Four Derby Longshots Worth Considering

By definition, a longshot is considered "a betting interest that is unlikely to win." But when you're playing exacta, trifectas, and superfectas in horse racing, a longshot doesn't have to win, he just needs to finish two through four to help you to cash your ticket.

For the Kentucky Derby especially, because the pools are so immense, all it takes is one longshot to finish "in the money" to cash a big ticket. Of course, you need to find the other correct horse(s) to go with your longshot, but we'll worry about that later. For now, let's focus on trying to find the ones that have the best chance at filling out a winning ticket.

My definition of a longshot for the Derby is anything over 10-1. Obviously, we won't know the final odds until post time, but I'm fairly certain that the four horses below will all be double-digit odds. Here are the ones I think have the best chance at hitting the board on Saturday.

Alpha—probable post time odds: 12-15/1

If you would have asked me a week ago, I probably would not have included him on this list. As stated previously, it's usually not a good sign when a horse has his training plans altered because of an infection and the connections have not named a rider so close to the race. But his sharp work on Saturday in :59 2/5 and strong gallop out signaled that he is healthy and ready to go. Whether or not he'll be fit enough or not, I don't know. But I do know he's one of the most consistent horses in the field, not only from a race record standpoint but also from a speed figure perspective. His Tomlinson Distance Rating is the best in the field too, which means he at least has the ability to get 10 furlongs, and he will be coming from off the pace—something that is probably a good thing considering how much pace we are expecting.

Daddy Nose Best—probable post time odds: 15/20-1

He's starting to become somewhat of a wise-guy horse over the past couple days. Apparently, he is giving a nice appearance on the track and Steve Asmussen is talking very confidently. I've liked him all along for reasons stated in my previous blog, so while his odds may take more of a hit on Saturday, I'm certainly not going to let his popularity keep me from playing him. Of all the reasons previously stated—his bottom, being the only horse with two wins at nine furlongs, his gameness in last two wins, his top trainer/jockey combo, more than anything I like that he has been training over the Churchill track almost all month. Sure, some horses can ship into Churchill Derby week without a work over the track and win on talent alone, but I still think having a familiarity with the track is a big plus. Is he classy enough to hit the board? I don't know, but if he gets the trip I know he'll be charging at the end.

Liaison—probable post time odds: 35-40/1

If you watch That Handicapping Show you know I've picked this horse three straight times and he's disappointed me in each one. I was finally ready to jump off his wagon, but Baffert talked me back onto it. Baffert is always confident in his horses (he told anyone who would listen that Midnight Interlude was going to run big in last year's Derby), so you can't take his word as gospel. But I really do think this horse has talent and for whatever reason has just not been able to put it all together. He seems to be training better at Churchill than he did at Santa Anita, and again, he's one of these off the pace horses that might benefit from the torrid early fractions that are expected. Baffert + 40-1 + Derby=worth using.

Sabercat—probable post time odds: 40-45/1

His speed numbers are too low, he hasn't been close in his two starts this year, and the only reason he is in this race is because he won a 2-year-old race with an inflated purse that has meant nothing in years past. What I'm saying is, there isn't a whole lot to like about this colt from a logical standpoint. He'll need to run the race of his life and for the race to fall apart to have a chance at hitting the board. I guess I've liked him for a while now and I'm stubbornly refusing to believe he has no shot, but I do think he'll be sharper in his third off a layoff and the added distance will benefit him. It's a reach, I know, but if he hits the board, it will light up like a Christmas tree.

Back on Thursday with final selections.


Leave a Comment:

Ted from LA

You forgot Done Talking.

01 May 2012 12:11 PM
Sam Santschi

It's hopeless now.  I have about 9 to bet somehow.  Maybe my kids' birthdates...5/8/03, 7/11/06 or straight win bets on the horses my sister examines this week (she's a vet.  Cant' wait to get there tomorrow!  Do the FL shippers have an edge now because of how hot and humid it will be?  My brain hurts...

01 May 2012 12:34 PM
Pedigree Ann

Liaison and Rousing Sermon have been virtually the same horse, finishing in the same positions vis-a-vis one another three times in four meetings (Liaison clipped heels the fourth time). Why omit Rousing Sermon if you like Liaison to hit the board?

01 May 2012 12:41 PM

The first two are in my 6 horse box !!!  DNB is going to be coming late !!!

01 May 2012 12:51 PM

Yea Done Talking is another, say what you want but he's bred to run all day. I think DNB will go off under 10-1. The more I think about Liaison the more I think he's got a chance. Sabercat has been training great I got to say but idk if ill use him. Alpha has to get Garcia to have a shot if he gets Rajiv he won't be on my ticket.

01 May 2012 12:56 PM
Sam Santschi

Did I read somewhere that McLaughlin's Invasor missed a work before the Classic because of some issue?  If they say Alpha's ready, that's good enough for me. As for his jockey, hopefully they don't pick'll depress his odds.

01 May 2012 1:09 PM

Well my last place special (MV) is gone--I mentioned Arron V on HRTV was worse a curse than Dray

Trainer seems to agree with me---now if they would scratch Trini--Maybe he would be a factor later in the season.

Still can't be solid on any horse but I was always going to use Sabercat on bottom of tri's and supers and can slug in the ticket at a good number. Still leaning towards Dullahan although he isn't a cinch or solid single--Dray might even be right this year although if you UR is a cinch like others think but then why would you box? Boxing should only be for people like me that think more than a few contenders can win as it is a very tough race.

On another note-- Mr. Lukas why run just because you can? Mr Jones I applaud you for your decision with a hard trying young horse with a future and lots of money to be made in big pot 3 yr old races

01 May 2012 1:37 PM
Minnesota Kid

Off topic, I know, but......

How about this mess at NYRA?

I had Steve Crist pegged as a chump a long time ago, now this story confirms it.

BTW, a few years ago I got sick of Crist and Beyer whining about synthetics and trying to say there was no evidence to back up the claim that there were/are fewer breakdowns over it than dirt.

So, I responded w/ a post reminding them that Keeneland's final dirt meet had 55 breakdowns and their first Polytrack meet had 6 breakdowns.


This struck me as somewhat amusing, since I got the DATA from an article in something called the Daily Racing Form.

Mr. Shandler, it took me some time to realize it, but it's official and you were/are correct: The DRF website is irrelevant.

