SureBet Racing News' Martha Claussen has contributed to this blog on numerous occasions before and even offered a pick or two now and then. So, I asker her to do the same for the 136th Kentucky Derby and here are Martha's opinions and a Derby Day play as well:
Very interesting challenges involved in handicapping Kentucky Derby 136! Even before the untimely defection of Eskendereya, I felt that this could be another Giacomo or Mine That Bird year. Prior to the post position draw, I was high on Sidney's Candy. Now the poor dude will think he is back in California with that post. I want Todd Pletcher to win; he is long overdue.
My sentimental choice will be Mission Impazible as his connections and my good friend Tony Patterson live in Ruston, Louisiana . Super Saver has been grinding away, gets Churchill Downs wonderboy Calvin Borel and a very accommodating post. My last Derby winner was Monarchos in 2001 and I have always loved the Florida Derby as a key prep. Ice Box shocked them this year, but with all the early speed types, the race could set up sweetly for Zito's charge.
Anyway, analysis, paralysis. Look what Michael Chamberlain did last year. He dissed Mine That Bird in the handicapping seminar, played his birthday numbers of 8-16 and cashed an exacta ticket for $2,000. If I play my birthday numbers of 8-2-5-4, I've got a 50-1, 15-1, 30-1 and Ice Box at 10-1. So my Derby credo this year will echo the immortal words of Tom Cruise in Risky Business who declared "sometimes you have to say, what the ____!" Why not take a shot with some longshots, birthday numbers or even the filly and go for the gusto?
Here is my suggested $1 Derby Pick 3:
Race 9: #1 Munnings; #7 Warrior's Reward; #10 Cool Coal Man
Race 10: #10 Blues Street (Javier Castellano is the BEST turf rider in the country)
Race 11: ALL, except #8, #9, #18,#19
TOTAL: $48, or hit the ALL button in the Derby for $60
Have a great Oaks and Derby!
Remember that They Are Off (and Martha) accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in tomorrow as some of the best track announcers in the country weigh in with their Derby selections. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!