10/4: PREAKNESS COMMENTS: 1) A very impressive performance by Swiss Skydiver to outduel Authentic in the final few yards of the finish line! Congrats go to Swiss Skydiver, Kenneth McPeek, Robby Albarado, and to all the winning connections! Credit also go to Robby for making the right move at the right time and taking advantage of a slight opening on the rail and taking a slight lead in the stretch. 2) I have to be honest. I didn't put her on top of my selections because Art Collector defeated her by 3 lengths. Not too often do horses make up that big of a gap in the next race. Obviously, Swiss Skydiver is a fighter and was determined to win! :-)
9/7: POST-DERBY COMMENTS. 1) Wow! What a race! Congrats to Baffert, Johnny V.,, and all winning connections of Authentic. We knew Authentic would go out to the front and have major speed. However, most of think were logical enough to think Authentic won't last; especially coming from far outside post (#18). He managed to find another gear and won by a length. 2) As disappointing it is that Tiz the Law couldn't match strides in the last few yards, we have to give him all the credit in the world for having achieved SO much and winning Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes with such ease. Obviously, these two factors were a major reason that Tiz the Law was heavily favored at 4-5 morning line odds. He still has to hold his head high. He had a slight lead at the top of the stretch and kept on fighting to the very end. 3) To me, what was surprising the most was how Honor A.P. didn't do as well and had a hall of fame jockey, Mike Smith guiding him. We had to use A.P. in exactas and triples considering that he defeated Authentic by 2 lengths. I thought NY Traffic and Max Player (from inside post) would do well too. Now, we will just have to see who can redeem himself in the Preakness Stakes (Oct. 3rd)!
9/3: KRIS's COMMENTS ON KENTUCKY OAKS & KENTUCKY DERBY. 1) It is absolutely one of the craziest Derbies that I/we have ever dealt with! I am ambivalent about the derby: In one sense, it's exciting that the derby is still happening and we all have a horse to root for (whichever horse it is that we like)! In a different sense, due to Covid, it's NOT as thrilling...not be able to see the derby race in person or to watch and enjoy it with family and friends :-( 2) Personally, I think Tiz the Law is too good (has definitely proved it) and COULD defeat the field easy enough. It's probably because we have some of the GREATEST trainers in the world that favorites have been winning the derby in the last seven consecutive years! That's unheard of. In earlier decades, you're lucky if a favorite won the derby once or twice in each decade. Obviously, if Tiz the Law wins the derby, he has an outstanding chance to win the Triple Crown! 3) A horse has never won the derby from the 17th post. Considering that Guillermo has been scratched from the sixth post position, if Tiz the Law wins, does it REALLY count as 17th post position or 16th? A slight technicality! 4) Chances are that it will be a cheap Oaks/Derby daily double. Gamine looks quite good. If Gamine can't win it, certainly Swiss Skydriver has a great shot at it! 5) Will the top three favorites that win BOTH races? If so, is it worth playing the double??? Maybe it's better to play doubles in other races to catch a better price??? 6) This year, it will be a single long gate that will be used to load all the horses in the gate. The auxiliary gate is no longer in effect; thus, no gap for those horses loaded in the tenth and eleventh positions! Let's see how this plays out! 7) I seriously doubt that a long shot will win in either race (Oaks & Derby)! But, time will tell. Good luck to you and your picks! May you win BIG!
9/3: Most thrilling races the next couple of days: Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby!!!
On Friday, in the KENTUCKY OAKS, Gamine is the favorite at 1-1 odds; basically, it's a double or nothing ordeal! Chances are that the odds will go even lower. Swiss Skydiver is the main contender at 8-5 odds. Speech is next at 5-1 odds. Odds on remaining horses range from 15-1 odds to 50-1 odds.
On Saturday, in the KENTUCKY DERBY, Tiz the Law is the deserving favorite at 3-5 morning line odds. Interestingly, the top three favorites....Tiz the Law, Authentic, and Honor A.P. drew far outside post positions (17th, 18th, and 16th respectively). The odds of remaining horses range from 20-1 odds to 50-1 odds. The odds on some of these horses will go even higher! For the record, no derby horse has ever won from the 17th position. This is a formidable task that lies ahead for Tiz the Law. However, his impeccable record shows that he CAN achieve a win from this post and be the first to do it! If Tiz the Law does win, he also sets up another possible Triple Crown! ...although there will be an asterisk next to Triple Crown because Belmont Stakes race was run at 1-1/8th miles only; instead of 1-1/2 miles. Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg and to be ridden by Manuel Franco, could prove again to be the BEST horse in the field. It's also possible that he may not win....Remember, that's why it's called horse racing! There is NEVER a guarantee in horse race betting! Let's just hope that it will be a CLEAN race and will be run without any horse or jockey injuries AND no bad decisions will be made by racing stewards/judges (who approve the final standings). Best wishes to everyone involved! ...including us, the bettors!
8/22: Derby. Derby. Derby! The latest Kentucky Derby news is that key officials reversed their decision and decided to run one of the most prestigious races in the world WITHOUT horse racing fans in the stands in early September. Obviously, this difficult decision is based on the numbers and impacts of the coronavirus ordeal. I have to give them major credit....A few months ago, key officials intentionally delayed the derby date from May to September for the sole purpose of wanting to run the derby WITH horse racing fans in the stands. The intent was great: A+ for effort and zero for points.
CONGRATULATIONS to Sackatoga stable, Barclay Tagg, and all the winning connections! A job well done and making it a nice, positive story for New Yorkers! Moral of the story....hard work paid off! To have Funny Cide and Tiz the Law winning major Triple Crown races (from Saratoga Springs) in 2003 and 2020 respectively is very impressive indeed!
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