Player Quick Pick: Churchill Downs for 4/26/2014

Molly Jo Rosen

April 26th, 2014

by Molly Jo Rosen
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Churchill Downs race 8 | 10:01 pm ET G3 Derby Trial for 3yo going 1 mi.

1-Bayern: +blinks having really never run a bad race 2-Chitu: will not run tonight due to expected Kentucky Derby start 3-Big Sugar Soda: consistent closer stretches out 4-Friendswith K Mill: broke his maiden going a mile on the turf 5-Matador: class relief on the cut-back in distance 6-Embellishing Bob: speed steps up after putting it together last out 7-Laddie Boy: speed loses blinks off two sub-par efforts this season 8-Bitters 'n Bourbon: not sure what's gone wrong the last two starts 9-Spot: back to a better distance for him 10-Myositis Dan: has run three big races this year

First thing's first: year in, year out, the Derby Trial is a near impossible race to predict. It's always an odd mix of Sprinters v Routers and runners who are still trying to figure out just what it means to be a Race Horse.

This year is no different. With Chitu out given his guaranteed Derby points status, that leaves Bayern on the rail as the lone Baffert runner. The bay son of Offlee Wild freked in his first two starts before falling just a bit short in his stakes (and shipping) debut against a good group in the G1 Arkansas Derby. He'll get blinkers and Rosie Napravnik on board this time and that plus the rail draw should put him squarely on the lead.

This is anything but a walkover, however. Matador from the Casse barn will garner a lot of attention, especially if people believe the near-miss in the G3 Sam F. Davis three starts back wasn't a fluke. Drawn to the outside are Spot and Myositis Dan: the former romped sprinting when first-time Zito before bouncing in the Florida Derby; the latter hasn't run a bad race this year and jockey Joe Rocco knows how to win on him.

Of the longshots: Embellishing Bob only just broke his maiden, but the speedy son of Northern Afleet has never been off the board and has only been beaten a combined two lengths in his career. Big Sugar Soda will go off a nice price too: the Ready's Image colt hasn't done much wrong in his career, though he's not a huge fan of winning ~ definitely one to watch for the exotics.

Molly Jo's wagers: 6 - 1 - 10 - 3

And don't forget... it's Derby week!
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