Also, how could anyone not figure Crist for a chump, considering he still rocks the pony-tail and moustache, while insisting Steely Dan is the best band of all-time.

He might be a bigger clown than draynay.

01 May 2012 2:09 PM

Good Analysis Jason, as always.

I really like how Liasion has been training at CD. Completely different horse than he was at SA.

Sabercat 3rd off the layoff, Assmussen, you can't go wrong placing some money on him, especially at those odds.

I really like DNB, I've liked him for awhile now, again the Assumussen factor, training very well at CD, seasoned, has the breeding and will get the distance.

However, Alpha, I don't think he is worth the bet based on recent issues, was supposed to have 2 works at CD, had one at Aqueduct, although bred for this race, seems to be a little slow. I like his foundation, but to me, he isn't worth the bet unless he looks beautiful at CD.  

01 May 2012 2:13 PM

Daddy Nose Best is in my top 3 and he wil be the wise guy horse..

Hoping to get 15/20-1..

My other bomber is Prospective,don't think he liked the polytrack and breeding is good and everyone says he is training great at the Downs..

Good luck to all

01 May 2012 2:17 PM
Carlos in Cali

I'd say TCI and El Padrino are live longshots knowing they'll be 10-1 or higher..

If you like Gemologist you better have Alpha on your ticket(s) too. If he doesn't steady and check going into the 1st turn where he loses about -3L, he wins the Wood.And remember that was his first off a 9wk respit,so expect Kiaran to have him in as good a shape as he can be.I'll take 12-1/15-1 on him any day.

I think DNB,Sabercat and Liaison are just not good enough to compete in here,no matter what odds they go off at.

01 May 2012 2:24 PM

Alpha won't hit the board...... He'll light it up!!!!  The other three are U-S-E-L-E-S-S.

I still love that "Union Rags can't lose/6 horse box" Draynay. Everyone got a kick out of it at dinner last night. Grow a pair and play him on top 6x instead of boxing the tri 1x. Geeeeez, even 5x and once for 2nd is a manly bet for a horse that is a romp!

01 May 2012 2:47 PM

I forgot to mention, Prospective looks like a live longshot to hit the board, at huge odds, I wouldn't be surprised. He looks like a million bucks at CD and everyone says he has been the most eye catching horse and looks nothing like he did at Kee. Just wanted FYI all of you that info.

01 May 2012 2:51 PM

Prolific headline from Bloodhorse:

- Union Rags Takes A Bath. Haha

01 May 2012 2:52 PM

Like Alpha and Daddy Nose Best.  Think I'll Have Another may also be about 12-1 and is a great play.

Kudos to Larry Jones for not running Mark Valeski because he doesn't think he belongs.  If more trainers were like that, we'd have a much truer race.  And his horse was far mor live than the one taking his place.

01 May 2012 2:52 PM


Not to discourage you. I bet Alpha that day--clean trip -no (but not horrible). Did he get out and was in full flight and looked every part a winner at the 1/8th pole---yes. Did he get by --no!!!!!

It was if Gemologist saw him and said what are you doing there--your not in my league and took off again. Another mile the result wouldn't have changed other than a wider margin of victory.

I have no knocks against Gemologist but don't think he will win the Derby (wouldn't shock me if he did) but visually seeing an almost a force field holding Alpha at bay like a force field behind lost my thoughts on Alpha winning the Derby. Alpha with a dream trip wasn't going to win the Wood--he was second best.

01 May 2012 3:02 PM

Went the Day Well will be my longshot horse...  I will let Sabercat and Liaison beat me as I really don't link either of them.  

Alpha has a chance, I just haven't been thrilled with his training schedule and lack of multiple works since the Wood.  

If I go Draynay on the bit and put out my 6 horses as of now they would be:


Union Rags

Went the Day Well



Take Charge Indy

One more day until post position draw... Can't wait!!!

01 May 2012 3:12 PM

Minnesota Kid no one is bigger or better than me !  I think Union will get post 15.

01 May 2012 3:34 PM

I agree on Sabercat (and Daddy Nose Best for that matter).

I think Sabercat will truly appreciate the distance, even if he is on the slow side. On straight numbers his last race was his best and the farthest he has run to date at 9F. At the very least I plan on putting a sizeable show wager on him.

DNB is turning into a wiseguy horse and the price might not be as sweet as expected...will still use him.

01 May 2012 3:52 PM

the card for oaks is nice. Last 5 races all have more than 10 horses, some many more. A bunch of full fields, makes for great money to be made...

01 May 2012 4:21 PM

Grace Hall/Union Rags Oaks/Derby DD

Grace Hall is a monster and cannot be beat.

01 May 2012 4:22 PM

Also personnaly when you have 2 grade one winners Ill have another and Take Charge Indy both with a good shot going off at 10-1 or greater I would not consider that a longshot.

More like 15-1 or greater

01 May 2012 4:38 PM

No one bigger?????

In girth or open space between the ears

01 May 2012 4:45 PM

Guy's remember; INVISABLE INK and BLUEGRASS CAT! Need I say more...there are always opportunities.

01 May 2012 5:04 PM
steve from st louis

Alpha at 12-1? Jason, unless the Mrs. gave you the ok to bet Jackson's inheritance, Alpha has to be at least twice that.

Live runners ahead of him are Bodemeister, Creative Cause, Dullahan, Union Rags, Gemologist, Hansen, I'll Have Another and  Take Charge Indy. I say Alpha is closer to 30-1 than 15-1. Does he have a chance? We'll know after the pill-pull tomorrow.

01 May 2012 5:12 PM

I've been touting Daddy Nose Best the last few months.  And unlike others on this blog, I've made my comments with courtesy and class.  

01 May 2012 5:15 PM
Mike Monarchos


I like Alpha and Daddy Nose Best, but I'm not crazy about Sabercat and Liasion. I think Prospective and El Padrino are live longshots.

My top  picks right now are Gemologist, Bodemeister,  Union Rags, I'll Have Another, and Creative Cause.

01 May 2012 5:20 PM

Only Daddy Nose Best has a winning shot of the above four IMO.

