by Jim Freer 3 May 2014
Dance With Fate the Pick to Win Derby
Among the myriad of ways to handicap today’s Kentucky Derby, it all comes back to “meltdown.”
As many as six horses can be expected to go out fast and battle for the lead through a scorching half mile and first mile.
That always sets a 1 ¼ mile race up for a win by a deep closer or by a stalker whose jockey is savvy enough to keep his pack animal from joining the first flight.
It also is a good set-up for plodders and for one-run longshots who will pass tired horses coming down the long Churchill Downs stretch and finish in the superfecta.
Last year plodder Golden Soul, at 34-1, finished second to the favorite Orb
With that strategy as a starting point, the closer Dance With Fate is our pick to win the Derby.
Dance With Fate is coming off a stirring come-from-behind win in the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland on April 12.
The knock on Dance With Fate is that he has done his best racing on synthetic tracks, like at Keeneland.
However, he also finished second in the Frontrunner (Grade 1) at 1 1/16 miles on dirt at Santa Anita last Sept. 28.
He has always trained well on dirt, and seems comfortable training at Churchill Downs.
California Chrome, the favorite, is our pick to finish second and is the other key horse in our exacta boxes.
Our other horses are a mixture of stalkers, closers and plodders.
Our only speed horse is Wildcat Red, the colt with a sprinter’s pedigree who was the star of this year’s Gulfstream Park meet.
We have covered all of Wildcat Red ‘s races and have come to regard him as a horse who will not give up coming down the stretch.
Here are the horses we recommend for consideration in exacta bets:
4 — Danza
5 — California Chrome
8 — General a Rod
10– Wildcat Red
12 — Dance With Fate
14 — Medal Count
16 — Intense Holiday
17– Commanding Curve
18 — Candy Boy
19 — Ride on Curlin
20 — Wicked Strong :
* $1 exacta box — 5 horses, $20
4 5 12 17 19
* $1 exacta box — 4 horses, $12
5 12 16 20
* $1 exacta part wheel — $14
Win — 5 12
Place — 5 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Predicted order of finish:
1. Dance With Fate
2. California Chrome
3. Ride on Curlin
4. Commanding Curve
5. Wildcat Red
Much luck wished to our readers at Inside Florida Horse Racing