Sunday, May 8, 2011

No huge Derby surprise, outside of the winner

There was much rejoicing in the NJ Horseplayer household yesterday with my son's First Holy Communion mass last night, but no so much on the wagering front, as I knew I was cooked when the first-half fractions of the 137th Kentucky Derby were about two seconds slower than I anticipated (48 and three-fifths seconds) and my late-running pick, Dialed In, was some 15 lengths off the lead.  C'est la vie.

Notwithstanding picking the wrong winner and early fractions, my handicapping was not that far off, considering my exacta and trifecta plays included Nehro and Mucho Macho Man.  Really, the Derby was won owing to a masterful ride from John Velazquez, who found an opening and took Animal Kingdom to a nearly three-length victory.

It will be interesting to see whether Animal Kingdom can recover quick enough to win the Preakness in 13 days, with DRF reporting that he will run at Pimlico, as will Dialed In.  There will be enough discussion elsewhere about that in the days ahead.

Congratulations to the 25 players that advanced to the championship round of the latest BC Qualify contest!

The last person to qualify amassed a hefty $96.80 notional bankroll for the 10 contest races (notional $2 win-place wagers), which is a pretty impressive tally.  My showing was a less-than-stellar 169th out of 249, with only two winners from Hollywood Park on the 10-race card (five races each from Churchill and Hollywood).  The contest action heats up for me the next two Saturdays, with the TVG Challenge on May 14, one of the more difficult ways to win one of three spots into the NHC Championship in January 2012 and open to NTRA Inside Track members, and the $50 contest at Monmouth Park on May 15 for a spot in the Horseplayer World Series in Las Vegas in February 2012.

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