01 May 2012 6:24 PM

Daddy Nose Best will be at a short price, he's no long shot. He should be among the top three colts capable of winning the Derby. Don't fool yourself, Gareth Gomez is gonna give him a "Blame" type of ride and he'll uncork that big run turning for home. Only Union Rags and Gemologist ...and conceivably a wire to wire gambit by Trinniberg can deny DNB.

01 May 2012 6:37 PM
Minnesota Kid

Now you are predicting post positions??

I have to hand it to you, draynay, you never get tired of being wrong.

01 May 2012 6:38 PM

Some longshots that I am definitely playing, who I think have a very good chance of making an impact:

Daddy Nose Best



Take Charge Indy

01 May 2012 6:38 PM


"But his sharp work on Saturday in :59 2/5 and strong gallop out signaled that he is healthy and ready to go."

That may be, but didn't Alpha gallop out in 1:15 and change? Since when is a 15-16 second gallop out "strong?" That is barely a cantor.

01 May 2012 6:47 PM
Jason Shandler

Jayjay: I do have Dray's $100

01 May 2012 6:54 PM

Here is the workout report from Kentucky

"Godolphin Stable’s Alpha breezed five furlongs on the training track at Belmont Park in :59.40 under jockey Rajiv Maragh.

Working in company with stablemate Steele Road, the Bernardini colt was timed in splits of :11.60, :23.20 and :47. The Wood Memorial (Grade I) runner-up galloped out a sixth furlong in 1:15.

It was the colt’s first work since the race on April 7. His schedule was interrupted by about four days when he developed an infection in his left foreleg from cuts sustained in the Wood."

Galloped out in 1:15?

01 May 2012 7:04 PM

Liason.  Perhaps we are watching the wrong Baffer horse.  Kind of reminds me of Indian Charlie and Real Quiet although I think the later actually won the Hollywood Futurity with some nice Beyers behind him. kind of a dud.  

01 May 2012 7:20 PM
steve from st louis

Jason, you took $100 off Draynay? You'll never get pinched; that can't even be considered "gambling"!

01 May 2012 7:29 PM
It aint easy being good!

I have heard from numerous sources that prospective is skipping across the track the last time I heard those words was when MTB won. I know this field is alot better personally I think its going to be chalk city this year. When all the preps go 1-2 every single prep do you really expect much difference in this derby lets get real people!

01 May 2012 7:34 PM
Minnesota Kid

Does anyone have a guess on Trinniberg's post-time win odds?

Since the 50-1 shots scored in '05 & '09, the days of 100-1 bombs seem to be long gone. The past two editions of the race have featured a total of zero 50-1 horses, or even 40-1, if I'm not mistaken.

I don't think Trinniberg will be the longest price on the board come post-time Saturday, just curious as to what others think his odds will be.

BTW, I would play him to win @ 100-1, or better, because I think he will be in the lead after 8 of the 10 furlongs, but, as I stated, no one will be 100-1.

01 May 2012 7:55 PM

Big Brown was a lock in the Derby.  There hasn't been a lock like that since.  But Friday another lock will step in the Gate named Grace Hall.  As long as Castellano stays on her she wins.

01 May 2012 7:56 PM

My Derby long shots are Done Talking, Rousing Sermon and Liaison. All are closers and if none upset with a win then watch where they place and figure to see them in the Belmont.

01 May 2012 7:58 PM
Old Timer

I am not too keen on Daddy Nose Best. Whom did he really beat at Golden Gate? Mike Smith jumped over to Bodemeister. Mike Smith is no dummy. Liason is interesting. I may take a fling with a side bet  Baffert-Lukas exacta box of Liaison-Bodemeister-Optimizer just for giggles. Didn't those two have the Derby exacta just a few years back? Now that one would pay nicely.

01 May 2012 8:00 PM

Alpha and Daddy Nose Best both have a chance to not only hit the board but also win, especially if the pace breaks down, and the odds will be attractive.  

The money is going to be spread so wide that I may even get 10 or 12-1 on Gemologist.  Top 5 before pp's:


Union Rags


I'll Have Another

Daddy Nose Best

Bring it on!

01 May 2012 8:02 PM

Trinniberg is going to run better than expected. Go back and look at the Bayshore. He was never asked for any run at any point in that race.

01 May 2012 9:02 PM
Rolling Thundar

Minnesota Kid......Hey

Dude, Lighten UP...I know we All wish we Had that Magic Crystal Ball, that would give Us the perfect outcome of Events in Our Lives, but then I don't think that whould really be to much Fun, or Challenging, now would it. Always knowing the Answers.......If you are that Serious in Life....Then maybe you need to get out of the Thorny Thickets that hold you in despair, waiting for Luck to Shine upon your Trivial litte Life.....Step up to a Little Carisel of Fun and Humor........

If you take Draynay's comments as so much to written in Stone....It just doesn't make sinse.....Relax....It's all in Good Fun.........When it's all Said and Done.......Whichever Horse Wins this Derby.......There are Those who will Brag that they Had Him......And then there are Those who will say......( Like Me, ).........What a Great Race, and What a Wonderful World......

01 May 2012 10:00 PM

Tebow 7/5 to be on track for Derby Day.  Camera time ov/un 7 seconds.. The headless horseman(El Dullahan)to win by a neck!

01 May 2012 10:05 PM
The Commadore

Dale Romans Owns Churchill and this totally different horse with a sharp quickness of foot is totally under the noise thans to the others. Having attended over 30 Derby's this is a very tough group. Jockeys and trainers will make a difference in the race.Rags may get buried with a horse that although looks the part may have a lot of trouble.



3.Creative Cause

4.Union Rags

5.I'll have another

01 May 2012 10:37 PM

Long shots

Alpha - 15/1

El pedrino- 25-1

Take charge indy 15-1

Ill have another 12-1

All excellent horses with good speed and great stamina.  The only problem is union rags, creative cause, bod, gem, and dullihan all better!

01 May 2012 10:48 PM

I think Alpha and Daddy's Nose Best are definite long shot plays.Liaison had not shown me he can handle dirt and by Indian Charlie he might not handle the distance. Sabercat is great to place at the bottom end of tris and supers. I love how prospective is working at Churchill. He feels comfortable and working hard. It will be a difficult for him to win but he might be a great horse to place on all exotic wagers. I feel this year might not be an upset for the derby. One of the top horses might win it(Union, Bode or Gemologist. The money will be in second third and fourth. I can't wait for post positions tomorrow to move on to the next phase of my handicapping.

