Our first Derby Championship Series sure thing?The question for me approaching the Tampa Bay Derby day card at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday is not whether I will play Verrazano to win the feature race, but how I will play Verrazno to win the feature race.
(for FREE Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances of Kentucky Derby Championship Series races, CLICK HERE).
The answer to that question involves the answer to another question: What will the current favorite to win the Kentucky Derby go off at to win this race? If it's 4-to-5 as his morning line suggests then I don't see any need to get too cute in the multi-race pools because I view that as enough value for a straight wager. Mike Welsch of Daily Racing Form said Friday morning on "At The Races" with Steve Byk that he thinks the More Than Ready colt could drift as high as even money!
Unfortunately, I'm not as optimistic, and I think the only way I see those prices are if I turn him into that as a pick N single. The Pick 5 includes two other stakes, but the turf claimer as the cap on that as well as the late Pick 4 has me less than enthused. The all-stakes Pick 3 as is the Hillsborough-TBD double since I'm not overly keen on horses I expect to take money in the turf stake for older females.
If I could lock in 4-to-5 right now on Verrazano I would and not look back, but the specter of 1-to-2 or worse when the gates open has me thinking I should plot a multi-race wagering strategy for sure.
I have Verrazano ranked third on my Kentucky Derby rankings behind Itsmyluckyday and Mac The Man. The TCI boys have Flashback on top, and he runs on the same day as well in the San Felipe Stakes. Joel Cunningham has some nerves about both likely favorites. He's half right, as I think Verrazano airs (see above) but Flashback gets beat by Hear The Ghost.
Jill Byrne also gets in on the race previews for KentuckyDerby.com