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Sat, 05/03/14 - 4:10 PM Marco D'Angelo | MLB Money Line
double-dime bet 971 SEA (-138) William Hill vs 972 HOU
Results: W, $200

After taking 2 of 3 from Texas then going to New York and sweeping the Yankees it was only naturally for Seattle to suffer a letdown last night. Now coming off the loss with King Felix last night we will get a big effort from Seattle tonight. Note Seattle is 7-3 so far this year when facing lefties. Houston is just 28-64 as a Home Underdog the last 2 seasons. Seattle wins this 5-3.



#14 Medal Count

Here's a horse that is razor sharp heading into the Derby because this horse raced 2 races in a 8 day period to get to the Derby. On Feb 22nd he raced in the Fountain of Youth and finished a disappointing 5th which seemed to derail the hopes that he was a Derby horse as he really had no excuse as he got the trip they wanted in the Florida Derby. The Connections sent him to Keeneland to race in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes and he responded with an impressive win so now once again they thought they had a Derby horse only problem was he didn't have enough points so they made the decision to race him back just 8 days later in the Bluegrass needing a big finish to secure enough points to get into the Derby. He finished 2nd and now is in the Derby the only knock on him just like Dance with Fate his 2 best races came on synthetic surface so the question is can he handle the dirt surface at Churchill Downs? A few years ago they asked the same question of Animal Kingdom and well we all know what the answer was that year as Animal Kingdom lit up the tote board. Trainer Dale Romans has said that Medal Count has handled the track well this week at Churchill and I'm looking for a big effort from him today. The sire of Medal Count is Dynaformer who gives this horse the license to get this distance. His running style is perfect for the Derby as he will be sitting in the group of stalkers mid pack meaning if the pace is too fast he is far enough back not to get used up in fast fractions and if the pace is slow he is close enough to adjust and be closer in a slow pace. Also by sitting where he will be he won't have to navigate around the entire field. At this price I will be making WIN-PLACE-SHOW Bets.

#20 Wicked Strong

Clearly coming off of his best race of his career in winning the Wood Memorial with a Beyer speed figure of 104. Some may fear that he bounces off of such a big race last time out as he improved 17 points with Beyer rating but those kind of jumps can happen with lightly raced horses as they haven't peaked yet. Wicked Strong has just 6 lifetime starts so I feel he has not peaked yet. Personally I think entering the Derby with 5-7 lifetime starts is the perfect number of races. Wicked Strong is a legitimate horse and would have been my Top Choice had he not drew the #20 post. I still feel he will be able to work out a trip but he will have to navigate thru some traffic in doing so and I think he runs out of racetrack and finishes 2nd. If he gets a clean trip and there is some speed early on he could win this race. Because I always bet 2 Horses in the Kentucky Derby because of the inflated prices this horse win be getting a Win-Place Bet.

#5 California Chrome

This is the horse to beat on paper as he has won 4 straight all in impressive fashion and has posted back to back big Beyer speed figures of 107 & 108 in his last 2 starts. What I don't like is the fact that this will be his 11th start of his career. Personally I think that is too many at this point of a horse's career. He has been on the front or right near the front in his Santa Anita wins and those were speed bias tracks as the front end held up well. With a 20 horse field and this the post position he drew what kind of fractions are set will be key for this horse. I also have to question how he is going to react to racing for the first time out of the state of California. I would have felt better had the connections came to Louisville last week so he could have had a good workout over the Churchill dirt. He will be most likely over bet in here but you can not throw him off your tickets either.

#16 Intense Holiday

One of 4 Todd Pletcher entries in this years Derby who comes off good effort in the Louisiana Derby as he made a good close in a race where Vicar's in Trouble was the winner who got away from the pack as the only true speed horse in the Louisiana Derby. Intense Holiday has the running style that wins the Derby as a horse that sets mid pack and closes. If there are honest fractions he will be closing late if it's very fast fractions then this horse will be flying late. Picks up jockey John Velazquez as Mike Smith who rode him in his last 2 starts was scheduled to ride Hoppertunity. I would feel more comfortable with Intense Holiday if Velazquez had ridden him at least once or had we had Mike Smith aboard but this is another horse who's style fits the derby well and is why he is my 4th choice.

