Trying to Justify my Derby pick

I was just wondering if:

blau headshot square border

I should bet with my heart or my head in picking my Kentucky Derby horse this season.

My head tells me that Justify, the morning line favorite, should and will win. Best horse, favorable post (No. 7), Hall of Fame trainer (Bob Baffert) could make him an easy winner on Saturday evening.

But that is a theory paced on a clean race--no bumps, no stumbles-and in a 20 horse field--with the pressure of the Derby, that seldom happens.

In my pre-race view, I see Justify and Mendelssohn (No 14 post) providing the early pace in a speed duel which could go to the wire. In that scenario, I will stick with Justify and Mike Smith--for now. I am not buying the Curse of Apollo, which is linked to Apollo, the last horse to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a 2-year old. That happened in 82. 1882.

But, if Justify has some problems coming out of the gate or if he uses too much energy--there are more than a few speed horses in the field--then I'm looking for someone to come roaring down the stretch.

My choices for that role: Audible (No. 5), Good Magic (No. 6), Magnum Moon (No. 16) or Vino Rosso (No. 18), with Justify and Mendelssohn fading to second or third. Both Magnum Moon and Vio Rosso are trained by Todd Pletcher, which should make them instant contenders. Mendolssohn's 18.5 win in the EAU Derby in Dubai was the most impressive win of the racing season. But having said that, Mendolssohn had a rough trip in getting into the United States and has raced only once on dirt in his short career.

I would be remiss without including My Boy Jack in the closers simply because I am the proud father of My Boy Jack, who is still frisky at the age of 28.

I seldom bet with my head, but this time, I'm going Chalk City, with Justify riding into the history books.

You were amused at the site of 71-year old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar competing in "Dancing With The Stars'' this week. "I'm representing baby boomers,'' said Abdul-Jabbar, who did well enough to earn a return visit. Also competing was former figure skater and notorious figure Tanya Harding. Wonder what Nancy Kerrigan thought of the performance.

You remember the start of the Boston Red Sox when they came out of the gates with 16 wins in their first 19 games, setting all sorts of team records for opening the season. Since that start, the Red Sox are 6-7 and only a game ahead of the Yankees who have won 9 of their last 10. It's a long season folks and pennants are never won in April.

LeBron James is laughing or at least chuckling over the chatter of the demise of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who beat Indiana in seven games and are now up 2-0 over Toronto going back to Cleveland for games three and four. Want to bet against LaBron being in the NBA finals again?

There is not a more content National Football League quarterback than former Boston College QB and current Atlanta Falcons' QB Matt Ryan who signed a contract extension worth $150 million dollars with $100 million guaranteed.

Comments