Derby Drawing Board

by Ed Meyer

posted on April 13, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Handicapping, Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby, | Comments Off on Derby Drawing Board

We all have one. If you’re a horseplayer you have had a list; doing adjustments as the marquee events pass. That is the way of the gambler. We watch and wager and go back and dissect our actions and the outcomes. That is the “Road to the Derby.”

I have been keeping a few to watch and below you will read my thoughts and watch the race for yourself. – We are 19 days away and it is time to start the process of elimination.


Known Agenda – Florida Derby – Todd Pletcher/ Irad Ortiz

A perfect ride from Irad Ortiz and the way he tipped off the rail was the stuff Derby winners are made of. – He was on the wrong lead for a few jumps but straightened out and got his head back in the game. I loved the fluid motion and late kick which will come in handy in the final 1/4 of the Kentucky Derby. Watch as he was locked on the rail and Pete Aiello caught this perfectly in his call saying ” he needs a way out.” – He did and the race was over.

Rock Your World – SA Derby – John Sadler / Umberto Rispoli

He was a turf runner with two starts under his belt. I liked that Sadler saw something this late in the game moving to the dirt. The bettors were on board not letting him get too far off as a big price but (5-1) was a gift. – His long strides and game attitude looked like he was playing with the field. Rispoli is a super rider and grabbed the lead in the first turn and toyed with this field. As an old gambler once told me years ago; “the road to Louisville travels through California.” He was right. – I loved the big striding runner doing his thing and he still looks like there is more in the tank with this lightly-raced runner. The early fractions of 22.2 – 46 – 1:10.3 have me pretty excited to see what’s next.

Hot Rod Charlie – LA Derby – Doug O’Neill /Joel Rosario

He grabbed the rail and took over into the first turn. They tried to come at him multiple times during the race, but to no avail, as he turned them back with only a few reminders of the encourager down the stretch. Rosario is an excellent finishing rider and seemed to fit like a glove. Holding off late runners at the long stretch in Louisiana will be a great tool in his arsenal heading to Louisville.