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  • Road to the Roses-Week 2

       March 19, 2005

    While the NCAA Tournament has most of the nation's bettor's attention, some of us are already dreaming of the first Saturday in May.

    This weekend features four big prep races around the country. Here's a quick look:

    Tampa Bay Derby: Nick Zito (yum), who seems to have about 300 good Derby prospects this year, runs Sun King here against an overmatched field. In fact, anything but a runaway victory by Sun King would be something of a disappointment. My pick: Sun King (I'm no fool).

    Result: Sun King wins it!

    Gothom Stakes: The nicely named Galloping Grocer was supposed to be the big horse in New York this spring. He hasn't quite panned out, but he gets another shot here. Galloping Grocer likes to run on the lead and he's very vulnerable if he gets caught up in a speed duel early in the race. Naughty New Yorker was able to take advantage of that last time and beat Galloping Grocer. In the Gothom, however, they'll both have to contend with Survivalist. Survivalist hasn't accomplished that much yet, but he has a great trainer and is bred to be a champion. My pick: Survivalist. I don't really think he's that good, but I'm not sold on his competition in here either.

    Result: I'm right again as Survivalist wins and pays a healthy $8.90.

    Rebel Stakes: This prep for the Arkansas Derby has a small field with three outstanding runners. The folks who brought you last year's Kentucky Derby winner, Smarty Jones, are back this year with the undefeated Rockport Harbor. This is his first race of the year, however, and I'm willing to bet he won't be at 100%. Afleet Alex has only finished worse than 2nd once in his career. But, the further they run, the less I like him. So, that leaves Greater Good. Rockport Harbor will probably turn out to be the better horse, but for today, my pick is Greater Good.

    Result: Wow, today is just tragic. I have no money on any of these races, but all my picks are winning. Greater Good takes this one and pays a cool $11.20.

    San Felipe Stakes: This final prep for the Santa Anita Derby is the biggest race of the weekend. Most of the good California horses will line up in the starting gate. Roman Ruler is one of my favorite three-year olds and I think he's incredibly talented. However, I don't expect him to run well in the wet conditions. Wayne Lukas will have Consolidator ready for a good effort and the stretch-running Breeders Cup Juvenile winner Wilko should be a factor too. But, I think the race comes down to two other closers: Giacomo and Don't Get Mad. This week, my pick is Don't Get Mad, but later in the season I think that Roman Ruler will get even.

    Results: And my streak comes to an end as Consolidator, who I dismissed, wins it. The lesson? Never count out Mr. D. Wayne Lukas.


    Posted by at March 19, 2005 10:34 AM

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