Saturday, September 27, 2014

FrontRunner Preview

The FrontRunner on opening weekend at Santa Anita marks the second race on the 2015 Kentucky Derby trail and this is the first Grade 1 race on the table for the two-year-olds that offer up points.

FrontRunner S. (G1)
9/27 @ 6:00 EST

7 American Pharoah 8-5

Threw in a clunker in his racing debut, but came back to break his maiden in impressive fashion (7f in 1:21 2/5) in the Del Mar Futurity (G1). This son of Pioneerof the Nile has given us the first wow performance of the season for the two-year-olds and is definitely the one to catch. If there is any doubt about this juvenile, it has to be that he is making his first start on dirt. 

4 Daddy D T 6-1

Only other stakes winner entered, but that was on turf. Posted a six-furlong bullet work over the track and can't be overlooked. 

2 Lord Nelson 8-1

Bob Baffert's other entry is making his first start in over two months after breaking his maiden in his racing debut. Enters with three solid works over the track and could be the wildcard if he takes to two turns. 

10 Calculator 8-1

Still looking for his first victory, but did run second to American Pharoah in the Del Mar Futurity. This Florida-bred boasts a nice pedigree, which includes Shackleford in his female family and may just need to stretch out to show his talent. 

$24 FrontRunner Bankroll

$2 Ex Bx: 7, 4, 2, 10

*Going to play it safe here with the four-horse exacta and hope the favorite gets beat. 

*Hit the exacta for $114.40 in the Iroquois to kick off the bankroll for the road to the KY Derby. 

2015 KY Derby Bankroll: $114.40

Saturday, September 6, 2014

2015 Road to the Kentucky Derby

Another summer has come to an end, which means the changeover to fall starts to stir up talk of the next Kentucky Derby winner. Has the future Derby winner broke his/her maiden or even made their racing debut? Did we witness a potential superstar at Del Mar or the Spa these past couple of months?

This weekend won't answer those questions just yet, but it does officially kick off the 2015 Road to the Kentucky Derby. The Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs on Saturday is the first of 36 stakes races that offer up points to the two-year-olds as they begin their quest toward the 2015 Derby. Over the next eight months these juveniles/sophomores will attempt to accrue as many points as possible to secure a starting gate on the first Saturday in May. Let the dreams and future bets commence...

Iroquois S. (G3)
6/7 Belmont @ 6:52 EST

6 Cleveland Sound 6-1

Finished fourth in the the Saratoga Special (G2) last month but was in behind a wall of horses coming down the stretch. Adds Lasix for the first time and is in position to pull the upset for trainer Graham Motion. 

2 Mr. Z 5-2

Is the class of these juveniles entered in here after finishing runner-up in both the Sanford (G3) and Special. Fired a four-furlong bullet over the track for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and will be the one to beat. 

8 Bold Conquest 4-1

Son of Curlin broke his maiden by a head in his second start and should handle the run around two turns. Might be the better Asmussen colt entered in here. 

5 Lucky Player 5-1

Broke his maiden over the track back in May but was off the board here in the the Bashford Manor (G3). Stretched out to a mile last time but missed by a neck in the Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile. The 1 1/16-mile distance will not pose a problem but might be a touch slow compared to the competition.

$36 Iroquois Bankroll

$12 W: 6

$2 Ex Bx: 2, 6, 5, 8

* I'll play Cleveland Sound to win and try to catch a piece of the exacta with my top four picks.