After much deliberation, and despite Public Handicapper odds of 6-to-1 (down from 12-to-1 morning line), I'm sticking with Creative Cause as my Derby selection, although I was extremely close to making longer-shot Went the Day Well (20-to-1 morning line and 19-to-1 on PH.com) my top choice.
|Giving Creative Cause the edge|
over Went the Day Well
Otherwise, I think Union Rags will run well and finish among the top 4, based on the Breeders Cup Juvenile effort last November and the extremely wide trip that day. In my view, he's the best of this three-year-old crop, but I'd rather have seen him start wider than have to run into the pack on the first straightaway.
For anyone interested, here's how I'm investing $91 tomorrow in wagers involving the Derby...feel free to use the same, or find a charity to donate the money to instead of at the track:
- Race 9: $1 Pick 3: 1, 7, 8 with 2, 3, 6 with 8, 13 = $18
- Derby: $4 Exacta Box: 4, 8, 13 = $24
- Derby: $1 Trifecta Box: 4, 6, 8, 13 = $24
- Derby: 50-cent Superfecta: 4, 8, 13 over 4, 8, 13 over 4, 5, 8, 13, 14 over 4, 5, 8, 10, 14 = $25
Meanwhile, I'm playing a $1 exacta box in Race 10 in the Turf Classic, maybe even a much more interesting race, filled with top-flight grass runners. The combination is 2, 3 and 6, but (as picked on PH.com) think 30-to-1 bomber Boxeur des Rues has a tremendous shot and could go off at even loftier odds.
Boxeur is much more lightly raced than the rest of the field, but comes off a difficult Santa Anita Handicap in March and can handle both the turf and what I expect will be a fast early pace. Even though it was an optional claimer, I think Boxeur's first effort off a layoff this year proved the horse can settle behind fast early speed and have enough left in the tank to bust out a late kick toward the wire. And trainer Doug O'Neill scored on a similar angle (albeit in a lesser field) with a 27-to-1 winner Friday. We'll see.