Roy The Boy previews the Kentucky Derby and he likes Justify and Audible as the clear standout performers.
The Kentucky Derby – Looks a Match
The trials are complete and we have a pretty clear idea of the horses with a serious chance which will be running in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, or the ‘Run for the Roses’ as it has been known since 1925.
Those at the head of the betting have won the recognised trails. Aidan O'Brien’s Mendelssohn was an eighteen and a half length winner of Meydan’s Group 2 UAE Derby. Good Magic, the 2017 Breeders Cup Juvenile winner, landed the Blue Grass Stakes at Keenland and Audible had no trouble winning the Florida Derby.
Magnum Moon took the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and Justify landed the Santa Anita Derby. The trouble for these two… Apollo, who won the 1882 Kentucky Derby, is the only Derby winner to have landed ‘the roses’ without racing as a two-year-old. This duo never made their racecourse debut until 2018, Magnum Moon on January 18th, Justify on February 18th.
And the good news is… the last six Kentucky Derby winners went into the race unbeaten as a three-year-old. Believing this trend will continue, I’ll not make mention of Bolt d'Oro who is trading at single figures with most bookmakers. Strike a line through Good Magic too, he bombed on his seasonal debut.
Beating trees in Meydan where they string out like sausages
I’m already down to three and that’s about to be two. Mendelssohn is US bred and cost $3 million. I’ve read some stats about the purchase price of Kentucky Derby winners and once they have cost $1 million-plus they cannot win! I’ll not subscribe to that theory.
But I will point out his Breeders Cup Juvenile win came on grass and that impressive victory in Meydan came against trees. Market rival that day, they were betting 7/4 each of two, Gold Town, won his maiden by a neck and was gelded after failing to make the frame in three subsequent starts. Let’s face it, watching any horse win any race in Meydan by half a furlong is pretty much standard.
Come race day I’ll be laying Mendelssohn on the Betfair machine to miss the frame while backing both Audible and Justify once the draw is made (and providing their current prices remotely stand-up).
For starters four of the last six Kentucky Derby winners (and 7 of the last 17) won the Florida Derby beforehand. I cannot ignore that fact and trainer Tod Pletcher chose this race for Audible ahead of his other three Derby candidates.
As for Justify, who is sired by Scat Daddy just like Mendelssohn, he has the figures to support the hype and his trainer; the normally conservative Bob Baffert, is unusually bullish about him.
Take a look at the race for yourself, but visually his dismantling of Bolt d'Oro – who I remind you again is trading at single figures for the Kentucky Derby – at Santa Anita was very impressive.
Justify can be backed at 5/1 with Coral while there’s some 7/1 available about Audible at William Hill. I’m backing the pair and providing they are drawn between 2 and 15,I’m expecting to collect on one of them.
Justify at 5/1 with Coral and William Hill
Audible at 7/1 with William Hill