My two favs where No Biz & Hard Spun and I anchored my race day strategy around them. It was really hard for me to decide if I liked one more than the other, but I was a little concered about No Biz having the extra gears needed to really pull away and win it based his last race in the Wood, while in my mind Hard Spun had done just that in that Lane’s End.
I had a decent amount of money and good coverage of the field in my futures wagers, so I wanted to wait and see the horses and the odds before I made my final decisions.
I was surprised that in that hour before the race when the money was really coming in that the odds really didn’t change that much… I suppose it’s because folks who are derby bettors were really using the odds as a guideline and therefore not shifting odds too much. Another suprise was that we really didn’t get to see the horses gallops so much in the parade, so that didn’t help at all… but I had actually made up my mind before this point anyway.
I’m a big fan of track biases… post postions, jockey, trainer and racing style. Before I’m gonna spend a day at the track (either virtually or literally) I will grab the Track Chart for the previous day and put the Surface, Post Position, Jockey, Running Style this Race, Margin of Win, Trainer and Notes in a spreadsheet. I use this to see if there are any patterns setting up at the track that I can use to my advantage. For the derby, I did this for the four days prior to the Derby, but brought a blank one with me to my “office” (OTB restaurant) and filled in as the day went on.
Post position number 7 was hot as the track dried out, there 2 wins in a row on the 2 dirt races prior to the derby (and one on the turf race right before the derby, which is more coincidental than anything). Street Sense had the 7th postion. In my futures wagers post I noted my concern about Street Sense needing a perfect trip to really get the job done, and this bias made me think he stood a really good chance of getting a perfect trip.
Also going on that day was that Rafael Bejarano had won 4 races already! He was riding Dominican in the Derby and while probably a product of his preference for polytrack, he had beaten Street Sense in the Blue Grass a few weeks ago. I had Dominican in my futures and he had a crappy post position but 4 wins was nothing to sneeze at.
So, here’s what I did, and I had no idea what I was going to end up doing when I left my apartment in the morning (and really not until about 8th race on the card).
$10 Exacta Box of Street Sense with Dominican, No Biz and Hard Spun
$60 total, payed $477 (after OTB cut)
$20 to Win on No Biz & Hard Spun
$6 Across the Board on Dominican – $18 Total.
I also was up $72 on the day going into the race so I ended up being up $400 on the day. There were some really nice races on the under card… loved the Humana Distaff, not only because I had Hysterical Lady (thanks to her 7th post position AND having Bejarano as the jock), but because there were some really talented fillies and mares in that race! And, speaking of fillies and mares, it’s too bad Dawn After Dawn got so stuck in traffic in the Oaks, there’s no way should could have caught Rags to Riches, but she definitely could have showed and maybe could have placed. Did I mention that I LOVE horse racing?