• The weekend preview w/ TCI & Toga Tout

    POSTED Apr 6, 2012
    One of the hardest things to do while watching horse racing live is to keep track of all the action via satellite. This is rarely an issue on days such as the Kentucky Derby or Breeders' Cup, but it's often a big deal the first two weekends of Keeneland each year when Triple Crown/Breeders' Cup prep races abound coast to coast.

    The Paddock Bar has become a mission control of sorts for me and my friends, as we try to monitor all the action happening near and far with a combination of TVs, mobile devices, Twitter, and moxie.

    The action will no doubt be fast and furious come late Saturday afternoon when stakes commence not only in Lexington for the $500,000 Ashland Stakes but also from New York to Chicago to Southern California with major Derby prep races scheduled for 5:15 p.m. EDT (Wood Memorial), 5:30 (Santa Anita Derby), and 6:46 (Illinois Derby).

    I heartily recommend not missing our weekly dose of Triple Crown Insider and Toga Tout so that we all can be prepared to crush these races when they come up.

    As for me, I expect my strategy to vary among each of the prep races.

    In the Wood, I'm zeroing in on My Adonis as a top selection with plans to also play around with The Lumber Guy. I'll play the race to beat at least one of Alpha and Gemologist in the top three with neither in the top slot in the all-stakes Pick 4 unless I beat favorites such as Broadway's Alibi or Caleb's Posse elsewhere.

    I'm fond of saying "boxes are for shoes" when people tell me they played a race by boxing horses in an exacta or trifecta, but I won't be able to resist such a play in the Illinois Derby since Currency Swap is an extremely vulnerable morning line favorite, and Ring It Up, Z Rockstar, Our Entourage, Morgan's Guerrilla, and Explain all look capable at double digit odds (except Our Entourage, but I can't let him beat me with another price even at underlaid win odds because I've been on him for awhile now).

    I see the Santa Anita Derby as the most likely of the three races to chalk out. Creative Cause is a worthy favorite and most likely winner, but I'll be pulling for I'll Have Another in the top spot, and I haven't given up on Midnight Transfer enough not to use him in some capacity either. I hope Paynter sucks money but wish he were at Hawthorne since he'd be the favorite there and still too slow.

    Of course, I can't wait until Saturday to get down--not with Keeneland opening on Friday. Derek Simon has some good info on the Keeneland meeting in his most recent blog post (at bottom), and I've included my selections for each of the ten races below.

    I'll rock an "all 'A'" Pick 5 for sure late and not sure what I'll do early since I'm pretty deep in most races. Maybe some spot plays or maybe scratches will help get the Pick 4s down to manageable levels. Either way, should be fun.

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