Fred Faour: Picks and plays for Saturday's Kentucky Derby
Saturday’s Derby should be a highly entertaining, competitive race. Justify is the 3-1 favorite, and he has a lot of promise. However, there are a lot of reasons to bet against him. No horse has won the Derby without starting as a 2-year-old since 1882. He has not raced outside of California. And he has raced against small fields. Now, he is fast enough that he won’t know there are 15 or so horses behind him. But he will also face serious pace pressure for the first time in his life.
I think the winner comes from nine horses: the 5-6-7-9-11-12-14-16-18-20. Of those, I like Bolt D’Oro the best and will be betting him across the board, in exactas with the other contenders and will also attack the trifecta in three different ways.
No. 11 Bolt D’oro -- Battle tested, should love the distance and could turn the tables on Justify.
No. 12 Enticed -- A troubled second in the Wood, he is also bred to love the distance and could be in the mix at a price.
No. 20 Combatant -- Can’t win, but should clunk up for a piece late at a monster price.
No. 7 Justify -- Could win this, but plenty of reasons to play against.
The other contenders: No. 14 Mendelssohn, No. 9 Hofburg, No. 5 Audible.
The contenders who could struggle or surprise: No. 16 Magnum Moon, No. 18 Vino Rossi.
We will have two trifecta plays. One will key Bolt D’Oro first and second. The other will key Combatant second and third. We can conceivably hit them both. They are available in .50 increments. If you can only afford one, go with the first one:
11 with 5-7-9-12-14 with 5-6-7-9-10-12-14-16-18-20
5-7-9-12-14 with 11 with 5-6-7-9-10-12-14-16-18-20
In .50 increments, that will be $45.
5-7-9-11-12-14 with 20 with 5-6-7-9-10-11-12-14-16-18
5-7-9-11-12-14 with 5-6-7-9-10-11-12-14-16-18 with 20
This will cost $54 in .50 increments.
For Friday's Oaks, we will do an exacta box with the 5-10-13-14.
You can find breakdowns on every horse here.
Last year, we went 1-for-3 on Triple Crown trifectas, ending a nice stretch of 9 out of 12. On a confidence level of 1-10, I would say this is a 6. If you are at Sam Houston Race Park, swing by the ESPN VIP area and say hello. Good luck on your wagers!