The Pi-Rate Ratings

May 3, 2008

Kentucky Derby Wrap-Up

Congratulations to Wesley, Walker, and “Randy” for their profitable days at Churchill Downs Saturday afternoon.


Wesley played his $100 bankroll on Big Brown to win, and that wager returned $340.  Walker cashed winning tickets on Eight Belles to place and show, and it returned $170.  “Randy” hit the exacta with Big Brown and Eight Belles returning $141.60.


Jeannie’s $100 wagers returned just $6.40, as she had $2 on Eight Belles to show.  As for Bob and me, we didn’t cash any winning tickets.


Of course, I can speak for all six of us when we express our condolences on the death of the filly Eight Belles.  With Barbaro breaking down two years ago in the Preakness, the horse racing industry now has two tragedies in three years, both of which occurred when the sport was showcasing its greatest moments.


If there ever was a year for the three decade long triple crown drought to end, this one needs to happen.  Big Brown won the Derby in such convincing fashion, it’s hard to foresee huge fields challenging him in Baltimore in two weeks.  If he romps at Pimlico, this could be the smallest Belmont field in years. 


Big Brown went four wide into the first turn after having to veer in from the 20th post position.  He had to stalk for the first time in his life, and he never got close to the rail until the final stretch.  He, in essence, would have won by 10 or more lengths had he been able to get out in front and inside early.  With the tragic loss of Eight Belles, the closest competitor to him who could make it to the Preakness was Denis of Cork, who was eight lengths back; using the same logic as above, Big Brown beat him by about 12-15 lengths.


If he comes to Baltimore in complete health, Big Brown could go off as a 1-5 favorite.  With a better post draw, he could wire the field at Pimlico.  If he wins there, he will be the shortest favorite to attempt the Triple Crown since Spectacular Bid in 1979.  Of course, the Bid failed to win that Belmont, so remember a sure thing this is not.

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