Ed DeRosa of Brisnet.com takes on TDN’s Steve Sherack and Brian DiDonato as they handicap Triple Crown prep races plus the big three races themselves. The three will make $100 Win/Place bets in the preps and $200 Win/Place bets in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. Highest bankroll at the end wins.
DeRosa – Last Week’s Results – Honor A. P. (+200) was second-best in the San Felipe. Necker Island (Gotham) and Letmeno (Tampa Bay Derby) failed to fire. Bankroll: $1395.
GII Rebel S. – The Rebel is as compelling a race I can remember with hotshot Nadal shipping east to make his two-turn debut, the brilliant Basin making his 3-year-old debut, No Parole making his graded stakes debut, and Silver Prospector looking to keep the momentum going. These are the four obvious choices, which is my way of saying there’s no way No Parole is the 8-1 sixth choice as his morning line suggests, but he is my pick to win this race. Despite having things all his way in all three starts, the Brisnet Pace Ratings say he showed an ability to relax last time, and a similar trip “on paper” is good enough against these at the right price. Selection: #5 No Parole (8-1).
GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks – The Jeff Ruby Steaks looks to go through the favorite Invader, who looked awesome winning the Battaglia and has zero questions pedigree wise when it comes to the extra half furlong. Selection: #11 Invader (3-1).
Sherack – Last Week’s Results – Honor A. P. (+$200) ran about as good as you can without getting your picture taken in his comebacker in the San Felipe. Attachment Rate came running for third and just missed second hanging on his left lead down the lane again in the Gotham while longshot Letmeno never factored in the Tampa Bay Derby. Bankroll: $1885.
GII Rebel S. – Nobody was ever going to catch Gold Street after that easy lead and soft fractions over a wet track in the Smarty Jones, especially going a mile into Oaklawn’s short stretch, but I really liked Three Technique‘s runner-up effort that day after making a three-wide bid on the far turn in his first attempt off the bench in his two-turn debut. He’s been favored in all five of his previous efforts, but he could provide value here. Fired a four-furlong warning shot in :46 (1/122) in Hot Springs for this Feb. 29. Selection: #6 Three Technique (7-2).
GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks – The long-striding Myamanoi should appreciate the added real estate after finishing a close fourth with an impossible trip behind the re-opposing Field Pass in the Dania Beach going a mile over the Gulfstream turf. Good looking maiden winner two starts back at the Big A is a major player if his grass form translates to the synthetic. Selection: #5 Myamanoi (4-1).
DiDonato – Last Week’s Results – Sole Volante (+$180) provided a small bankroll bump when second at Tampa, but looking back at his PPs it’s hard not to feel like romping 49-1 winner King Guillermo was a longshot you could land on with enough creativity in a race that was sort of calling for it. Honor A. P. (+$200) ran well first time back off a break–he’s obviously still got upside and should improve with more distance. Attachment Rate just missed second at the Big A–he seems to have some growing up to do still. Bankroll: $2065.
GII Rebel S. – I must admit, I sort of forgot about Basin until this race was drawn. He had a very nice, if not abbreviated, year last year. The horse who beat him by a nose first out came back and won the GIII Sanford S.; then the horse he beat when breaking his maiden at Saratoga, re-opposing Three Technique, aired in his next two and was second last time in the Smarty Jones. The form of Basin’s GI Runhappy Hopeful S. romp maybe hasn’t held up as well as it could have, but he dominated that event and looked like one who should have no trouble with two turns. He was reasonably fast for a 2-year-old, and if he’s developed since then as you’d expect him to, he could have a serious say in the outcome. Plus the potential for a less-than-fast racetrack shouldn’t hurt his chances. Selection: #3 Basin (3-1).
GIII Jeff Ruby Steaks – I remember Halo Again‘s win in the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine because of how he dropped back and looked totally out of it before coming on again up the fence. He needs to get way faster, but he strikes me as a true nine-furlong grinder and he’s already shown an affinity for the all-weather. I’d rather play him at better odds than some of these turf miler types. Selection: #6 Halo Again (6-1).