It hardly seems possible but once Saturday’s Arkansas Derby is run at Oaklawn Park, we’re going to be done with the Kentucky Derby prep races.
Last week, I was pretty disappointed by not making a score in the three major Derby preps in the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby. We did hit the trifecta in the Santa Anita Derby with our tri wheel of 6,7/ALL/6,7 with #6 Justify winning as the favorite and #7 Core Beliefs finishing third; however, with second choice Bolt d’Oro running second, we didn’t even show a profit on the race as it paid only $9.80 for the 50-cent trifecta (which would have cost $10 the way we laid it out).
Let’s see if we can connect the dots better with this Saturday’s marquee event.
Arkansas Derby, Saturday, April 14
Oaklawn Park Race #11, estimated post time: 7:18 p.m. ET/4:18 p.m. PT
Value win bet: While the Santa Anita Derby was very chalky, I see a much better chance for a price horse to hit the board in this race. I think there’s plenty of speed horses in this field to set up the big closers. And while #5 Solomini, the 2-1 second choice, should also benefit from the fast pace, I like the chances of longshot closers #1 Beautiful Shot and #4 Dream Baby Dream. They’re 30-1 and 15-1, respectively, on the morning line and I’d bet them both at those prices. We’re probably pretty safe in Beautiful Shot not getting bet down, but the Steve Asmussen-trained Dream Baby Dream could go off lower and I’ll pass on a win and/or place bet if it drops below 10-1.
Exotic box (exactas, trifectas, supers, as well as possible vertical wagers): I definitely want to use all three of those in my exotic wagers, especially including Solomini as the most likely winner, and will also include #9 Combatant as another closer that should be passing horses in the stretch. I wouldn’t fault anyone for including #6 Magnum Moon and/or #8 Quip in their exotic plays, but I’m going to include #3 Tenfold (who I have a Kentucky Derby future-book ticket on and need him to run first or second to have a chance to get in the starting gate on the First Saturday in May) and really try to light up the tote board with a 5-horse, 10-cent superfecta box with 1-3-4-5-9 ($12).