Funny things happen when a prep race launches a Kentucky Derby Winner, all of the sudden you are the place to be. Like Mine That Bird putting the Sunland Derby on the map, so has Animal Kingdom placed the Spiral Stakes back on the map.
For those of you who get sucked into this Triple Crown Derby Trail madness, this is a mellow weekend, the calm before the Florida Derby storm next weekend.
The latest edition of the insightful Wireplayers.com Derby Dozen Poll came out last week and the focus has really narrowed to some of the seriously hyped superstars at the top, which at least, they have backed up the hype with solid performances. With today's Spiral Stakes and tomorrow's Sunland Derby, some minor players will have a chance to impress and give the handicappers on Derby morning something interesting to think about.
The Wireplayer Poll was all over Animal Kingdom last year, so pay close attention to them as well as the folks at The Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance and Turf: An International Gathering of Horse Racing Bloggers. For those of you new to this sport, I know the lingo and the past performances can seem a little daunting. Check out Hello Race Fans!, a wonderful site for the beginner and expert alike. When all else fails and you need some real iron pipe locks, check out my secret handicapping weapon.
Today's affair is on the fake dirt of Turfway Park. Weather isn't much of an issue with the fake stuff, but there are thunderstorms in the area, so pay attention to the weather, the scratches and the changes.
I'm going to assemble a pick three out of my base handicap, using an assortment of horses coded Blue or Yellow. I'm planning on staying pretty close to what I have here in my base handicap:
As always, watch the tote board and strike a balance between the base handicap choices and value. An example of this can be found in the Spiral Stakes: Ill Conceived lost by a head to State of Play in the prep for the Spiral, the Battaglia Memorial. Shippers with plenty of hype like Heavy Breathing will garner lots of betting action and you'd be wise to place the Pletcher trained son of Giant's Causeway at the top of your base handicap, but are we here to win $2.10 or $10 bucks on a $2 win bet flyer? Straight on that friends!
Have fun with it, enjoy this weekend's racing. If you pay attention, this year's wiseguy favorite for the Kentucky Derby might be right in front of you.