01 May 2012 10:50 PM
Rolling Thundar

Sorry Everyone.....Didn't mean to go off.....Especially to Minnesota Kid.......I don't like when that happens to me......I don't like when A Goat, gets under my Skin....

Just like when Everyone Has a Little Fun...Then Life is Good...It Still IS, The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports....

01 May 2012 10:52 PM
Paula Higgins

Well heaven help me, but I agree with Sylvester (and 2:24), Daddy Nose Best is the one to watch out for. Alpha would be my second longshot. Will be interested to see post positions. Still like:


Creative Cause


01 May 2012 11:17 PM

I am going to win you some money for the Derby.  DD on Gung Ho and Grace for 100 !  Thank me later.

02 May 2012 1:19 AM

I'm going to have to throw Liason in there, too, only because Bob Baffert is even more likely than Larry Jones perhaps in not running a horse if he didn't think they'd win. I just found an older top 15 of my lists from two or three months back and I had Liason up there in 4th. His preps at Santa Anita really bother me, and all I can think of to Baffert's comments that he didn't like the track, is why did he run him there 3 times then? And that leaves doubts on his handling Churchill then. Pretty much what Jason said, but last year I had Midnite Interlude coming in last on my in the end. Liason has the talent and experience that last year's horse lacked- and the running style and connections to win.

02 May 2012 2:27 AM
Union Buster

I don't care what the odds, the biggest longshot to win will be union on the rags. For him to win they will have to load all the others in the gate backwards.

union on the rags will not win the Ky Derby!!

02 May 2012 8:20 AM


Two days of racing in at Churchill.  21 races total.  There have been three winners who were worse than third at the second call.  

There have also been six wire to wire winners, and five other winners who were no worse than second.

There have been two winners over 6-1.

Fairgrounds shippers are dominating.  They have won 7 races.  KEE, OP, TP are next with three apiece.

There have been 29 FG starters and they have 16 ITM finishes (7w, 5p, 4s)

Mean anything or too small a sample size?

02 May 2012 9:40 AM
Dave R.

Here are five longshots that should be running well at the end should there be some stopping going on by the favorites.

02 May 2012 10:09 AM
Dave R.

MY five longshots - Alpha, Prospective, Went the Day Well, El Padrino, and Rousing Sermon.

02 May 2012 10:10 AM

Does Alpha have a rider yet?

02 May 2012 10:13 AM

Alpha is really looking good.  Those of you that leave this tough horse off your ticket will lose.  No Tri for you.  Alpha is bred for this race and will be coming when most are giving up.

02 May 2012 10:59 AM

first off this is ROLO, Jason  can back me up i pick DONE TALKING in ILL DERBY. to not say this horse can run big in DERBY is crazy. watch replay off last race.  was MOVING GREAT had to come to complete stop, rerally and no doubt run 1.5 seconds faster in this race if not for trouble. watch the replay.  I guarntee this horse hits board and pays ur exotics off.   luv u Steve but watch replay nobodsy talking bout this horse trouble.   UNION RAG  using CREATIVE CAUSE,DONE TALKING,  exbox.

02 May 2012 11:17 AM

ohh and LIASION  in my exotics as well.

02 May 2012 11:18 AM
Rusty Weisner

Anyone have a suggestion on how to handicap the heat, other than seeing them in the paddock (not possible for us in the outside world)?

02 May 2012 11:28 AM

My God Draynay... Do you hear yourself??? You need THERAPY. you hope Union Rqags gets post 15, yet he is a lock, yet you box 6 horses.  Please stop!!!! I am laughing so hard, i can see straight. Let me analize you for everyone else that doesn't know what you are doing. YOU ARE SETTING UP YOUR EXCUSE. There is ONE sure method for narrowing the field down for the KY DERBY and Union RAGS does not make the list!! Can you say.. Pretender???

02 May 2012 11:29 AM

Steve from St Louis. I read your Alpha comments. 30-1? I plan on paying the mortgage off at 14-1. At 30-1, I will take 3 months off of my handicapping job. You been drinking from Draynays bottle? Whew.

02 May 2012 11:32 AM
Smoking Baby

 Yeah Draynay...It's tough to argue.  Grace Hall will be double tough on Friday.  I think Broadway's Alibi will be her main competition as long as she handles two turns.  I'm pulling for Sacristy and Hard Not To Like for my own reasons but am under no illusions.

02 May 2012 12:03 PM

I truly hate to say this but I think Dray is right about the Oaks---only the Jones filly that worked so well is going to be tough if Grace Hall transfers her last race in FL form.

Couldn't have won easier and she figures to be better on her 3rd start back.

Hmmmmmm, picking a winner is better than a loser, definitely, but I am more often going to remain silent than boast after about picking a chalk---so although I am going that way in the Oaks---I really believe any of the 70% who will use her in tickets is capable of such a tough handicapping feat @ 8-5.

02 May 2012 12:20 PM

Let it be known that Draynay has put the Hex of all Hexes on Grace Hall.  Do not be surprised if she throws a shoe and finishes a dull 4th...  Thanks a lot Draynay, I was planning on singling her in my Oaks, Woodford, Derby pick 3... No longer!

02 May 2012 12:24 PM

BIG SHOCK!!! DRAYNAYS OAKS DERBY DOUBLE >>>CHALK TO CHALK!  who wouldve seen that coming?

02 May 2012 1:10 PM

TRYING to help the many people on here that are making HUGE mistake on a horse that seems to be on alot of peoples list....will post this throw out horse tomorrow......

02 May 2012 1:13 PM

MY people in kentucky are telling me ill have another not changing leads in stretch in works...not a surprise, he's lightly raced for a reason.....and UNION RAGS has been washed out........btw its gonna be hot prepared to see him spend energy by washing out sat!!!!

02 May 2012 1:17 PM

RANAG........i have no problem with your prediction that rags will win triple crown....but, how bout just another race? Have you noticed the fact that the derby winners lately hardly even win a race or 2 after derby? go back and look....good luck with that...

02 May 2012 1:22 PM


Union Rags is coming into the Derby better prepared than the recent winners IMO. His trainer knows the way buddy.

For the Oaks its going to be Broadway Alibi all the way.

