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Homeracing

Mucciolo's Kentucky Derby longshots of interest

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TwinSpires Staff

May 4th, 2018

by JOHN MUCCIOLO

The much-anticipated 144th Kentucky Derby (G1) has finally arrived. A stellar field is set in what could be one of the more memorable Run for the Roses in recent times. I will take a look at a few longshot players that I feel can have a big impact on Saturday.

HOFBURG (20-1) – I am a bit infatuated with this colt. He has mountains to climb being just a maiden winner and making only his fourth lifetime outing. But the Bill Mott trainee sports the best pedigree in the field, he has a ton of room for improvement, and his second behind Audible in the Florida Derby (G1) was excellent.

Son of top sire Tapit lacks seasoning and is a bit of a stretch, for sure. But Hofburg is training very well and it’s hard to find a better looking animal in the Kentucky Derby field.  Juddmonte homebred could possess the best turn of foot in the cast, too.

SOLOMINI (30-1) – Well-bred and battle-tested son of Curlin has never run a bad race and could be coming up to a peak performance on Derby Day. Four-time Grade-1 placed chestnut has a long stride that might translate to him thriving at 10 panels. And being from the barn of Bob Baffert, a step forward is fully expected on Saturday.

I think Solomini has a world of exotics potential at a huge price making his third start off the layoff. He is not without an upset chance with a lifetime best.

MAGNUM MOON (6-1) is not technically a longshot, of course. But the unbeaten colt is receiving so little fanfare in the days and weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby. I fully expect him to be in the neighborhood of 10-1 at post time, which is appealing to me for sure.

Son of Malibu Moon has done nothing wrong to date despite being a May foal and also unraced as a juvenile. Pletcher pupil is especially attractive since he can make his own trip. Versatile sort is great from the gate and can win from anywhere. His :12-flat final quarter mile in the Arkansas Derby (G1) was superb, and the last-out 115 Late Pace number is second to only that of Justify (117) in his Santa Anita Derby coup.

With a tendency to lose focus and veer out in some recent races, the outside draw will keep Magnum Moon out of trouble. We might all be overlooking this wunderkind.

Hofburg photo by Rickelle Nelson/Horsephotos.com

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