If you recall last year around this time I treated you to a free winning ticket for the Kentucky Derby. In fact I treated you to winners in all three of last year's Triple Crown events. Am I giving you the winner today? I think so.

Regardless don't be foolish with your money, use my advice as a reference. You are responsible for your own picks but if they just happen to match mine and I see you at the payout window then you can buy me a cup of coffee.

Today's race at historic Churchill Downs is not going to be a Kentucky Derby like we have seen the past few years. This year the field is smaller. In fact there have already been two scratches, Hoppertunity and  Pablo Del Monte. This will bring the field down from a traffic jam of 21 to a manageable 19. True, that is still a large field but having two horses less to deal with will make all the difference in the world to the eventual winner.

When the gate opens this afternoon at 5:24 pm most of the country will be holding a ticket with #5 California Chrome bet as the winner. Those people will be disappointed by 5:27pm. California Chrome is a strong contender and if he did win I wouldn't be that surprised but he will not be the winner.

Another horse that is getting a lot of looks especially from the Louisiana horse player is Vicar's in Trouble. He was the winner of the Louisiana Derby and is a Louisiana bred horse. If the race was at the Fairgrounds or Evangeline Downs I would put some money on Vicar's in Trouble but this race is in Kentucky so I can't find favor with this one and that #1 post position will mean an all out sprint in the beginning if he wants to avoid traffic.

I really think the first horse under the wire is going to come  from the outside. The two horses that capture my attention are Ride On Curlin and Wicked Strong. Wicked Strong will break from the far outside and have Rajiv Maragh in the irons. I'm sure he's a good jockey and he's won a ton of cash but he won't win the Kentucky Derby today.

By now you've probably figured out my choice is Calvin Borel aboard Ride On Curlin. Nobody knows more about getting around the track at Churchill Downs than Calvin Borel. I even made the statement on the Bruce and the Kennel Club show earlier this week. A sure bet is to take Calvin Borel, with odds of over 10-1 in a post position that is outside of 7. I have cashed a lot of tickets using that quirky formula. The way the race sets up today,Calvin will be coming from post position 19 on a horse at odds of 15-1.

Here is how the race will set up. Borel will break slow and immediately duck to the rail. He will save ground and basically coast until midway down the back stretch. With about 6 furlongs to go Calvin will begin weaving in and around tiring horses sticking so close to the rail that he could touch it. Going into the turn Borel and Ride On Curlin will be in the top 7 and in sight of the leaders. By the time they hit the stretch Calvin will be closing in on third place. The leader Wicked Strong will be battling California Chrome toward the middle of the track and Ride On Curlin will shoot through on the rail to win.

Here is how my ticket looks.

#19 Ride On Curlin'  I will be him across to win, place and show.

I will do a trifecta box with #19 Ride On Curlin, #5 California Chrome and # 20 Wicked Strong.

Good Luck with your wagers, I will see you at the pay window later today.



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