#4 Danza

One of 4 Todd Pletcher entries in this years Kentucky Derby who comes off of a monster effort in the Arkansas Derby. Danza got a perfect trip in Arkansas Derby as he sat just behind the leaders and when the horses turned for Home the Horses on the lead drifted out opening the rail up for Danza to shoot thru with no problem. Often times horses trying to shoot the rail have to be checked and lose momentum but Danza did not experience that. This is just his 5th lifetime start which gives him a license to make another big jump forward. Because of his post position he could very well get another ground saving trip that has him flying at the end. This horse has looked good all week in his morning works and is getting a lot of attention because of it as his odds have dropped. I will have him in some of our exotics.

#12 Dance with Fate

Here is a horse clearly on the improve as he has improved his Beyer Speed figure in 4 straight starts going from 72, 83, 90 to 97 in his last start which was a win in the Blue Grass Stakes. Has a perfect running style as he can sit off the pace and close as he did in the Bluegrass which is ideal if there is a hotly contested pace up front in the Derby. The one knock on him is can he handle the surface as this horse has done his best on Turf and a synthetic surface. Dance With Fate is a horse that has to be used as he is on the improve and will be a price and if he takes to the Churchill Downs surface could light up the tote board. This is a horse that must be used in your exotics.

#13 Chitu

I feel that the 2 true speed horses are Vicar's In Trouble and Chitu and because Vicar's has post #1 he could have trouble getting away good. Chitu will have a clean break from post #13 and should make the lead. It doesn't happen often but if a true speed gets left alone on the front end with no challengers a Speed Horse can steal the derby. I will have a few saver exactas with the #13 in them just in case that scenario happens. Again these will be small saver bets but because of the odds we will get a big payday if we hit.

#6 Samraat

How do you fault a horse who in 6 lifetime starts has 5 wins and a 2nd. His Beyer figure has gradually increased in each of his last 3 starts going from 94 to 96 to 98. In his last race he finished 2nd in the Wood Memorial behind Wicked Strong. Samraat possesses enough gate speed that will have him challenging for the lead or sitting just off of it which with Post 6 should be able to get the trip he wants. Note that in those 2 duels where he and Uncle Sigh battled to the wire in both of those battles he was the horse on the outside and Uncle Sigh was on the inside and when two horses battle like that down the stretch it's a huge advantage to be the one on the outside. Honest horse that can hit the board.

The following is my Betting strategies for the Kentucky Derby. Please bet what you are comfortable with. I have listed bets for Exactas, Trifectas and Superfectas but if you only want to play exactas based on your bankroll that is fine. I feel the KY Derby offers positive EV for a sharp player because the betting pools are so big thus if you hit the payouts can be huge. I do invest more money in this one race than any other race all year because of the potential return. But again everyone's comfort zone is different so please play within your comfort zone. Thank You for your support and enjoy the Kentucky Derby. Follow me on Twitter all day for some spot plays in other races on the Churchill Card. @MarcoinVegas

Personally my biggest Bets will be Win-Place-Show Bets on these 2 horses I will be using "ladder betting" which is staggering my bet size on WPS. I have listed an example to show what I mean but again you should bet what is in your comfort zone.

(example bet:  $20 Win $30 Place $40 Show)

(example bet:  $20 Win $40 Place)


$1 EXACTA WHEEL  5-14-20/1-4-5-6-12-13-14-16-20 = $24
$1 EXACTA WHEEL  1-4-5-6-12-13-14-16-20/ 5-14-20 = $24
$1 EXACTA BOX  4-5-14-16-20 = $20
$2 EXACTA WHEEL  5-14-20/4-5-14-16-20 = $24
$2 EXACTA WHEEL  4-5-14-16-20 / 5-14-20= $24
$4 EXACTA WHEEL  14-20 / 4-5-14-16-20= $32
$2 EXACTA WHEEL  4-5-14-16-20 / 14-20= $16


$1 TRIFECTA WHEEL  5-14-16-20/4-5-14-16-20/ 4-5-12-13-14-16-20 = $80
$1 TRIFECTA WHEEL  14/5-16-20/ 1-4-5-12-13-16-20 = $18
$1 TRIFECTA WHEEL  20/5-14-16/ 1-4-5-12-13-14-16 = $18

For those with bigger bankrolls wishing to play Superfecta

$1 SUPERFECTA WHEEL  5-14-20/5-14-16-20/ 4-5-14-16-20/ 1-4-5-12-13-14-16-20 = $135


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Pick Made: May 3 2014 2:30AM PST
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