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Blog - GAMBLING

Dance with Fate wins the 2014 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. (Photos by Eclipse Sportswire)

The $750,000 Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes

April 12, Keeneland

By Shawn Rychling

With Keeneland planning to switch back to a dirt surface, it is fitting that the final Blue Grass to be run on Polytrack once again leaves us wondering about the Kentucky Derby prospects for the top finishers. That said, the top two in this race gave very strong efforts as they came from well off the pace to take the win and place spots.

As we have seen with Polytrack since it came into existence, this race was fairly slow up front and the closers were still able to rally and take over. The horses that were running 1-2-3 after a half mile wound up 3rd, 12th and 10th respectively. Meanwhile, late runners Dance With Fate and Medal Count rated well toward the back and both made wide moves on the far turn to emerge at the top of the stretch in a duel with each other for the top spot.

At the start, the favored Bobby’s Kitten broke well, but stumbled ever so slightly as he was rushed up towards the front.  That left the lead to 9-1 shot Pablo Del Monte who raced on the rail. Dance With Fate broke a little slowly and settled into about the 4-path with Medal Count to his outside and the pair raced in tandem for the about 5 furlongs.

Pablo Del Monte put away Bobby’s Kitten and three others at the 3/8th pole. It was then that Dance with Fate and Medal Count began their moves on the leader. Medal Count was first to commence his rally while Dance With Fate jockey Corey Nakatani let him go and swung out into nearly the 5-path and went around the field, confronting Medal Count just outside the 3/16th pole. The pair left Pablo Del Monte behind and dueled briefly until Dance With Fate edged away to get the win.  Medal Count held the place with pacesetter Pablo Del Monte hanging on for third.

With the Polytrack angle there isn’t a horse we feel strong enough about to assign a letter to, but in the betting Medal Count dropped two notches from 8-1 to 6-1 and earns a “C” in the Hot List system.  He is currently 18th in the Derby point standings and it was recently announced that he will enter the Run for the Roses.

In addition, both Coastline and Gala Award dropped two points but failed to hit the board and received a “D.” Neither is expected to run in the Kentucky Derby, which is a wise move. Coastline had the look of a Grade 3 runner in finishing 10th and trainer Mark Casse has said he will turn the colt back to sprint distances for the time being. Gala Award ran well to finish sixth despite an 8-wide trip and should rebound if trainer Todd Pletcher returns him to turf for his next start.

Hot List horses: Medal Count (C), Coastline (D), Gala Award (D)

Blue Grass Stakes Late Wagering Report

Horse

Odds 3 min. to post

Final Odds

1. Asserting Bear

19-to-1

18-to-1

2. Extrasexyhippzster

22-to-1

24-to-1

3. Pablo Del Monte

9-to-1

9-to-1

4. Harry's Holiday

11-to-1

13-to-1

5. Bobby's Kitten

7-to-2

7-to-2

6. Coltimus Prime

48to-1

44-to-1

7. Casiguapo

33-to-1

36-to-1

8. Dance With Fate

5-to-1

6-to-1

9. Big Bazinga

29-to-1

35-to-1

10. So Lonesome

38-to-1

52-to-1

11. Coastline

9-to-1

7-to-1

12. Vinceremos

7-to-1

7-to-1

13. Medal Count

8-to-1

6-to-1

14. Gala Award

7-to-1

5-to-1


The $1,000,000 Grade 1 Arkansas Derby

April 12, Oaklawn Park

The 78th renewal of the Arkansas Derby was billed as a matchup between one of the top west coast horses and one of the best 3-year-olds at this year’s Oaklawn meet. 

With two wins at Santa Anita in 2014 – in the only starts of his career – the Bob Baffert-trained Bayern traveled east in need of at least a second in his stakes debut to validate his previous form and earn enough points to make the starting gate at Churchill Downs.

Tapiture, meanwhile, had won the Southwest Stakes in February and placed second behind the talented Hoppertunity in the Rebel last month to stamp himself as one of Oaklawn’s best. 

But a contest between these two never really materialized as Bayern grabbed the early lead, and was pushed a bit by impossible longshot Thundergram before fading to third. Tapiture settled into a bit of a wide trip, but was in the clear down the backstretch only to have nothing when asked for more run in the final 3/8th a mile.

BRAVO CELEBRATES VICTORY ABOARD DANZA

Arkderby

Instead, front-running Bayern left the rail open off the far turn and 41-1 shot Danza came through on the inside to win going away under Joe Bravo.

Ride on Curlin made a nice rally into a moderate pace as Jon Court moved him 5-wide and had something left to get the place. Bayern held third, but it likely wasn’t enough to punch his ticket to the Kentucky Derby

In the late betting, there wasn’t any movement for any horse to earn a letter.

From a visual and analytical perspective, Ride on Curlin earns a ‘B’ after he rallied 5-wide into a moderate pace and got up for second.  He will qualify on points for the Derby is likely to enter the $2 million race. He has been a decent horse in eight starts and is likely to only improve as the races get longer.

Danza and Tapiture are likely to go in the Derby as well, but are hard to make a strong case for off this race as Danza benefitted from a golden trip and Tapiture just didn’t fire and may have peaked in the Southwest two starts back.

Hot List horses: Ride on Curlin (B)

Santa Anita Derby Late Wagering Report

Horse

Odds 3 min. to post

Final Odds

1. Danza

37-to-1

41-to-1

2. Knock Em Flat

Scr 

Scr 

3. Tapiture

2-to-1

2-to-1

4. Ride On Curlin

6-to-1

7-to-1

5. Thundergram

42-to-1

55-to-1

6. Commissioner

6-to-1

6-to-1

7. Conquest Titan

9-to-1

10-to-1

8. Bayern

9-to-5

8-to-5

9. Strong Mandate

6-to-1

6-to-1

The Hot List, founded by turf writer/handicapper Bob Ehalt in 2011, blends a detailed analysis of a race with late wagering trends to pick out the horses with the best chance of running a winning race in their next start. Hot List horses are rated in four lettered categories:

A : A preferred horse to watch off his effort in the race                
B : A secondary horse to watch off his effort in the race                
*C: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 1st through 3rd
*D: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

For questions on the Hot List, email: nyhotlist@gmail.com

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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