Ed DeRosa of TwinSpires.com takes on TDN’s Steve Sherack and Brian DiDonato as they handicap each prep race leading up to the GI Kentucky Derby. The three will make $100 Win/Place bets-highest bankroll after Arkansas Derby/Lexington day wins.
DiDonato: Rebel x2 – Improbable (+$120) endured a somewhat awkward trip and just missed. Jersey Agenda settled for fifth after failing to make the lead. Bankroll: $10,325.
GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby – I want the horse with the most upside in the race if I’m going to try and beat War of Will, and I’m pretty sure that horse is Spinoff (no disrespect to Country House, who also ran well last time). The well-bred Wertheimer homebred flashed talent in two juvenile tries, and returned from a break to run up the score in a Tampa optional claimer last month. He dueled through fast splits with a horse who was also stretching out, and that foe stopped to be last. Trainer Todd Pletcher has successfully used an easy race at Tampa as a springboard to bigger and better in recent years (i.e. Always Dreaming, Outwork, etc.), and he already owns a record four wins in this event. Plus Spinoff is obviously bred to be any kind as a son and grandson of Grade I winners Zaftig and Zoftig. Selection: #10 Spinoff (8-1).
Sherack: Rebel x2 – Wide trip, layoff and all, it was still pretty surprising to see Improbable get run down late as the heavy chalk. Laughing Fox, meanwhile, never fired in round two of the Rebel. Bankroll: $1550.
GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby – War of Will is a very deserving favorite and the clear-cut horse to beat, but I’ll go for a longshot with some upside. By My Standards ran well enough in defeat in a trio of live-looking races to kick off his career, then posted a breakthrough maiden win, clocking his final three-eighths in a sharp :31.57 going two turns over this track last time. The bay will need another leap forward, but between the flashy worktab and favorable inside draw, the price will be right to see if he’s good enough. Selection: #5 By My Standards (12-1).
DeRosa: Rebel x2 – Corruze was a late scratch; Our Braintrust finished last of 10. Bankroll: $680.
GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby – War of Will is a great study in how much you trust your eyes over data. The War Front colt has looked great winning all three of his starts on dirt, including the Lecomte and Risen Star S. heading into the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby, but he has not registered fast numbers in doing so with a consistent string of mid 90s Brisnet.com Speed Ratings. That’s been faster than the rest to date, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be fastest in the Lousiana Derby, especially at odds on. We’ll take a shot with Bankit, who has a similar profile to stablemate Long Range Toddy in that he gets a jockey change for this test. Bankit flashed good talent at two that he seemed to be circling back to last out. If he busts through, he’s a player in this heat at 20-1 morning line. Selection: #9 Bankit (20-1).
Click here for Louisiana Derby Ultimate PPs from Brisnet.com.