In the Alysheba stay with Mucho Macho Man.

02 May 2012 1:31 PM
Rusty Weisner

Is Howe Great's post position insurmountable?

02 May 2012 1:57 PM

I am a Great-Aunt!  Giuliana was born last night at 11:00 p.m.  Can't think of any connection to the Derby but Hard Not to Like!

02 May 2012 2:07 PM
Pedigree Ann

You know, people, when the favorite is 5 or 6 to 1, 12 to 1 is not a longshot - more like a 'midshot', what 6 to 1 would be in a normal field. You can't call it a longshot in a Derby-type field until you get to 20/1 or so.

02 May 2012 2:07 PM
Matthew W

I, too, think Daddy Nose Best is the wise guy horse, and I'm gonna use him in my ex box, along with I'll Have Another, Dullahan, Union Rags, Gemologist, Hansen, Creative Cause, Bodemiester----oh, forget it! I'll just play I'll Have Another w/p/s BIG---and Daddy Nose Best, w/p/s small....this is the best betting Derby since I have been viewing/playing it--since 1971!

02 May 2012 2:17 PM


Look no further than #3 Summer Applause and around 8-1.

Grace Hall is not a lock in the Oaks.

I really like the Oaks/...../Derby pick 3 with a stop in the middle for a Woodford Reserve.  When the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic is next up Saturday, I'll be saying, "I'll Have Another."  And Why Not?  It is Hard Not to Like a refreshing Woodford Reserve on the rocks, on Derby Day , especially when you're "On Fire Baby...."

02 May 2012 2:23 PM

I noticed team Creative Cause worked him in "cheater blinkers" before he left California but his 47 second work over Churchill on the 30th he was not wearing them.  What gives?  With as goofy as this one is in the stretch I would stick with the blinkers.  There will be 90-100 thousand people in the stands and plenty of speed up front to catch.  

02 May 2012 2:25 PM

creative cause has not been to the track in 2 days now, Rags always gets hot, Gem looks awesome, so does TCI!! I am happy

02 May 2012 2:41 PM
Rusty Weisner

In he Oaks I don't like it that the two horses that look like the best, Grace Hall and On Fire Baby, are both pinned on the inside next to each other.  I consider Broadway's Alibi an overlay, as her big race was in the slop in a small field and she hasn't raced at CD or beyond a mile.  I am going to put two long, long longshots on a pick4 ticket(s):  Summer Applause has been getting beat by Believe You Can in small fields but will have a better pace setup in a big field Friday; And Why Not is closer, too, and liked CD, to boot; I'll throw out her last race -- maybe a disadvantageous post made things worse.  Those two will go with Grace Hall and On Fire Baby on my tickets.

I'm going to play one Pick4 ticket where I key Stephanie's Kitten in the eighth race.  I'll play another ticket, but I can't decide whether to key Grace Hall or Mucho Macho Man. I'm leaning towards keying Mucho Macho Man instead of Grace Hall, as MMM is really sharp, three of the main contendersin his race are off layoffs, and another, Nate's M., could bounce).

On the MMM ticket, where I bet against the standout favorite Stephanie's Kitten, I'll go a full 8 horses wide in the 8th race. I'll take MMM in the 9th.  I'll only take three in the 10th:  Gung Ho, Howe Great and a real longshot, Travel Advisory.  This horse really dislikes dirt and is strictly for the turf.  In his last he had no chance in a six horse field against Silver Max, who will be parked outside with Howe Great.  In his next to last an apprentice rider rode him very wide on both turns to win at an allowance level.  In the last race I'll take Grace Hall, On Fire Baby (both have run well at CD) and the two longshots I mentioned.  That's a 8 x 1 x 3 x 4 = $48 50-cent ticket.

On the Stephanie's Kitten ticket I'll take six in the 9th race for a 1 x 6 x 3 x 4 = $36 50-cent ticket.  

I'm going into this assuming that CD will be friendly to closers like last year.  If I'm rudely corrected Friday, at least I'll have more insight going into the Derby.

02 May 2012 2:44 PM

So.....UNION RAGS washed out, bears out in stretch.....doesnt bother anyone?  How about them trying a tongue tie on him the other day? HE didnt like it so they wont use it.....anyone wonder why they tried it? Do you know why they would try a tongue tie? Still doesnt bother anyone? hmmmmmmmmm

02 May 2012 2:48 PM

To say you want post 20 is kind of silly.  1 horse since 1970 is not real promising. Post 1 and 2 are also horrid.  I don't think 2 has produced a winner since Affirmed and the last from 1 was Ferdinand. Lookin at anything but Lucky.

Everyone shoots for 16 (Animal Kingdom).  This has been the most prolific post recently (because you probably steer clear of the initial rodeo and get position set and the horse relaxed),  or post 5 and 8.  

The race will be won or lost tonight.

02 May 2012 2:57 PM

I like Daddy Nose Best (but he's not going to be 20/1 so can you really consider him a longshot) and Prospective. Both will be coming late.  

Union Rags looked near sensational again today after the really questionable move of adding a tongue tie was abandoned. Why screw with the horse and new equipment so close to the biggest race of his career when he's coming into it so well? He doesn't need any more to overcome since he's saddled with the draynay curse already. Another who looked very good today was Gemologist.

02 May 2012 3:07 PM

Post 10 looks good too.  Post 9, 12, 14, 17, 19 have produced no winners since 1975.

02 May 2012 3:12 PM


Rajiv Maragh will ride Alpha in the Derby.

02 May 2012 3:12 PM

I'll play Prospective, Went The Day Well, Sabercat, and Daddy Nose Best in the exotics. I believe each of them will be running on late.

What's with the clown who trains Creative Cause. I feel sorry for the horse who has talent but is stuck with this guy. The horse has not been seen on the track for 2 days since his last work. The blinkers on, blinkers, off, blinkers or not saga was a joke and now this. Maybe he'll prove me wrong but i'm tossing him from any win consideration.  

02 May 2012 3:20 PM
Matthew W

Plenty of speed in The Oaks---I'll play a $2 DD all-Daddy Nose Best, then a $5 DD all-I'll Have Another, of course, with my luck, that will make the Oaks Fave a shoo-in!

