It's time for our annual KY Derby selections and commentary. Last year we were pretty dead on, hitting many horses that finished in-the-money in the Triple Crown Races (especially Price's picks).
First, we'll start off with an updated table of past Derby winners, their speed ratings and final tune-up race. Our analysis of past data indicates that horses with strong 100+ speed ratings in prep races have a better probability of winning the big race.
|Derby Winner||BRIS Speed Rating||Last race (# weeks before Derby)|
|I'LL HAVE ANOTHER||95, 102||Santa Anita Derby (4 weeks)|
|ANIMAL KINGDOM||100, 89||Turfway Spiral (5 weeks, poly)|
|SUPER SAVER||92, 94||Arkansas Derby (3 weeks)|
|MINE THAT BIRD||96, 98||Sunland Derby (5 weeks)|
|BIG BROWN||106, 104||Florida Derby (5 weeks)|
|STREET SENSE||98, 101||Bluegrass Stakes (3 weeks, poly)|
|BARBARO||104, 104, 97, 97||Florida Derby (5 weeks)|
|GIACOMO||100, 96, 98, 96||Santa Anita Derby (4 weeks)|
|SMARTY JONES||105, 109, 101, 103||Arkansas Derby (3 weeks)|
|FUNNY CIDE||111, 103, 97||Wood Memorial (3 weeks)|
|WAR EMBLEM||109, 105, 88, 94||Illinois Derby (4 weeks)|
|MONARCHOS||108, 108, 106, 98||Wood Memorial (3 weeks)|
|FUSAICHI PEGASUS||110, 103, 100, 98||Wood Memorial (3 weeks)|
|CHARISMATIC||104, 94, 94, 94||Lexington (2 weeks)|
|REAL QUIET||107, 103, 73||Santa Anita Derby (4 weeks)|
|SILVER CHARM||102, 98, 105||Santa Anita Derby (4 weeks)|
|GRINDSTONE||101, 102, 93||Arkansas Derby (3 weeks)|
|THUNDER GULCH||98, 103, 106||Blue Grass (3 weeks)|
|GO FOR GIN||104, 105, 99, 100||Wood Memorial (3 weeks)|
|SEA HERO||96, 85, 77||Blue Grass (3 weeks)|
|LIL E. TEE||102, 96, 107, 100||Arkansas Derby (2 weeks)|
|STRIKE THE GOLD||109, 100, 99, 87||Blue Grass (3 weeks)|
|UNBRIDLED||108, 101, 104, 98||Blue Grass (3 weeks)|
Price Headley, CEO of BigTrends.com:
The big wild card in the 2013 Run for the Roses will be the weather, as forecasts show an 80% chance of rain on Saturday in Louisville.
If it is muddy on the track I like to put a little back up money on the long shots of 33-1 or higher, which can save the day if the wet track muddies the current form.
My favorite in this year's race is Verrazano (Post Position 14, 4-1 odds). He's the second choice behind new darling Orb, but I like Verrazano's consistency, as he is the only horse with not just 2 but 3 straight speed ratings over 100. So I will key most of my bets around him.
The Derby usually favors closers and horses that want the extra ground. On that note here's my top challengers to Verrazano:
Normandy Invasion (PP 5, 12-1): Closing fast on Verrazano at the end of the Wood Memorial, he has also posted impressive workouts lately. The profile reminds me of the similar setup when I picked Funny Cide to win the Derby. Must use this one for exotics and saver win bets.
Revolutionary (PP 3. 10-1): Responded gamely to come back to win the Louisiana Derby. I like his heart.
Vyjack (PP 20, 15-1): It's hard to look past an undefeated colt with good speed. Breaking from the far outside is not harmful in a large field, the question is if he has staying power.
So my theoretical bets on a sample $100 model portfolio look like this:
$20 Win on 14
$10 Win on 5
$5 Exacta box 5,14
$5 Exacta box 14,20
$5 Exacta box 3,14
$1 Trifecta 14 with 5 with ALL
$1 Trifecta 5 with 14 with ALL
Moby Waller, Portfolio Manager & Analyst:
The 3 year old horses in this race haven't gone such a long distance before with such a large field. With the expected rain, it will be the tough horses with heart that will emerge - those that can run off the pace and/or closers. Therefore, I threw out what looks like the speed horses that are likely to fade late or get swallowed up by the pack - one of those wire-to-wire horses may end up proving it can run off the pace, but I'd rather select ones that have already proven they can.
Here's my projected Top 4 finishers:
Revolutionary (PP 3, 10-1)
Java's War (PP 19, 15-1)
Orb (PP 16, 7-2)
Normandy Invasion (PP 5, 12-1)
Live Longshots that can also hit the board (meaning top 4):
Vyjack (PP 20, 15-1)
Itsmyluckyday (PP 12, 15-1)
I think any of these 4 can win it, so I would be looking to do some Exacta and Trifecta boxes:
$2 Exacta Box (3, 19, 16, 5) = $24
$1 Trifecta Box (3, 19, 16, 5) = $24
$0.10 Superfecta Box (3, 19, 16, 5, 20, 12) = $36
$0.10 Superfecta Box (16, 5, 15, 12, 14, 8) = $36