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Optimizer, Sabercat - Kentucky Derby 2012 Long Shots


The Kentucky Derby start time and official post time is 6:24pm ET this Saturday from Churchill Downsin Louisville, Kentucky. This is the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby and this season there are several Long Shots in the event...  Optimizer, which currently sits at 50-1 odds to win the race and opens from the 2nd position, while Sabercat is installed as 30-1 odds to win the race and will be starting from the 18th position are 2 of those long shots.  

Optimizer (50-1): Record: 1-2-1 in 9 Races. Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas. Sire: English Channel. Dam: Indy Pick. Optimizer finished a contending third behind Dullahan in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity last year, in his third start. He also finished a solid fourth behind Gemologist at Churchill Downs in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. He made a strong late charge to finish second, three-quarters of a length behind Secret Circle in the Grade 2 Rebel in his best performance as a 3-year-old. A fast pace is possible, and he can benefit if his connections choose to use deep-closing tactics. Optimizer has tons of stamina in his pedigree and shouldn’t have a problem with the distance. His sire was a grass horse, however, and Optimizer may be a bit more effective on turf and synthetic surfaces. He deserves to be a long price in the Kentucky Derby, but longshots have been overbet in the Derby in recent years so his price is unlikely to be as high as it deserves to be.

Sabercat (30-1): Record 3-0-2 in 8 Races. Trainer: Steven M. Asmussen. Sire: Bluegrass Cat. Dam:Minner's Blessing. Was able to prep as a 3-year-old for the Derby at his own leisurely pace thanks to the graded earnings he collected at 2, due entirely to his victory in the Delta Downs Jackpot. And after getting what amounted to a practice run in his first start this year, he took a step forward when third in the Arkansas Derby in his final Kentucky Derby prep. He is positioned to continue that trend. Despite his light campaign so far this year, he has a strong foundation, having made his last six starts in route races. He is one of only five Derby colts (Hansen, Gemologist, Daddy Nose Best, and Done Talking are the others) to have won three or more route races. The Delta Jackpot winner gets some stamina from his sire, and there is also some stout breeding in his female family. Given a quick pace scenario, Sabercat might find 10 furlongs acceptable. If Mine That Bird can win the Derby, then you should never say a given horse is incapable. But he will be a big price for a reason and is difficult to endorse as a win candidate. However, he is just the kind of bomber you might want to toss in for third or fourth in exotics.

Movie 2012 Kentucky Derby Best Bets: Pregame.com Pro Marco D'Angelo and Dave Tuley from ViewFromVegas.com and the Daily Racing Form discuss their 2012 Kentucky Derby best bets.