DERBY DAY

Fred Faour: Picks and plays for Saturday's Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is Saturday. Kentuckyderby.com

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.

The picks:

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:

First tri:

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.

Second tri:

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!

 

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The fourth quarter continues to frustrate Texans fans. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images.

Here's where we stand, our Houston Texans have played three games against arguably the three worst teams in the NFL (present company excluded) and have zero wins to show for it.

Sunday’s heartbreaking, but thoroughly deserved 23-20 loss to the grounded Bears was a tour de force of futility, a total team collapse for the Texans. Everybody did their share, the offense, defense, coaches, and the Texans left Soldier Field with a loss that shoulda, coulda been a victory. Losing close games is what bad teams do, why coaches get fired.

This was the second consecutive game on the road for the Texans where the home team was booed by their fans - and still beat the Texans.

Here’s an alarming stat: the Texans have been outscored 30-0 in the fourth quarter. More troubling for the rest of 2022: the Texans are a boring, lousy, losing product that will lead to a half-empty NRG Stadium like recent years.

On Sunday, like the week before, I turned to the Astros game on AT&T SportsNet SW during Texans TV breaks and it got progressively harder to return to the Texans game. I wound up watching the Astros live and Texans later on DVR.

Sunday’s Texans game would have been a comedy of errors if the team weren’t so tragically awful. Maybe CBS should run a laugh track during Texans broadcasts.

The Texans now find themselves alone in last place in the AFC South. They’re winless after playing three patsies. Now they get ready to host the Los Angeles Chargers, then head east for the first-place, you read that right, Jacksonville Jaguars and later the 0-3 Las Vegas Raiders. Before the season started, oddsmakers had the Texans as underdogs all 17 games this season. It still looks that way.

Fans and the media are losing faith in Davis Mills as the team’s quarterback of the future. Yes, Davis has been disappointing so far in 2022, with the 30th lowest quarterback rating in the NFL. Mills looks like a young quarterback who’s in over his head and shows little signs of being a firebrand leader. Mills went 20-32 for 245 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on Sunday.

It’s true, teams have won the Super Bowl with lesser talented quarterbacks, like Brad Johnson for Tampa Bay in 2002 and Trent Dilfer for Baltimore in 2000. This just in, however, Houston will not be going to the 2023 Super Bowl.

While Mills continues to cast doubt on his future as QB1, Bears quarterback Justin Fields was stunningly horrible Sunday. At least Texans coaches involved Mills in the offense. The Bears know they have clunker in Fields, who went 8-17 for 106 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns. Those are Air Force vs. Army numbers, unseen in the NFL in decades.

I asked a buddy, is Justin Fields the worst quarterback in the NFL? His answer: “You mean besides our guy?” I don’t know if he was joking or not. Note to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young - your scripts for next year’s H-E-B commercials are in the mail. Stay upright.

Sunday also saw the NFL announce that Rihanna would be the half-time headliner at this season’s Super Bowl. The reveal came with the factoid: Rihanna is the second biggest-selling female recording artist of all-time. OK, trivia buffs, who’s the No. 1 selling female artist?

(Answer: Madonna has sold 335 million records since 1982, while Rihanna has sold 250 million since her debut in 2005.)

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