The Grass is Greener in Virginia

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 19, 2008 in Free Picks and Tips, Handicapping, Other Events | No Comments >>

The Virginia Derby offers value that could make this a very sweet weekend for you.

The 1 1/4 distance is testing. Some of the best three year olds in the country head to New Kent to run on one of the best turf courses in the country. For my bankroll, this looks like a two horse affair that deserves a mountain moving exacta box deserving of the big bullet move to the windows.

Before you push the buttons, take a hard look at Gio Ponti. He is three for four over the green, and you can easily make a case for throwing out the Monmouth loss for Breeders’ Cup Day day one. This colt has done nothing wrong, and Garrett Gomez may be dollar for dollar the best money rider in the country. The son of Tale of the Cat can get this distance, and has been firing bullets in the morning at Belmont. Clemente trains his runners at a 22 percent winning clip, and goes to the winners circle 25 percent of the time making his second start off of a needed rest.

The other part of this mix is Court Vision. Yes, two races back he was in Louisville at the Derby. Former Derby runners have fared well in this event. Kent D is in the irons for Bill Mott and these guys team up to win 20 percent together. His last race was over a SOFT course that was canceled a few races later. Throw it out….. This son of Gulch should like the trip, and is in the hands of a rider closing in on 5,000 lifetime wins.

Here is the plan. Reach in your jeans and pull out the greens. Box them up with confidence, and make a small win wager on Gio Ponti for good measure. This should do just nicely, and you can skip the five horse feature in New York. This race has produced some Breeders’ Cup runners, and maybe, just maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have two of them in a winning ticket.