She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

Monday, April 25, 2016

Four experts weigh in on the Derby

I got the chance to get together with four very good horse racing handicappers over the weekend and get some ideas on Derby hopefuls. The radio link attachment provides some very good analysis and commenntary on the Run For The Roses.



If you missed Saturday's live broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR...fear not. The SoundCloud re-broadcast can be heard at the following link: 


A fun broadcast where Jared Anderson and I discussed Louisville softball, lacrosse, hoops and track and field in the first half of the broadcast. You won't want to miss our Derby Preview in the second half of the broadcast with the excellent handicapping views of Tom, Scott, Dave and Charlie for the first Saturday in May race.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mohayman electifies Churchill backside with work


Kentucky Derby contender Mohaymen set the barns at Churchill Downs abuzz with a 4 furlong work of 46 4/5 seconds on Tuesday...the best work at the distance of the day at the legendary oval off Central Avenue. 

Too fast so close to the Derby? Not necessarily...different trainers have different techniques when it comes to race preparation and workouts. 

Does it put this runner back into consideration after finishing a well-beaten fourth in the soggy Florida Derby?

There is merit in the theory that certain horses like certain tracks and conditions better than others. Mohaymen was undefeated going into the Florida Derby and matched against Nyquist...the second betting favorite who skipped over the slop to remain undefeated and basically left Mohaymen "tied to the rail" in the final two furlongs.

Interesting that Mo Tom, also a Derby contender, had the second bet work of Tuesday with a 47. 

A lot of Mo's being bandied about here. Add Mo Spirit and you could try a 'all-Mo' trifecta as a Derby hunch bet that would probably pay very handsomely. 

As for me...although the work was impressive, it changes nothing in my top five Derby horses on this 4/22 entry.

<><><><><> Paulie's Top Derby FIVE 4/22<><><><><>

1. Exaggerator
2. Nyquist
3. Brody's Cause
4. Creator
5. Suddenbreakingnews


Monday, April 18, 2016

Shall we add Creator to the Derby mix?

(Notes from a dog-eared, scribbled-on Daliy Racing Form)

Well, race-track aficionados...we might need to add another horse to Paulie's Derby Horses to Watch list. 

I present to you Creator

No, I've not enlisted The Almighty in my handicapping routine (although there are times I've needed a divine miracle to get one of my selections to the toteboard). This is a hard-running grey three-year old that swooped by them all in the stretch at the Arkansas Derby Saturday...disposing of odds-on favorite CUPID in the process to win. 

The Steve Asmussen trained, Ricardo Santana ridden thoroughbred blew the break and was dead last when the front-runners hit the half-mile mark. No worries. Santana started a prolonged drive that started along the rail, swung to the outside on the homestretch turn and had the late runner passing the tiring front-runners and holding off late running contenders Suddenbreakingnews and Whitmore by two lengths. 

For Paulie, it was a late revelation. I'd been told about the horse earlier in the day from a handicapper who I respect greatly. I went back and did the research and decided to add him to my Pk 3, exacta and trifecta plays for Oaklawn. 

And it paid off, especially since Cupid faded to 10th and Suddenbreakingnews and Whitmore...two horses I already had in my exotics...filled out the top three. 

Do I think Creator can make a move like that in the Derby? Yes, especially if he doesn't miss the start like he did at Oaklawn. 

Does it change my top three? Not yet. I will list him in fourth though...behind EXAGGERATOR, NYQUIST and BRODY'S CAUSE. 

The burning question here is whether Nyquist will contest the early pace and simply be too hard to catch as they head down that long Churchill Downs stretch? His Florida Derby win was impressive and he was first or second the entire trip before hitting the afterburners and leaving Mohaymen in his wake. 

I've been burned before by horses leading at the top of the Churchill stretch and getting gobbled up by late runners. None of these are a California Chrome or American Pharoah...believe me. 

I do expect the Derby to be won by a late runner, though...and Exaggerator still looks like the most likely guy to do it. I'll equate it to college women's hoops. Syracuse came on strong after being roughed up by a few teams early in the season. Exaggerator took some lumps also but gained from those and is growing into his body now. I still like him. and...there's no UConn in his way. 

<><><><><><><> PAULIE'S 4/18/15 Top Five <><><><><><>

1) Exaggerator
2) Nyquist
3) Brody's Cause
4) Creator
5) Suddenbreakingnews


Friday, April 15, 2016

Some Early Derby Thoughts...


The Kentucky Derby runs on Saturday, May 7th. That's about three weeks out from this writing on April 15th. I've been busy watching a lot of Derby prep races from all over the country and feel safe to say (unless CUPID destroys the field Saturday in massive fashion in the Arkansas Derby) that I have three horses that I'm looking at as the next Kentucky Derby winner currently. In order...


What this horse did in the Santa Anita Derby slop was simply amazing. Starting in the backstretch and circling the field. Pulling away in the homestretch as if (to quote the PA announcer's call that day) "the others were tied to the guardrail" . I can only imagine what he might do on a fast track where the hold and footing is better. And if it rains Derby Day...forget about it. He could win by 10 lengths. Kent Desmoureaux rides for his brother, another wise guy angle.  To say I'm excited about his chances is no.... exaggeration. 


The big Bob Baffert runner destroyed the competition in the Florida Derby. The only knock on him is that because he is out of Uncle Mo, people are wondering if he can get 1 1/4 miles effectively. 

I think he can and will be leading this Derby until Exaggerator runs by him. In Nyquist's favor, he's beat Exaggerator three times already. That, of course, means nothing on Derby Day. 


You have to like the way he exploded down the short Keeneland Stretch to win going away. And he's very capable of exploding down the longer Churchill stretch on Derby Day. The question is...will it matter or be in time to run down Nyquist or keep up with Exaggerator's run. It is a horse to consider in the exotics. 

Things can change in three weeks. These top three might change also...but for now...they are the way I'm thinking.