Churchill Downs opens the spring meet on Saturday with the Grade 3 Derby Trial being the highlight of the Opening Day card. Before you think that any of the participants might be a factor in a week in the Kenutcky Derby, no horse that won the Derby Trial has gone on to win the Derby since Tim Tam in 1958. Don't Get Mad in 2005 ran in the Trial and finished 4th in the Derby itself, but let's be serious.
There is a whole lot of speed in this race and that could open things up for an off-the-pace runner. If you are looking for a likable longshot, try #4 Checklist at 8-1 on the morning line. The Pletcher trainee has shown a small possibility of sitting off the pace in the past performances. However, he is stepping up in class here and I am not a fan of the fact that John Velazquez elected to ride #5 Santana Six over him today. #1 Silver City is clearly the class of the speed, but there is going to be a contested pace for him and it will be up to Juilen Leparoux to get him to relax a bit. #7 Hull scratched out of the Grade 2 Lexington at Keeneland last week and appears again here with Miguel Mena aboard. So, here is a fun little play for the Derby Trial.
$1 EX BOX 1-4-5-7 and $2 TRI 1-4 with 1-4 with 5-7
Remember, They Are Off is only suggesting a play for the Derby Trial tomorrow and accepts no responsibility for any wagers made based on these recommendations. They Are Off returns on Monday for Derby Week. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!