02 May 2012 3:27 PM

Blogger Bio:

Handle: 2:24

Occupation: Criminal Defense Attorney

Interests: Horse racing, football, Hunter S. Thompson, legalization of marijuana, food, spirits

Favorite all-time horses: Secretariat, Afleet Alex, Personal Ensign (too many others to list)

Sign: Libra

Home Track: Tampa Bay Downs

Favorite Bloggers: Pedigree Ann, Footlick, trackjack, Ted from LA

Pre-post position pick to win the Derby: I'll Have Another

Pre-post position exotic box for Derby: IHA, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, Gemologist, Alpha

Kentucky Derbys attended: 2009, 2011

Tickets for either of those two races that had Mine That Bird or Animal Kingdom on them: 0

Confidence in betting the Derby: Low

Derby betting amount: $500

Reason for this ridiculous post: none

02 May 2012 3:38 PM
Minnesota Kid

Rolling Thundar,

Of all the people that respond aggressively to draynay's ridiculous comments, last night you decide to single me out?

I assure you, that nitwit is not getting under my skin. He is a clown, so I said so. I am not angry about it, just matter-of-fact about it.

The only thing more hilarious than your uneducated guesses about me is your spelling.

02 May 2012 4:13 PM

congrats mz!

02 May 2012 4:46 PM
Rusty Weisner


Others mentioned UR looking washed out before the Floriday Derby.  The temperature was 86 there that day.  I was wondering about who's less likely to tolerate the heat Saturday.

02 May 2012 5:03 PM

If I'll Have Another is going to go at 12-1 he may end up being my "longshot" bet.  He looked resplendent on the track the other day and he worked well.  I don't think I'll ignore the Asmussen pair either. Shortly we'll have the post positions...  

02 May 2012 5:17 PM

The answer to the question as to why Gemologist is not receiving the attention that other undefeated Derby starters did is quite simple. There are too many good horses in this field that bring their own brand of flavor to the race. It's not that Gemologist's undefeated status isn't respected, it's being overlooked this year. It doesn't stand out as a credential that's going to make or break this race. Perhaps the pony is just not getting his fair share of news snatching headlines, like gorgeous Hansen and the blue tail, eccentric doctor, type of headlines. Fans like to see the horses playing in the sand or getting frisky with a bath. We can't all go to Churchill Downs to see the horses in the flesh. Gemologist has been in the shadows as far as publicity is concerned. The Mosses made Zenyatta a well loved legend by being masters of the art of publicity. Zenyatta possessed the gift to be great on her own, but her huge fan base was the result of ingenius marketing. People who aren't lifelong race fans are drawn in by the personal aspect of the horses and their company. They love a good story. Mine that Bird's story made him one of the most famous long shots of all time. Everybody remembers the little gelding, not just horse racing buffs. If you win the Derby Gemologist, your undefeated status will rise to a new level, until then, I'm afraid you're just one of the boys.

02 May 2012 5:24 PM

If Super Saver can win from the 4 hole Union Rags should romp !  Lots of speed outside Bode.  Toss him.  Union should get a nice spot behind the speed and pounce with Gem and Alpha when they are backing up.

02 May 2012 6:08 PM

Higgins I knew you'd come around. DNB has the perfect post position and the race could possibly shape up very nicely for him.  There's still about 6 others who wouldn't surprise me at all if they won but I'm sticking with Daddy Nose Best. Now stop stalking me Higgins.

02 May 2012 6:22 PM

Don't anyone jump off a bridge just yet if you draw the dreaded  1 "hole". Seems 19 horses won the Derby from that #1 post, since 1875 that is. However, the good news, 2 triple crown winners began their quest for the crown on the rail in the Kentucky Derby, Citation and War Admiral. So, think positive and entertain the grandeur thought that the rail post this year could be the start of another triple crown win! This is horse racing, anything is possible. Good luck!

02 May 2012 6:25 PM
Union Buster

Bad luck come in threes.

#1: draynay says rags will work in :46. Wrong!!

#2: draynay says rags will draw post 15. Wrong again!!

#3: draynay says rags will win the KY Derby. Wrong again!! Three strikes and you are out!!

02 May 2012 6:30 PM
Tiz Herself

Well, now that the field is drawn, the starting positions will make it break it for many as it usually does.

Will be interesting to see who gets to the first turn first, whether it will be Bode, Trinn, Hansen or Take Charge Indy?

Am still rooting for my top six Gemologist, Union Rags, Creative Cause, Hansen, I'll Have Another, and Dullahan.

Was liking Daddy Long Legs, however with the one position is a deal breaker.

Jason, what do you think of the draws?

02 May 2012 7:24 PM
Tiz Herself

From the video of Hansen having a sand bath and the one of him arriving at Churchill, looks like he is sure feeling his oats!

02 May 2012 7:25 PM

Love UR and Bode, so I am going to go with the top big race trainer,  Baffert, for the tie breaker:

My four:


Rousing Sermon

Union Rags


Baffert fillies and Grace Hall in the Oaks.

02 May 2012 7:35 PM
steve from st louis

Plodderman: Why would I drink from Draynay's bottle when I ****** in it? 25,30-1. Especially from gate 11. He gets loaded first (1-11, 2-12) and that could cause him problems. Don't like that post at all. He's flighty in the gate, especially with 150,000 screaming Draynays. Still boxing Alpha with Bodemeister and Creative Cause. ABC!

02 May 2012 7:36 PM

Holy Smokes! I forgot about Sir Barton, so 3 horses won the triple crown after breaking from the #1 post position in the Derby. That accounts for something like 30%! That's huge in the land of odds. So Daddy Long Legs and company, think big on this one and take heart. Perhaps you will be the one to turn fate around. Good luck to you.

02 May 2012 9:42 PM

I will help you again.  DD  100$  Doubles Partner/Union Rags  they both win easy.

02 May 2012 10:07 PM
Paula Higgins

mz, congratulations on the birth of Giuliana (love the name)!

Hmmm... so IHA won't change leads? Great. But I am still sticking to Gemologist, Creative Cause and IHA. I think this thing is wide open. Bodemeister is getting all the love but I think there are a bunch that could pull this off. I am going with Grace Hall also.

