With all that is going on in the coming weeks--Keeneland opening, huge prep races, and Derby week--it would be easy to look past this weekend as the calendar turns to April, but to do so would make you not only an April fool but also a March one, too, because what goes on this weekend is essential to figuring out the value (if any) in the third future pool for the Kentucky Derby as well as key horses in many other divisions.I'm hesitant to put too much time into a Future pool line because the Florida and Louisiana Derbys will be so important to determining Kentucky Derby chances, but I don't expect any of the listed horses from those races--El Padrino, Mark Valeski, Take Charge Indy, or Union Rags--to offer any value regardless of what happens. Hopefully that'll puff up the prices on some horses running later in April.Union Rags IS my top pick for the Florida and Kentucky Derbys right now, but I'd rather take 2-to-1 on Derby day than 3-to-1 now, and if he doesn't win this weekend then he's not winning in five weeks so even an inflated price after a loss wouldn't appeal to me.For all things this week, though, the boys at Triple Crown Insider have you covered with Derby chatter from Hallandale Beach to New Orleans. I like Union Rags-Take Charge Indy in the former and am looking for an upset in the latter since Mark Valeski and Cigar Street are likely to be underlays to my eye. Rousing Sermon ships East from a more competitive circuit, and I'm hoping the rider change wakes him up early while still allowing him to motor home late.And of course what would a weekend be without Toga Tout, who returns a bit more humbled after foolishly picking Castaway in the Sunland Derby. His entrance this week more than makes up for an incorrect selection, however.And while we're talking about Derbys, I can't resist picking a four-year-old filly in the U.A.E. Derby. Balada Sale's South American form matches up with the top horses in here, and Pascal Bary has said the right things coming into this off a layoff. She should be a big price--especially in the American pools where Lucky Chappy and the O'Brien horses are likely to take more money than they should.
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.