After the Storm

When I awoke Saturday morning, I though Noah was finishing preparations for the Ark. But not even Mother Nature could dampen the spirits of this handicapper. Looking back, my only wish would have been for a day of sunshine and blue skies. But as always, everything was coming up roses!

I received three calls from friends this morning. Add that in with all of the professional handicappers, and I think the final odds should have been 3-5… I can’t say I knocked out the champ on this day, but my selections were pretty close. Here they were on the Winning Ponies blog site:

Race #11 – The (G-1) Kentucky Derby – 1 1/4 – 6:24 p.m. ET

#16 – Orb (7-2) = Joel Rosario in the irons for Shug McGaughey. He is perfect in 2013, and the impressive win in the Florida Derby stamped his ticket. All week long he has been looking well in the morning.

#5 – Normandy Invasion (12-1) = J.J Castellano in the irons for Chad Brown. This colt by Tapit looks to outrun his breeding, and his morning works have been stellar. He is making the third off the layoff move, and his only victory has been a maiden win. But, with that being said. I love the way he travels. His late kick is the kind of action that takes over at the 1/8th pole in the Derby.

#3 – Revolutionary (10-1) = Calvin Borel in the driver’s seat for Todd Pletcher. 2nd off the layoff, and is 1/1 over a wet track. 2013 has shown great maturity, and you can bet that Borel will try to duplicate the Street Sense / Mine that Bird move down the lane.

So, onward and upward as we head to Maryland. It is about this time we start talking about the Triple Crown. For better or worse, here are my thoughts on the next five weeks.

I think we have a Triple Crown winner on the way. Shug McGaughey is a Hall of Fame trainer, and he knows how to get the ready. Joel Rosario set records at Keeneland, and is on-fire like I have never seen.  I am not worried about the Preakness, but the Belmont is scaring me. There will be some fresh runners coming in to play the spoiler, and one of those is named Crop Report. He won on Spiral day at Turfway Park and came from dead-last on a track known to play kind to front runners. I think he may be better than expected. One thing is for sure, Joel Rosario won’t be riding him against Orb in New York like he did in Florence, Kentucky.