Tag Archives: Jackson Bend

The Haiku Handicapper: 2010 Preakness Stakes Recap

Lucky bests the Dude
Finally gets a clean trip
Saver disappoints

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In other important news learned from watching the big race at the Mount Pleasant Meadows simulcast, opening day at the Central Michigan racetrack has been pushed back a week to May 30. Be sure to adjust your schedules accordingly.

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The Haiku Handicapper: 2010 Kentucky Derby

Thank you, Mario
But all the haikus are in
Another castle

Click on the haiku above to see my Kentucky Derby picks on NTRA.com. As always, a huge tip of the hat goes to Claire Novak for allowing me to pollute her blog with my scatterbrained thoughts about the Derby.

In other Derby-related news a Mt. Pleasant, Mich. woman was featured in a Des Moines Register story about her special connection to Kentucky Derby starter Paddy O’Prado.

The story focuses on Adrienne Goffnett, and her quest to see the horse in person following the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course. Goffnett suffers from a rare lung disease, which made the trip a difficult, but necessary, one after becoming a fan of the El Prado (IRE) colt last August.

For those looking for a local angle for the Derby and don’t like the chances of Michigan native Mike Maker’s entries (Stately Victor and Dean’s Kitten), this might do nicely.

As the Derby draws closer, I have declared two goals for myself on the big day to gauge my success:

1) Make myself look as good as possible on a national stage, be it through my conduct in interviews, the copy I produce or the suit I intend to wear.

2) Don’t start weeping like a baby when they play “My Old Kentucky Home” during the post parade.

If I can do those two things, everything else should fall into place. See you at the races!

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Deal or No Deal – 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Eclipse Award finalist Noble's Promise is one suitcase to leave shut in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

People love action.

If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have bets like the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which requires horseplayers to forecast the winner of the classic race several months before it even draws.

It takes an awful lot of gusto to plunk down some hard-earned bones on such a risky venture. Each interest is like a numbered suitcase on the hit game show Deal or No Deal. Inside each one could be that million-dollar prize (a Derby winner at a better price than at post time) or just enough cash for the bus ride home (a Derby trail dud or injury defection).

From noon Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday, ambitious horseplayers will take their place on the proverbial stage before the 24 models holding numbered briefcases. The shadowy figure of the banker will be looming, asking players to accept his odds. Howie Mandel will be there, too. Whatever you do, don’t shake his hand.

The question is…Deal or No Deal?

Which entries in the first future wager pool appear to offer the best value? Which ones make it look like the banker is lowballing the contestants? Below are a few horses that fit into one of those categories.

Keep in mind these speculations are based solely on the morning line odds set by Churchill Donws handicapper Mike Battagalia. The odds can, and will, fluctuate according to the action in the pari-mutuel pools, which could negate some of my statements.

Also, unless otherwise noted, this is not an analysis of talent, but a projection of betting value. Just because a horse is labeled a “No Deal” does not mean I do not think it is capable of winning the Kentucky Derby, and vice versa.

For a complete list of the horses being offered in the Future Wager and their odds, a Thoroughbred Times story can be found here.

Deal

Vale of York
Odds: 30-1

Has a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner ever given odds this long in the first Future Wager pool? I debated long and hard about which category to place the Irish-bred Eclipse Award finalist. On one hand, an awful lot of planets aligned to put Vale of York’s nose across the line first in the Juvenile. He benefitted from a European turf-friendly surface, was a first-time Lasix user and got the best of a multi-horse head bob. Also, there is talk of sending the Invincible Spirit (IRE) colt to Europe instead of testing the Derby trail, which gives this wager an added risk. On the other hand, let us consider a scenario. In all likelihood, Vale of York will take the road to Louisville going through Dubai. If he cleans up the preps and shows a pulse in the UAE Derby, there should be no reason to expect he won’t go off at less than 15-1 on the big day. This has the potential to be a high-risk, high-reward investment.

No Deal

Noble’s Promise
Odds: 15-1

Aside from earning the bragging rights that go along with picking the Kentucky Derby winner several months in advance, one of the appeals of the Future Wager is trying to get a horse at a better price than on race day. Unless Noble’s Promise puts the throttle on his three-year-old campaign and notches a couple highlight reel-caliber wins, odds in the mid-teens ought to be a reasonable expectation on the big stage.

More deals and duds can be found behind the jump.

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