Friday, May 3, 2013

The Kentucky Derby undercard & Shannon's Derby Day pick-4 selections

If you took away the Kentucky Derby, tomorrow would still be a very good day of racing thanks to the depth of quality in the stakes undercards. A few in particular interest me, so I will outline them here.

Also at my request, my husband Shannon wrote his pick-4 selections for races 8 through 11 (the Kentucky Derby) on his own blog. You may see his selections here.

Marketing Mix before the 2012 Beverly D. Stakes (Gr. I)

Race 8, Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (Gr. II) Second in the Breeder's Cup Filly and Mare Turf last fall, Marketing Mix makes her 2013 debut in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Gr. II). A consistent mare, she has finished first or second in all her starts over the past two years, except one: last year's edition of the Distaff Turf Mile, in which she finished fourth behind Hungry Island, Tapitsfly and La Reine. Marketing Mix will face Hungry Island again this year, as well as Daisy Devine, Stephanie's Kitten, Stopshoppingmaria and others.

Daisy Devine last raced in the Jenny Wiley (Gr. I) at Keeneland on April 13. As some of you know, I am a big fan of hers, particularly after meeting her and feeding her peppermints at Keeneland. She will be facing a very talented field tomorrow but has the class to win if she has a good trip.

Daisy Devine looking for peppermints.

Race 9, Churchill Downs Stakes (Gr. II) In this race, we have another horse that I spotlighted at Keeneland on April 13: Handsome Mike. Fresh off a win in the seven-furlong Commonwealth Stakes (Gr. III), Handsome Mike's connections are trying him in another seven-furlong race. He faces the speedy Trinniberg in the Churchill Downs, and while it's doubtful that Trinniberg will win this one, he just may end up dragging speed-horse Handsome Mike around the track with him, tiring them both out.

Handsome Mike winning the Commonwealth (Gr. III)

Race 10, Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (Gr. I) This race alone is worth turning the television on tomorrow. Spread over a few contenders, the Woodford has more depth of talent than the Kentucky Derby. Entrants include Slim Shadey (Gary Stevens up), who gave Stevens one of his first comeback stakes wins in this year's San Marcos (Gr. II) at Santa Anita; Silver Max, who won five graded stakes races in a row last year; Point of Entry, who defeated Animal Kingdom in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (Gr. I) earlier this year; and Wise Dan, last year's Horse of the Year, champion Turf Male and champion Older Male.

Of the field, Point of Entry and Wise Dan are the headliners. I have wanted to see a show-down between these two horses but, as Wise Dan was originally pointed towards the Stephen Foster (Gr. I) in June, I thought it wouldn't happen until the fall. This is a can't-miss race!

Other graded stakes on the Derby Day under include the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (Gr. III) and Humana Distaff (Gr. I), which the champion Groupie Doll won last year.

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