I took on two tracks yesterday that had two Road to the Roses races -- Gulfstream and Turfway. I outlined eight races (both Late Pick 4's) and had a total of 34 of the horses I selected rum. Out of those, I had six winners, four seconds and three thirds. That's a "so-so" 39% "in the moeny" percentage. Out of the 24 "payable" spots in the eight races, I filled 13 of them for 54% success rate. Quite frankly, that's below my usual average.
I did take down the Late Pick Four at Gulfstream, but, in the age old story, I didn't think it paid enough. (Do we ever?) Only good for two out of the four stakes races at Turfway, it was a weird day up at the Northern Kentucky track.
Race 11 had my top pick Annex hit the line first at even money. I had one scratch and none of my other three choice hit the board.
Race 12 featured my second pick 2-1 Crazy beautiful finished first. I also had Millefeuille finish second for me. Conlima disappeared in the stretch and finished out of the money,
Race 13 brought my pick War Like Goddess home at 5-1 odds. I also had Always Shpooing and Sorrel finish in the money for me.
Rsce 14, the Florida Derby, belonged to Known Agenda, who I strongly recommended you include yesterday. He went off at 5-1 odds and handled Greatest Honour, the favorite, easily in the stretch.
The Pick 4 paid $213.40 on the .50 cent bet.
IS KNOWN AGENDA A SERIOUS DERBY CONTENDER? It wasn't a particularly fast 1-1/8th mile and, although the sweeping three-wide stretch move Known Agenda made to overcome the early speed was impressive, I'd have to put him a step below some of the California horses right now and Essential Quality. The big question is...what happened to Greatest Honour? Do they bother to bring him to Kentucky now after that disappointing Florida Derby finish?
Race 8 featured Outadore besting the rest and doing it as the favorite. An impressive win, in my book.
Race 9 saw my alternate pick Visitant prove to be the rest and I didn't use him. He outran the two I like in Set Piece and Crafty Daddy. Bye-bye Pick 4.
Race 10 belonged to my second pick Adventuring and she was the only one of my four here to hit the board. I'm still wondering what happened to Oliviaofthedesert.
Race 11, The Jeff Ruby Stakes, had Like The King, at 7-1 odds, go way wide at the top of the stretch but run by them all for a pretty impressive score. The odds on favorite, and my top pick, Tarantino stumbled out of the gate and was eventually eased -- never a factor. I didn't put an of my picks on the board in this one...Gretzky The Great led them into the stretch and apparently had had enough, finishing out of the money.
So, is Like The King a serious Derby threat?
I do like the way he went to the lead. He survived an inquiry because of bumping in the stretch. The question is, if he had that much trouble in a field of ten, how will be handle almost twice that number in the Derby? He got a good ride from Drayden Van Dyke for Wesley Ward, but I'm going to say I think he's better on poly and grass that dirt and I won't consider him a top flight contender for the Derby.
(In case you were curious...that late Pick 4 paid $557. I never would have had it, I just didn't see Like The King as one of the top four or five horses in the final race of the sequence. I got proved wrong -- but, after all, it was run on the "poly" and the Derby isn't.)
We'll give it a go next week.