I've been saying for awhile that I think this is a good group of three-year-olds, and today's Florida Derby did nothing to dissuade me of that.After all, the first Grade 1 race of the year for three-year-old males was won by the horse with the second-fastest BRIS Speed Rating (among his generation) so far this year, so the bigger surprise in retrospect is that Union Rags was 2-to-5, not that he lost.Granted, my opinion going into the Florida Derby was that Union Rags is best, and after he couldn't get past Reveron--let alone Take Charge Indy--I'm changing that opinion to "among the best" in a quintet that also includes Hansen, Take Charge Indy, I'll Have Another, and Creative Cause.What does this mean for the final Kentucky Derby future wager? It's difficult to have too strong of an opinion right now since what happens in the Louisiana Derby will effect the odds, but I'm definitely interested in Bodemeister, Howe Great, I'll Have Another, My Adonis, On Fire Baby, and Secret Circle at these prices. Best-case scenario for me to secure those prices is a win from Mark Valeski or Cigar Street, which would certainly spur interest in the former individually or the latter via the field.Speaking of Cigar Street being part of the field, there was plenty of discussion regarding whether horses like Cigar Street, Holy Candy, Paynter, and Street Life should be individual interests, and the consensus thought was that $0 graded earnings at this stage is just too much a roll of the dice to include in the field of 23. Seeing horses like News Pending perform as poorly as he did makes me wish Cigar Street were in there, but he could finish a good third in a 13-horse field in a $1-million race and still not make the Kentucky Derby starting gate.I hate the "wide open Derby" cliche--mainly because most people use it to describe a weak year, but I think this is a good group that should put on some great shows in the coming weeks.
Welcome to the TwinSpires Blog. Our contributors will be continually updating posts to offer commentary, insight, advice and expert opinions on horse racing and wagering. The goal is to help you win more and become a better all around horse player.
TwinSpires' horse racing author, handicapper, and podcast host, Derek Simon of Denver, Colo. offers his insightful, humorous and sometimes controversial take on the horse racing industry. He even publishes the ROI on the picks he gives out.
TwinSpires' harness racing expert, Frank Cotolo follows all of the big North American circuits throughout the year, providing the best value picks and latest news from the sulky.
The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
A television racing analyst for Churchill Downs, Jill has earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing.