There are three major Kentucky Derby preps this weekend, including the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby and the Grade 3 Sunland Derby. I have elected, though, to tackle the Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes over the Polytrack at Turfway Park. Here is the analysis:
I find it very hard to locate anyone in this field that can beat #2 Positive Response. He won the John Battaglia Memorial by seven lengths over the track on March 5 and did not humiliate himself in his last graded effort, the Grade 3 El Camino Real at Golden Gate, where he finished third. He worked a solid five furlongs on March 20, covering the length in 1:01.4. Going forward, of course, might be an issue since he has never raced on a true dirt surface, but worry about that later. I will put #10 Decisive Moment second. His last try in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds was OK. He set the pace and ended up fifth, within six lengths of Mucho Macho Man and Santiva, two horses that are currently part of the Super Six Derby Pix. He ran second behind Gourmet Dinner in the Delta Jackpot in November and while Gourmet Dinner is now out, he is still a strong horse to be in company with. #4 Animal Kingdom goes third in here after a bullet turf workout on March 21 and a second over the turf at Gulfstream Park in his 2011 debut. Trainer Graham Motion is very strong with horses making their second start off a layoff and this horse did get his only win in his only previous Polytrack start, at Keeneland last fall. Alan Garcia will ride. Finally, I will put #3 Thirtyfirststreet in the fourth spot. He ran past some tiring rivals to finish fourth in the Robert E. Lewis at Santa Anita and while he was no match for the winner, Anthony's Cross, keep in mind that Anthony's Cross is not here. His Beyers translate well into a contending position here and his last seven furlong work on March 18 was very speedy. Here is the play for the Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral:
$10 WP #2
$2 EX #2 with ALL
$1 EX ALL with #2
We caught a bit of a break with last week's play in the Rebel Stakes with the scratch of Alternation at the gate. The play only cost $19 and drops the blog to a MINUS $121 for the year. Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!