02 May 2012 10:20 PM


“My definition of a longshot for the Derby is anything over 10-1”

The above definition is clearly not applicable to the Derby field of 2012. The field is very competitive and it is expected that at least 15 of the 20 betting interests will be at double digit odds.  Odds of  12-1/15-1 will be seen on possibly  half of the betting interests  falling outside the top 5. Therefore longshots must be considered those 20-1 and over.


How can the above colts be considered longshots? Alpha  made 3 starts as a 3YO and won 2 and was runner up by neck to one of he colts expect to be member of the top five betting interest. Alpha has the highest rating for the distance and his final work was excellent. Creative Cause made 3 starts as a 3YO and lost 2 and won the other by a head. Daddy Nose Best is the only colt in the filed that has two victories at 9F and had been reportedly thriving at CD.


I consider the above clots longshot. PROSPECTIVE  is one of the few in the field that has made  4 starts as a 3YO. He finished ahead of Reveron in the Sam Davis closing from far back. Reveron subsequently finished ahead of Union Rags who is expected to be at least the second favorite. He has a better route pedigree than Reveron and his TB Derby time was the second fastest in the history of the race. DADDY LONG LEGS is not being sent to the Derby to support American racing.  He been in the pace in all his victories and if he takes to the CD surface and gets into a rhythm his long smooth stride will make him dangerous. He has a world class trainer and that has to be respected. DONE TALKING  or  Mr. Slow is getting no love. He can only improve off his IL Derby victory just a Charismatic improved off his Lexington victor to win the Derby. They are those that expect him to run 1:53.88 for his 9F split in the Derby. The average 9F split for the last 10 Derbies is about 1:49 and change. This colt had no pace to run at in his three victories. His trainer is expecting him to be mid pack. He will easily stay the Derby distance. He will be finishing best of all in what will be a contentious pace if Daddy Long Legs brings his A game. This colt is not as slow as everybody thinks. He has the pedigree; he did not even attract a minimum bet when passed through the sale ring which makes him a good Derby story. His dam won 3 of 4 starts and his second dam was Maryland champion 3 YO and HOY. Did I mentioned that she won a 9F race in 1:48 plus. HOY Have De Grave never broke 1:49 in all her 9F races. He is the only colt in the field that had a race that could be considered a simulation exercise for  the Derby.

02 May 2012 10:44 PM

“Grace Hall is a monster and cannot be beat.”

Malibu Moon has been the sire of some of the best fillies/mares to race in the country in last five years.  Below are a few of his G1 winning fillies/mares.

Devil May Care - Won Mother Goose S. (G1,Bel,8.5F), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1,Sar,9F), Bonnie Miss S. (G2,GP,9F)

Ask the Moon - Won Ruffian Invitational H. (G1,Sar,9f), Personal Ensign Invitational S. (G1,Sar,10f)

Life at Ten - Won Ogden Phipps H. [G1,Bel,8.5F], Beldame S. [G1,Bel,9F], Delaware H. [G2,Del,10F], Sixty Sails H. [G3,Haw,9F], Rare Treat S. [Aqu,9F]

Malibu Prayer - Won Ruffian H. (G1,Sar,9F), 2nd Mother Goose S. (G1,Bel,9F),

Eden's Moon will be Malibu Moon’s starter in the 2012 Kentucky Oaks. Based on his record as a sire of exceptional fillies, Eden's Moon must have an outstanding chance to win. Grace Hall may be considered a monster but Eden's Moon must be considered a potential monster slayer

02 May 2012 11:31 PM

Here's a synopsis of the pace scenario:

1st Quarter will go in 23 or less (most liklely 22+) because Borel on Take Charge Indy from the 3hole wants to secure the rail (as Daddy Long Legs is caught flat footed at the off), Bodemeister doesn't want to be crowded and Trinniberg is naturally too fast to be stuck in the jostle for early positions.

2nd quarter/half mile in 46 and change as 'Bode' yields the lead to 'Trinni' with TCI holding that rail position with stalkers, Union Rags, Hansen, Gemologists, I'll have Another and Creative Cause within striking distance.

3rd quarter/6 furlongs in 1:10 and change, very fast fractions indeed but 'Trinni' is still cruising, 'Bode' still in it just off his flank, to the inside. However, at this point TCI and Hansen attempt to blow the race open, Bodemeister reacts, as does Trinniberg to complete the mile in 1:34 and change.

Turning for home, the front three: Bode, Hansen and Trinni come under pressure from the surging stalkers: Union Rags, Gemologist, I'll Have Another and Creative Cause. Some closers like Daddy Nose Best, El Padrino and Alpha have also made big moves to be in contention. A wall of horses straighten for the drive.

Union Rags emerges with the lead, challenged by Gemologist and I'll Have Another. But at the eighth pole U/Rags finds another gear and draws off impressively from Gemologist with Daddy Nose Best closing determinedly for third.  The final time: I'll wait to see that one. Good luck.

02 May 2012 11:53 PM

Just two more days.  Still time for defections, but we've been fortunate so far.  The last 3 Derby fields were decimated by injuries in the months and even days leading up to the race.  This year, almost all of the top horses are in Kentucky and a part of the official field.  Let's hope it stays that way.

I don't think the post position draw affected things much.  My initial thought was that the biggest losers from the draw were Take Charge Indy, Union Rags, and I'll Have Another.  

Then, I remembered Take Charge Indy has Borel, and that from the 3 hole he can just drop right on over to the rail and sit in behind Trinni, Hansen, and Bodemeister.  He should get the same trip that Super Saver received.

The 4 post is not terrible for Union Rags, but it does likely mean he will be inside horses for a good portion of the race, and that scenario didn't play out well in the Florida Derby.  I'm not worried about another jockey race-riding against Rags, but the other jockeys will be able to keep tabs on him.  My primary concern with the post is that since Rags is so tall and long striding, he might get more easily jammed in traffic, or worse be forced to wait up behind horses or check.  Rags does have a wonderful long stride, but he's not the most nimble horse, and I question his ability to quickly accelerate(if forced to check) or weave between horses(if spacing becomes tight and his path obstructed).  The ride becomes extra critical.

