Nothing Cute From DeRosa To Start Kentucky Derby Dream Bet Final Round

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Ed DeRosa

April 2nd, 2016

This time last week I wasn’t sure whether I’d be writing this, as I was oh-fer-6 in trying to qualify for the Kentucky Derby Dream Bet.

But then Lani not only got me off the schnied in the UAE Derby but also in the black at 10-to-1. Qualified and profitable no matter what happened in the Louisiana Derby, Gun Runner was the cherry on top at $9.80.

The qualifying round of Kentucky Derby Dream Bet required one successful $15 win wager from eight designated races (it was originally 9, but Sunland Park cancelled its Derby). My two successful win bets from 8 races returned $238.50 for a +98.75% ROI.

That’s a small sample size, of course, and things really get down to brass tacks during the final round, which is 7 races over three weeks with a $15 win/place wager on each of those races.

The action begins Saturday, April 2, with the $1-million Florida Derby and the $500,000 Spiral Stakes, and thankfully neither required too much thought.

The Florida Derby really needs no introduction as the race featuring the matchup of champion Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Nyquist and multiple graded stakes winner Mohaymen. It’s extremely difficult for me to see past either horse, and while surely some players will try to separate themselves by taking one of the other eight horses, I’ll happily plant my flag in champion Nyquist’s stable.

These are good horses who are worth the hype at least as far as pre Kentucky Derby matchups go, but with so much being equal trying to compare these two horses, the one thing that won’t be is their price, as Mohaymen is the expected favorite, so I’ll take a shot with the longer price who actually has won a Grade 1 race.

The Spiral Stakes is a lot different. It got 12 horses, and unlike the Florida Derby, most have a legitimate chance, but even for as well-matched as it looks on paper, Surgical Strike was a no brainer selection for me after having watched his Battaglia Stakes victory last month.

With a clean scoreboard, I had strong enough feelings about these two horses in these races that I wasn’t too worried about strategy. Depending on where I am on the board after week 1 could impact my plays in week 2 when the Wood, Blue Grass, and Santa Anita Derby are on offer.

I figure $500 would win this thing, and Surgical Strike alone could get me a third of the way there. Here’s hoping!