What DeRosa Thinks He Learned About the 2017 Kentucky Derby from the Florida And Louisiana Derbys

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Ed DeRosa

April 1st, 2017

Girvin is likely to be this year’s most underappreciated Kentucky Derby contender.

Despite being one of the more (only?) consistent horses on this year’s Triple Crown trail, Girvin could go into the Kentucky Derby off wins in the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby as not even one of the top 5 choices.

If there were a prop bet for a “best finish” among Louisiana Derby and Florida Derby horses I’d make the line -120 on the Louisiana Derby and bet that opinion at even money or better. Any takers?

The Todd Pletcher machine kept rolling with a win by Always Dreaming in the Florida Derby and a gritty second by Patch in the Louisiana Derby. I’ll sell both for Kentucky Derby consideration, but it’s starting to feel like Pletcher has this Derby surrounded. That’s not to say this is his year or any of his horses will offer the necessary value, but lots of chances to peak at the right time a la Super Saver.

Speaking of which, caught up with Ron Flatter on FL & LA Derbys eve. He moved to Las Vegas to work with Brent Musburger on Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN), and noted that despite all of Pletcher’s chances in the Derby, he’s never saddled the favorite, and that streak is likely to continue this year even with as many as at least five chances.

Based on both the Wynn Las Vegas future book and the current Kentucky Derby pari-mutuel pool, McCraken would be the favorite for this year’s race with a good showing in the Blue Grass, but Classic Empire still has his backers including yours truly. It’s impossible for me to see anyone else favored if either wins his next prep.

In addition to McCraken in a loaded Blue Grass (Tapwrit, J Boys Echo, etc.), there’s also the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby next week with the Arkansas Derby closing out the significant prep season the week after.