Friday, May 06, 2005


Okay race fans, tomorrow is (in the words of Marketplace's Diana Nyad) the Superbowl of horse racing - the Kentucky Derby. Nyad did a nice job of outlining the decline of horse racing in recent decades and the impact on the sport's three biggest races.

Post positions were drawn the other day with Afleet Alex (my sentimental favorite) running right next to High Fly, which I think could be helpful to both horses. AA has morning line odds of 9-2, with High Fly (another Nick Zito trained horse) currently at 8-1. There are no scratches, so we've got a full field of 20.

Bellamy Road (Steinbrenner's horse) is still the favorite with 5-2 odds, but the Times' Joe Drape predicts that he'll lead for most of the race, but then fade and finish 3rd. Bellamy has only run in two prep races this year, and apparently the last horse to win with only two preps was in 1983. (For the record, Drape picks High Fly to win, Afleet Alex to place, and Bellamy Road to show).

In all of this, no one has really been talking about Bandini, who's run four races this year and won three of them. He's a beautiful horse, and massive - apparently he used to be a really cranky bastard, but has settled down. In The Fountain of Youth race, even after a bad break, he managed to finish second, so I intend to keep an eye on him, especially with morning line odds of 6-1.

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