HALLANDALE BEACH, April 29, 2021 – We’re well into our Derby weekend research, which is not quite close to completion, but one observation immediately came to mind as we surveyed two days of world class racing:
I had better have a good Oaks day because Derby Day, with only a few notable exceptions, is as challenging a big-event program as I’ve encountered in some time.
Yes, we all love wide open betting races because it provides a chance to make a score. However, if your wrong in a few spots that counts, fiscal disaster looms.
I had a different Derby horse on top for each of the last five days, and the Oaks is just as challenging. Indeed, both races have a cluster of about five horses at the top that loom the most likely winners. The problem, of course, is which one?
The tote board inevitably will decide on which horse I’ll bet my money and how much, also hinting about the best ways to maximize in the exotic pools.
As an aside, we prefer verticals to the multi-race pools. The degree of difficulty may be about the same. We just find vertical pools to be a little less trappy.
If you prefer your action straight, a word to the wise. Empirically, we’ve noted many place overlays in relation to win payouts. The size of the pools, even with limited live attendance, contains enough “square money” to account for both the pari-mutuel takeout and bad beats.
Today, we’ll provide snapshot of the Oaks and later betting matrices for the five races preceding the “Run for the Lilies.”
There are two most likely winners of the Oaks, favorites Malathaat (5-2) and Travel Column (3-1). Both appear in peak form and own forward-looking Thoro-Graph performance patterns.
Malathaat snatched victory from defeat’s jaws with an impossible rally to nail Pass the Champagne in the last jump of the G1 Ashland. Off her efforts as a juvenile of 2020, I sought to make a futures bet on her to win the Derby. Fortunately, I was unable to get down and saved a few dollars.
So, she rates to move forward on figures but had to dig down deep to win and she’s a filly back in 27 days. I’m sure Todd Pletcher wishes he had another week of time and preparation
Meanwhile, Travel Column has taken a more traditional route, never has taken a backward step, and is six weeks fresh. But this is more than a two-filly race.
Knowing exactly where the pace will come from and how fast is problematic. But the best riders in the world have mounts here and we’ll all know after the break. Best guess as to the logical speed: Travel Column, Pass the Champagne (15-1) and Millefeuille (20-1).
We have six fillies open as possible straight wagers: Those not mentioned above include Clairiere (5-1) and Search Results (3-1). At this very moment, based on early line and best-guess ante post odds, we project:
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Malathaat
WIN VALUE: Pass the Champagne
EXOTICA: Possible exacta box inclusions; Travel Column, Clairiere, Search Results, Millefeuille. Trifecta and Superfecta inclusions: Pauline’s Pearl (20-1), Crazy Beautiful (15-1).
G2 ALYSHEBA Race 6
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: 6-Maxfield (4-5)
WIN VALUE: 2-Sonneman (5-1)
EXOTICA: Exacta box 2-6. Trifecta wheel 6-2-ALL
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: 6-Aunt Pearl (4-5)
WIN VALUE: 2-Gift List (7-2)
EXOTICA: Exacta box 2-6
G1 LA TROIENNE
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: 3-Dunbar Road (5-2)
WIN VALUE: 3-Dunbar Road (5-2)
EXOTICA: Exacta Box 2-3-5 [including Shesdaresthedevil (8-5) and Paris Lights (8-1)]. Exacta Box 3-5.
G2 EIGHT BELLES
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: 8-Dayoutoftheoffice (3-1)
WIN VALUE: 9-Li’l Tootsie (8-1)
EXOTICA: Exacta Box 8-9. Exacta Box 6-9-10-12 [including Slumber Party (6-1) and Caramel Swirl (12-1)]. Trifecta Key Box: 9 // 18.104.22.168 [including Make Mischief (15-1)]
G2 TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT
MOST PROBABLE WINNER: 8-Fast Boat (7-2)
WIN VALUE: 9-Diamond Oops (5-1)
EXOTICA: Exacta Key-Box: 9 // 3.5.8 [including Fiya (4-1) and Just Might (8-1)]. Trifecta Key-Box 9 // 3.5.8