat, we admire this one's versatility, having won under FIVE different sets of circumstances ( One turn poly, one turn muddy, two turns sloppy, two turns fast & two turns turf ) and has done so at FIVE different locales ( dig it, as it shows that he doesn't need to bring his track with him ). The lone Churchill Downs foray was a hot mess, as after breaking on top, Leparoux strangled him back to sixth ( shocker ), and he fought the bit in between horses while losing all chance. ( This horse has never been farther back than 5th at any other point of call ) We adjusted the speed figures from the last three starts and came up with: 90.7--94.2--97.9. That's a 3.9% improvement in each, and if that were to continue today, than what we're looking at is a 101.7. Does that win this race? Well, there are four horses who have posted adjusted numbers of 101+ in their careers ( and yes, we have a way for reconfiguring Mendelssohn's Timeform number as well ). That quartet are Audible ( Pletcher oh-fer-36 with second off the layoff graded runners who won their last & are 4-1 or higher today @ one mile or more ), Good Magic ( Brown 0-7 with two turn graded stock that are 3rd off the break & entering off a win at > 5-1 ( 1-11 at any distance ), Bolt d'Oro ( Ruis -- when he's not firing family members or jocks -- is 0-13 with third off the shelf runners that are not up for sale ), and Justify ( who we'll get to in a bit ). How does the race set up for him? Well as we just mentioned, he doesn't like to be too far back, so what we envision is Stone letting the inside speed get out there and get over to the rail...the outside speed going with that one...and him sitting one half a path to the outside of 'Fulfilled ( to reduce the kickback a bit and have an option to split later on ). In essence, we want this chap to become the "pocket rocket". Maternal grandsire won this race a year before the owner won this race, and how has he fared against the competition? He's beaten Free Drop Billy, Blended Citizen (AE), & Vino Rosso, lost by 1 1/2 to Good Magic ( but gets a favorable 3 slot post switch ), lost by 3 1/2 to Mendelssohn ( gets a 4 post slot switch ), and lost by a head to My Boy Jack ( gets 3 slots in his favor ). So basically, he's beaten three in here, and the three he's finished ( closely ) behind could easily be reversed with better trips. Only two hopeless longshots have a maturity edge over this one, and just one in the field ( among that last grouping ) is more battle tested. The more we type...  If you notice, we didn't have anything negative to say about #7 JUSTIFY when we mentioned him at the onset of this soliloquy ( holy cow, I got that word right without spell check ! ), and that's because there is NOTHING negative to say about what he's done. If he gives a repeat performance of the last number, than it's most likely all his for the taking. But to quote Jules Winnfield from 'Pulp Fiction', "I don't need you to be contemplating no 'if's' here, Cowboy. I need you to tell me that you're on this mudder." ( Sorry, "mudder" was the cleanest I could make that quote. ) The thing of it is, is that like Pharoah, this one has had it all his own way so far. Never gotten dirt tossed back at him, and never had his teeth kicked in a little. Granted, the great horses make their own luck, and this just may end up being a doozy. "But there's a flip side to that coin." ( 'Heat' ). He's only faced an average of 4.7 foes in each start ( will be up against four times as many today ), has had things pretty easy to date ( which may not be the case here ), AND, I always want to see a horse do something twice before I'm a true believer ( in this case, another routing dirt win over a glib surface ). Seems solid, but take the "i" out of solid, and that's what I'm not...yet. #2 FREE DROP BILLY got smacked around a bit late in the game down in Keeneland, and although it didn't cost him the race, it definitely kept him about 1-2 lengths father back. Late foal owns a win over the course, and Robby is in an awful funk these days, so he will be going all out for the minor spoils. We've always been fond of #1 FIRENZE FIRE. Yeah, we know he's extremely light from a speed figure aspect, AND he doesn't fit on Dosage ( which we still incorporate ), but if you watch videos of his races, just look at his head and neck--he extends as faaaarrrrrr as he can, giving it his all, and that's the kind of gutsiness that can jazz up a superfecta at a big price---even with Sir Bobblehead aboard. Do yourself a favor: No matter what numbers you come up with in your studies today, toss in ONE horse that---looks good on the track, or gave you a hard try one day, or that you feel everyone is missing something on. There's ALWAYS an inexplicable horse like that who splits the more sensible ones in this race. #8 LONE SAILOR closes out our Super Hi 5, and our day here. PLEASE make sure that wherever you're enjoying the festivities today, you be sure to get home safely. NO drinking & driving !!  NOTE: AS OF 3:01, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, OUR SELECTIONS ARE NOW 4-7-16-1-11.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Aqueduct Spring ( Final ): 15-138   ( $167.50 )    Beatable Favorites: 6-15  ( 40.0% )   Favorites Win % :61-138   ( 44.2% )

Aqueduct Winter ( Final ): 67-317   ( $493.40 )    Beatable Favorites: 4-17  ( 23.5% )   Favorites Win %: 121-328 ( 36.9% )

Graded Stakes     ( Final ):  4-26     ( $34.40 )     Beatable Favorites: 1-2   ( 50.0% )    Favorites Win %: 12-24    ( 50.0% )


All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2014-2018 Final ): 50-324   ( $454.40 ) Beatable Favorites: 16-49 ( 32.7% ) Favorite's Win %: 106-324  ( 32.7% )  +/-: -29.9% against a 17.1% takeout   


Poly Tracks 2014-6 (All Final): 85-568      ( $819.20 )    Beatable Favorites : 15-68   ( 22.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 163-587    ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2014-8 (All Final):1812-8483 ($14,607.80) Beatable Favorites : 266-946( 28.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 3123-8577( 36.4% ) +/-: -13.9%  against a 16.7% takeout


Cumulative Stats   (All Final): 1897-9051   ($15,427.00) Beatable Favorites : 281-1014( 27.7% )Favorite's Win %: 3286-9164( 35.9% )+/-: -14.6% against a 16.6% takeout

  CoxLA2017