Forgive me if this blog entry is a little soggy. I'm still drying out after yesterday's Oaks.
Yesterday was a washout. Buddy and I got there just before Race 5 and around an hour before the rains started. And what rains they were. Big drops blown sideways by hard winds, thunder, lightning. At one point Churchill had to lower the score boards. Buddy and I were, of course, among the riff raff on the infield. Finally, after having spent more than an hour off and on in the shelter of an ATM tent, we grabbed a giant recycling sign, held it over our heads, and made our way to the Grandstand where we dried off a bit and watched the Oaks on the monitors.
Honestly, it wasn't much fun. I was dressed for the 78 degree morning and not the 62 degree wet afternoon. We froze our tuchases off. I did have my annual julep, and then a woman next to me bought a Filly and asked if she could pour the drink in my empty glass. I must have looked at her like she was crazy because she said, "I'm in recovery. I just wanted the glass." I didn't have the heart to tell her that she could get one at Walgreens for $2.50.
All and all it wasn't a bad day for my pocketbook. Lou has once again proven that she's decent at picking the second or third place horse (but never, ever first). Out of the five races I put money on, my horse placed in three. I had the impressive Little Belles for the Oaks and she came in 2nd. I wasn't betting super long odds-- most were 7-1 or 8-1. Belles was 5-1.
That being said, Mama loves her the underdogs, and with most handicappers drooling over Colonel John, Big Brown, and Pyro, I think the Derby field is a good place to look for the longshots to shine.
After spending about an hour with the C-J Derby Preview, here are my choices for double-digit odds that could pull off a win.
Of course, my baby, Denis of Cork. He's 20-1 morning odds. Definitely underrated and his fifth place bomb recently has caused a lot of people to put blinders on when it comes to Denis. The only things this puppy has going against him are (a) I've got my money on him and (b) he's named after a priest from Ireland. Last year's religiously named horse-- Dominican-- was also "my" pony, and he came in middle of the pack. This is science, folks!
Recapturetheglory (20-1) has great Best Beyer and BRIS numbers, but his Dosage is 5.00, the highest of the field (and no, Lou has no idea what these numbers really mean). In the Illinois Derby (during which he beat Denis), he ran the last 3/8 in 36.2 and the last 1/8 in 12.2. Killer numbers bested in last starts only by favorite Colonel John and Visionaire.
So that's why Visionaire makes the list. Visionaire (20-1) has less stunning numbers, but had an amazing finish in the Bluegrass. He came in 5th but rocketed at the end.
Eight Belles' (20-1) numbers are better than Recapturetheglory's and she's among the fastest horses out there. A filly hasn't won the Derby since 1988, so let's face it... we're way overdue. She gave up a chance to trounce the Oaks field for a shot at the Derby. You gotta love those guts. And her stablemate Proud Spell took the Oaks, making this a possible storybook weekend for Larry Jones.
Bob Black Jack (20-1) is my final longshot. Second best numbers in the field after Big Brown. Finished second after Colonel John in the Santa Anita... handicappers like him as a longshot. But he's my least favorite longshot. Will bet him only if odds stay at 20 or better.
There you have it, Colts and Fillies. Bet at your own risk; I'm not really a handicapper, I just play one on the internet. Good luck! Go Denis of Cork!!