Friday, April 30, 2010

And They're Off

Cousin Jackal will resume posting a DP response next week.  I know, it's been a while.

Tomorrow is Derby Day!  That means it's time for Cousin Jackal's Last Minute Picks.  Let's run down the list of obvious contenders:
- Lookin At Lucky:  He's a good horse.  Probably the best of the lot quality-wise.  But he's drawn the No. 1 slot and he's known to have a hard time dealing with trouble; stuck on the rail, trouble will find him in spades.  He's either going to have to run against type and make a speedy opening move to get clear of the main pack, or else he's going to have to catch a break dodging between horses.  Luck ain't this pony's strong suit.  Look for him to make a strong closing rally but ultimately fail due to being hemmed in for too long...unless he pulls a diva move and decides to quit because he got a little dirt kicked in his face.  Doubt this one will do better than show.
- Sidney's Candy:  Raw speed on the hoof.  A bunch of idiots got together and decided to lob four or five sprinters into the Derby--like that ever works.  This one, though, looks like trouble; or he would, if he hadn't drawn the outside No. 20 slot.  He's got the speed to go straight to the front, but he's going to have to work twice as hard to get there and I doubt he'll have enough juice to go a mile and a quarter after that.  My guess, he'll fade quickly after the final turn.  No money.
- Line of David:  This little sprinter gives Jackal the creeps.  Lumped in with the speed horses, he's expected to be among the four or five dueling for the pace.  Something about the way he's built makes me think this horse may pull out some major staying power, though; he's heavy on the forehand, suggesting he's matured a little better than some of the rangier horses in the field.  Whether that will power him to victory or just weigh him down remains to be seen.  I'd bet place or show here, depending on how the rest of the race shakes out.
- Devil May Care:  As much as I'd love a filly--especially one with an awesome name like Devil May Care--to take the Derby and then the Triple Crown, it's not happening this year.  You might remember last year's Rachel Alexandra; Rachel Alexandra is built like a colt, no difference between her and the boys, and that lets her compete alongside them without disadvantage.  By contrast, Devil May Care is a slim dainty horse...which is good, in a way, because at least she's not built like behemoth-on-stilts Eight Belles, so there's little likelihood of her breaking down strictly on structure.  No, Devil May Care won't be in the money because she just doesn't really have what it takes.  Her previous competition was lightweight compared to what she'll face on Saturday and she's a known loafer once she gets in the clear.  Doubt she has the motivation for a long stretch run past spread-out horses.
- Super Saver:  A speed horse, but I like him.  If he gets snugged up in fourth place under a tight rein, saving speed, this is the one to watch out for in the homestretch.  Cousin Jackal is getting the hoodoo-voodoo tingle that there's untapped quality here.  Win or place, my bet.
- Ice Box:  He was the second-favorite this morning, and to my mind with good reason.  He's set up perfectly for a Derby win--good gate slot, a stretch runner, and well built.  May place if his stretch run comes to late to close the distance, but shy of a jockey's mistake like that, here's your winner.

So I predict a possible showdown between Ice Box and Super Saver for the win.  For third place I'd say Lookin At Lucky if he gets clear, but possibly Line of David.  Mix yourself a mint julep, don your outrageous hat, and kick back to watch the Sport of Kings.

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