I also question the athleticism of I'll Have Another.  The good news about post 19 is that he probably won't get stuck in traffic or be forced to do a lot of bobbing and weaving, stopping and starting.  IHA is a horse that if allowed can click off 12s for as long as asked.  Being on the outside, I could see him laying 4-5 lengths off the pace and then just running the leaders into the ground while getting first jump on the closers.  However, from the 19 he's virtually guaranteed of being wide a good portion of the race.  If Mario can keep him no more than 5 wide, he has a shot. However, if he is any wider than that, he doesn't have the nimble athleticism to quickly make up the lost ground.  Additionally, he's a horse that needs to be forwardly placed the first 6 furlongs, and if he's forced really wide that first turn I could see him dropping to mid-pack and he simply doesn't have the explosiveness to make up a large deficit.

Bodemeister in the 6 is not bad, but I think Baffert would be willing to part with some money to switch stalls with Hansen.

Not surprised Liaison is doing better at Churchill.  Liaison had his biggest success at Hollywood, and though the Hollywood maintrack is synthetic, it might be as similar to Churchill as is the Santa Anita dirt.  When Oak Tree was held at Santa Anita in 2010, horses that prepped or trained at Hollywood ran solidly at Churchill in the Breeder's Cup, including Zenyatta, Lookin at Lucky, Blind Luck, Switch, Smiling Tiger, and Dakota Phone.

03 May 2012 5:45 AM
Criminal Type

Well, the post positions are in and it didn't change my picks at all. I would have prefered Union Rags were out further but the 4 is not an insurmountable position for him and Julien should be able to get him clear down the backside. I am no Handicapping expert, But I do know what I like. Im not wobbling on Union Rag's. I think he is an exceptional colt with talent we have not seen yet and I think he will win. That being said, im not an idiot either. In a field of twenty horses with it's inevitable traffic issues, it is literally a crapshoot, to quote Baffert. SO, not being an idiot, I will have 6 horses on my tickets. They are :

Union Rags


I'll Have Another


Went the Day Well

Creative Cause


Prospective (he looks fabulous)

Both Daddy's


I do not see Trinniburg wiring this field and I hope I don't see him blocking everyone up in the stretch when his legs turn to rubber. I also do not see Hansen winning. He is admittedly a talented beautiful colt with a gorgeous head, but he is NOT going a mile and a quarter. I've been watching people fall off his wagon for a couple months. My biggest reason for not liking this horse is his owner. Dr Hansen needs to get a grip. He is insistant on turning this lovely horse into circus attraction and has stated there will be some surprises coming on Saturday <sigh>.

Grace Hall deserved to be favorite in the Oaks. She is an impressive filly and I LOVE daughters of Empire Maker, but I do not think she has a lock on the race.  I will have her but I really like On Fire Baby (loved her grandsire Two Punch), Hard Not To Like (Hard Spun) and Karlovy Vary (Dynaformer)obviously, for sentimental reasons. Yea, I know sentementailty has no place in handicapping but nothing could be a more fitting tribute to Dynaformer then his daughter winning the Oaks this year.

Reading these comments makes me wish that one of you would replace your morning coffee with a big cup of STFU. Apparently you do not realize how 3rd grade you sound.  I am not talking about Dray either. A lot of us are sure to look foolish on Sunday morning. I may be one of them and I accept that. As always, my most profound wish on Derby Day is that all the competitors get back to their barns safely.

03 May 2012 9:09 AM

Oaks/Derby DD

On Fire Baby & Hard Not to Like WITH

Alpha & Prospective (5x)


On Fire Baby & Hard Not to Like


All (1x)

03 May 2012 11:45 AM

For the record - Grace Hall is three lenghts slower than a few of these. Forget the races she won.... Look at the races she LOST to see the REAL horse you are betting.

03 May 2012 11:47 AM

Post 14.  Thanks for playing Hansen.  Post 14 is 0-36 since 1975.  Here is a few more to drop based on post, Daddly Long Legs, Optimizer, Trinniberg, Prospective, Done Talking, I'll Have Another, Liason.  

Most Improved by Post.  Daddy Nose Best Post 10, El Padrino Post 16.  

Creative Cause 12-1!!!! He's certainly on the superfecta box praying for a win.

03 May 2012 12:34 PM

bohemiastable - Alpha got a terrible ride in the Wood. The jockeys arm was so sore, he couldn't even whip right handed. All he did was whip left-handed coming into the srtetch, causing the horse to drift. Did you go for a beer at the top of the strtch??? As for his chances....Alpha comes home in 24 and change every race except the Wood. Good enough for me.

03 May 2012 2:05 PM


Lucky 13!!!

03 May 2012 3:35 PM
El Kabong

Long Shot..............Went The Dayyyyyy Well! I can still hear Battaglia's Spiral call rattling around in my ears. Despite that, I like this guy. Like the connections too much to leave off. The horse didn't beat much last out, but he didn't pick the race. I think he has the class, talent and the breeding to get it done going 10F's which is the main concern here for all. About a Dozen or maybe more will be 10 lengths behind the winner for the simple fact that 10F's  is too much. Not this guy.

03 May 2012 5:35 PM
War Admiral

This Derby is a laugher.

There is only one horse that can run in this pathetic field of 20 horses.

Any fool want to bet me one grand against Bodemeister.

Pick your horse.

Bodemeister is going to take this overrated field of 3yr olds out behind the woodshed and bash their brains in.

Do you pathetic people think the Breeders Cup Juvenile is going to produce your Derby winner?

03 May 2012 8:02 PM


that last furlong is his territory...he would have beaten liaison if they went 10 furlongs

03 May 2012 9:17 PM
Mike Relva


We don't agree on much, but you aren't the only one that's picked Union Rags months ago, I also like him. If he were to get beat, would be by CC.

03 May 2012 10:38 PM

Still like Union Rags but hate the 4 post.  As long as he can stay out of trouble until the far turn and make his way towards the outside, he'll be tough to beat.  Going to go with an Oaks / Derby double of Jemima's Pearl and Union Rags.  I see another big step forward for Jemima's Pearl and the pace of the race should be to her liking.  This will be her 2nd race with Baffert and I think it will show big time.  Doesn't hurt that she's been holding her own working with Bodemeister either.

03 May 2012 10:54 PM
Mike Relva


Guess you're the smartest on the planet. Right. lmao

04 May 2012 1:49 PM

Mike Relva,

Nice to see you're back and tackling the 'egotist' War Admiral (LOL)

04 May 2012 5:27 PM
Ted from LA

The last word.

23 May 2012 5:32 PM

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