Saturday, February 21, 2009
The Nomination Is In: February 21, 2009- The Turf Paradise Derby
The Turk likes to think at his advancing age he can still learn new tricks. Today's new trick is analyzing a race at Turf Paradise, a track I have avoided even thinking about for years, for no good reason other then it was in Arizona (no Arizona death threats please). I'm paying attention to the track now, and I have a trip to the area soon, so I'm going to go one step further and visit Turf Paradise (which the name is my idea of life after death- Note to terrorists: Offer me Turf Paradise and 5 virgins and you have a deal~ Just kidding, no death threats from JDC members).
There are two of the 401 Triple Crown nominees in this race, and if either get beat by this field, they should immediatly withdraw from the chase.
I like Mayor Marv. I'd like him better if he was in Florida or Oaklawn right now prepping, but at least he's on dirt. This son of Distorted Humor looks to easily be the class of this race. He's got speed and his work is very crisp. Baffert knows a bit about Derby preparation, far more then the Turk, so I think this horse if impressive today, will be in a big prep as a bit of an unknown quantity in 4 weeks or so.
Pauper's Prize, the other Triple Crown nominee is really stretching in distance today. I think he'll be there at the end, and Trainer Cerin must think so as well.
Another horse going much longer today is Hidden Bounty. A star at this track when the competition isn't so stiff, 5 wins in 8 starts at Turf Paradise and never out of the money. I don't think he can beat Mayor Marv, but Pauper's Prize is vunerable.
Every horse here will struggle with the distance except for Mayor Marv. A mad scramble for Place and Show may happen. That does present betting chaos, but such is life, stay on the sidelines when you don't think you have a reasonable shot.
For me, I'll watch the tote and the scratches and I'll place Mayor Marv on top and look for a value exacta as well as a few cheap straight superfecta chances.