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Kentucky Derby Picks (Mid Runners):
When comes to the list of champions in it’s glorious timeline, the history of the Kentucky Derby isn’t one filled with just super horses confirming pre-race odds makers rankings, or Cinderella stories paying out stupendous amounts as long shots.
It’s also bolstered by those horses that were thought to be ‘middle of the pack’ selections for betting. The Kentucky Derby has seen plenty of winning horses come from those not thought to be pre-race favorites but also not thought to be lottery-styled after thoughts either.
The two pre-race betting favorites, Dialed In and Uncle Mo, come into the 137th Run for the Roses on Saturday with some pre-race baggage. Dialed In did win the Florida Derby, but many handicappers felt the horse ran an uninspired race, and barely topped Shackelford, which was a 68-1 long shot in that race.
Uncle Mo was expected to be the top contender for ending the drought of Triple Crown winners, but was lackluster at best in the Wood Memorial. The horse finished third, and has led many to consider this edition of the Kentucky Derby, one of the most unpredictable in recent memory.
So if you are troubled by the pedigree of performance this season by the two pre-race favorites, then you might look for a mid runner to steal the show.
The aforementioned Shackelford is listed for this race as a 12-1 selection, leaving from the 14th position. A handsome chestnut colt, Shackleford has won two of five starts with earnings of $271,666. Also at 12-1 for this race are Mucho Macho Man and Soldat. Mucho has shown a tendency to make his move mid-race and fade toward the end as he did in the Louisiana Derby. However, in his defense, he did run that race missing one shoe, and still salvaged a third place finish.
There are three horses entering the weekend at 20-1 betting odds that you should definitely keep an eye on. One is Stay Thirsty, which is owned by the same Mike Repole that owns Uncle Mo. Stay Thirsty struggled in the Florida Derby, finishing seventh, but did win the Gotham Stakes in March.
Another horse in the 20-1 range that could provide some drama on Saturday is Pants on Fire. Rosie Napravnik will be atop this Kelly Breen trained horse. Napravnik would become the first female jockey to win the race should Pants on Fire find his way to the winners circle.
Finally, there is Twice the Appeal, starting from the third position at 20-1 betting odds.
The jockey riding this horse is familiar with having roses laid atop the horse at the conclusion of the Kentucky Derby. Calvin Borel will attempt to make some history of his own on Saturday. A victory would make him the only jockey to ever win the Derby in three consecutive years. Only four other jockeys have had the chance to attempt this prior to the weekend’s race.
My mid runner exacta bet: Twice the Appeal, and Pants on Fire.