Fred Faour's analysis

Free plays for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby

Free plays for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby
Game Winner. Getty Images.

Saturday will be the Kentucky Derby, and we are hoping to get back on track with our plays this year. If you want a look at every horse, please read this. For my premium plays, please go to pregame.com. That will give you precise trifecta and exacta plays.

The scratch of favorite Omaha Beach does hurt our plays a little, because it means Game Winner will likely be the favorite. We were hoping to get the 5-1 morning line, but that will not be the case now. Here are three plays I will be making on the Derby and Friday's Kentucky Oaks:

1) Kentucky Oaks

I like three horses here, the 1, 4 and 14. The 4 will be a heavy favorite and looks tough. I will do an exacta box with these three horses, and also play the 14 in weighted win/place/show bets (more to place and show than to win). So depending on your bankroll, a minimum play would be $2 to win, $4 to place and $8. Whatever your base win bet is, double it to place and then double again to show.

2) The Derby

I have it narrowed down to Tacitus and Game Winner to be first or second. So you can key them first and second in the exactas and tris with the logical contenders, but throw in long shots War of Will and Win Win Win. I also believe Tacitus is worth a win/place/show bet. My specific plays are on pregame,

Game Winner has been second in both starts this year after being 2-year-old champ. In his first start, he just missed against Omaha Beach despite a wide trip, coming off a layoff and losing training time because of the issues with the Santa Anita surface. In his second start, his stablemate Roadster needed a win to guarantee a spot in the Derby. Game Winner ran second to Roadster. Conspiracy theories aside, he will be 100 percent cranked up for this and we should see his best effort yet.

Tacitus has not faced the top 3 year olds, but he is bred out the ears to get a mile and a quarter, and his two starts this year were solid. He grinned out a win on the rail in the Tampa Bay Derby, then overcame tons of trouble to win the Wood Memorial. Traffic happens in the Derby, and the fact that he has already overcome it is a good thing.

Other legit contenders include Roadster, Maximum Security, Improbable. Potential long shots include War of Will and Win Win Win.

3) The pick 4

We will be playing a pick four, starting with the ninth race. It will be a .50 cent ticket. The horses to use: 1-9-10-12 with 4-10 with 2-6-9-12 with 5-7-8-16-17.

Good luck with all your wagers. Hopefully we will all be cashing tickets.


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Astros defeat Cardinals, 8-5. Composite Getty Image.

Yainer Diaz homered in a second straight game to lead the Houston Astros to an 8-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Playing without star right fielder Kyle Tucker, the Astros got a three-run homer from Diaz in the third inning as they took the first two games of a three-game set with the Cardinals. Diaz hit a go-ahead two-run homer in Monday’s 7-4 win.

Tucker, who left Monday’s game after hitting a foul ball off his right shin, was diagnosed with a contusion and sat out Tuesday night. He is tied for second in the majors with 19 homers.

Houston scored six runs off Cardinals starter Andre Pallante (1-2). He allowed six hits and walked three in three innings.

Astros starter Spencer Arrighetti allowed three hits and one run in three innings. He was evaluated by trainers in the second after he was struck in the left leg by a 103.8 mph comebacker. He threw 64 pitches and left the game after the third with a left calf contusion.

Astros reliever Tayler Scott (2-2) allowed three hits and one run in two innings. Ryan Pressly pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season.

The Cardinals cut into Houston’s lead with solo homers from Masyn Winn in the sixth inning and Nolan Gorman in the seventh. Gorman’s homer appeared to graze off the glove of a leaping Mauricio Dubón after a fan bumped into the Astros right fielder.

Alec Burleson homered for St. Louis in the first.

The Astros improved to 3-1 in June but remain six games under .500 (28-34). The Cardinals fell to 3-5 on a nine-game trip that wraps up Wednesday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: RHP reliever Keynan Middleton will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right arm, manager Oliver Marmol said. Middleton, who signed with the Cardinals in the offseason, felt discomfort in his forearm during spring training and started the year on the injured list.

Astros: RHP Cristian Javier is expected to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Thursday, the Athletic reported. Astros general manager Dana Brown and manager Joe Espada have said they wouldn’t have any information on the 27-year-old's condition until later in the week. Javier is 3-1 with a 3.89 ERA.

UP NEXT

RHP Miles Mikolas (3-6, 5.54 ERA) will start the series finale for the Cardinals on Wednesday. Astros RHP Ronel Blanco (5-1, 2.44) will try to bounce back from his first loss of the season in his last outing, against Minnesota.

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