Friday, May 4, 2012

OFFICIAL KENTUCKY DERBY PICKS 05/05/2012

I posted them on my analysis post as well, but to keep them separate and accessible, here they are:



HERE ARE MY OFFICIAL PICKS THAT I WILL BE MAKING TOMORROW AT EITHER ARLINGTON PARK, OR THE LOCAL OTB:

#5 DULLAHAN $5 WPS
#15 GEMOLOGIST $2WPS
#5/#15/#3/#4 $1 EXA BOX
#13 WENT THE DAY WELL $2 W

Pretty small stuff, I know.  But as I have said, the Derby is TOUGH, and I have not done well in recent years.  $35 is enough for me to invest!  If I do go to Arlington, and do well in the early races, perhaps I will up some of these bets.  We'll see!!




Good luck!!


bk

The Eve of the 138th Kentucky Derby: Analysis, Info and PICKS!





It's Derby time!!  Time to sift through the field of 20 horses to find out who gets the honor of being my losing pick!!  Let's face it, the Derby is tough to bet.  There are 20 runners, and most of the them are legit.  I have a history of "liking" too many, and it causes me to make too many bets.  This year, going light.  Picked out a couple horses I like, for different reasons, and will focus on them, and probably throw in a few small exotics and longshots for fun.


I haven't watched any racing at all this year, so I am basing my picks on the general info that anyone has access to.  I usually try to stay away from the so-called "experts" analysis, but did find one article on the net that I found helpful.  I used this after I had a general feel for who I liked.  


There are some links below to each horses page, along with a short blurb I spit out.


The two horses I am focusing on are #5 Dullahan and #15 Gemologist.  Supposedly, the pace is supposed to be quick.  This should benefit a closer like Dullahan.  The danger could be him falling back too far, and having too much ground, and too many horses to work around.  He was 8-1 this morning, which isn't a bad price if he can pull it off.  Gemologist is another solid horse, who has yet to lose in his career, albeit a short one (5 races).  I actually had a dream the other night (before the numbers were drawn) that the #15 horse won!  I know, deep handicapping methods!!!  Don't laugh, ok?  So, I was happy to see that a good horse drew the 15 slot, and really think he has a chance to win.


EDIT:  HERE ARE MY OFFICIAL PICKS THAT I WILL BE MAKING TOMORROW AT EITHER ARLINGTON PARK, OR THE LOCAL OTB:


#5 DULLAHAN $5 WPS
#15 GEMOLOGIST $2WPS
#5/#15/#3/#4 $1 EXA BOX
#13 WENT THE DAY WELL $2 W


Pretty small stuff, I know.  But as I have said, the Derby is TOUGH, and I have not done well in recent years.  $35 is enough for me to invest!  If I do go to Arlington, and do well in the early races, perhaps I will up some of these bets.  We'll see!!



Let's take a look at this years runners:

(number/name/jockey/trainer)

#1/Daddy Long Legs/Colm O'Donoghue/Aidan O'Brien
You'll never guess where this horse is from!!  Yup, Ireland.  Won the UAE derby back in March, it's only race as a 3 year old to date.  Finished 12th in last year's Breeders Cup Juvenile, despite a clean trip and has not proven to be able to run on dirt.  Post position won't help either. 
Morning odds: 30-1


#2/Optimizer/Jon Court/D. Wayne Lukas
Finished 9th in the Arkansas Derby, and has not won a race since August of last year.  Has been run in three big stakes races this year in addition to Arkansas, finishing 2nd in the Rebel and 9th in the Risen Star.  Going to be hard to back a horse with those results, considering the rest of the field.  Would be a shocker to see it in the money, let alone win.
Morning odds: 50-1

#3/Take Charge Indy/Calvin Borel/Patrick Byrne
Won the Florida Derby (wire to wire), and finished 5th in last year's Juvenile.  Very good pedigree as T.C. Indy is the grandson of Triple Crown Winner Seattle Slew, and son of 1992 horse of the year A.P. Indy.  Has to be a horse to consider as he has the stamina to stay up front and finish.  Calvin Borel is also a proven winner at Churchill, and the inside draw is to his liking.  Considering throwing T.C. Indy in some sort of exacta box.
Morning odds: 15-1

#4/Union Rags/Julien Leparoux/Michael Matz
Came in 3rd in the Florida Derby in March, won the Fountain of Youth in February.  Has never finished out of the money in his short career (six starts).  Going to be one of the more popular picks on Saturday and may end up favorite.  Similar to T.C. Indy, could make a showing, and should be considered in some exotic wagering.  
Morning odds: 9-2

#5/Dullahan/Kent Desormeaux/Dale Romans
Won the Toyota Blue Grass last month, and has had decent results in most of his 8 career starts.  Desormeaux has won before 3 times too.   Half brother to 2009 Derby long shot winner Mine That Bird.  He is a closer, that will benefit a fast pace. Has to be on most handicappers short list.  If the pace is as fast as some predict, he could make serious run with Churchill's long home stretch.  I will have some of my money on him for sure!
Morning odds: 8-1

#6/Bodemeister/Mike Smith/Bob Baffert
So far, looks like the Arkansas Derby winner is the favorite to win this year's Derby.  Finished 1st or 2nd in all four career starts.  Baffert has won this race before as has Mike Smith (Giacomo).  Favorites have a history of coming up short here, so we'll see.  Since 1888, no horse has won the Derby that did not race as a 2 year old.  But, he sounds a lot like Budweiser, so might not be a bad pick! I'm going to throw him out, because you can't bet on them all!
Morning odds: 4-1

#7/Rousing Sermon/Jose Lezcano/Jerry Hollendorfer
Not bad results over 9 career starts (2/2/3), but finished out of the money in two of his three starts this year.  I believe both trainer and jockey are winless in the Derby as well. 
Probably explains the long odds.  However, this is just the kind of horse to sneak in the money and mess up everyone's bets!!  He is a closer, so if the pace is quick, and he has a good ride, perhaps can sneak in the money.
Morning odds: 50-1

#8/Creative Cause/Joel Rosario/Mike Harrington
Won the San Felipe Stakes, 2nd in the Santa Anita (to I'll Have Another), and has placed in all 8 career starts (4/1/3).  Is showing up on a lot of experts top 5 lists, and should go off at a decent price.  Could definitely be in the money, so consider in your combo bets.  Conversely, this could be the horse that doesn't show up at all.  Another decent horse I will leave out, for the sake of not betting too much.
Morning odds: 12-1

#9/Trinniberg/Willie Martinez/Bisnath Parboo
Won a couple lesser (Grade III) Stakes races this year, and had OK results as a 2 year old before finishing 7th in the BC Juvenile Sprint last November.  Has never won beyond 7 furlongs, and would be a long shot to do so here.  He will get out in front and set the pace, but would be a major shock to finish in the money.
Morning odds: 50-1

#10/Daddy Nose Best/Garrett Gomez/Steve Asmussen
DNB has also won a couple Grade III Stakes races this, but is getting a lot more love than Trinniberg, since he's more likely to stay back in the pack.  Gomez has won here before, and Asmussen is a proven winner.  I'm just not buying it!  Of course that means this will be the horse to F me!!
Morning odds: 15-1

#11/Alpha/Rajiv Maragh/Kiaran McLaughlin
Has some decent results in 6 career starts, with his only dud coming in the BC Juvenile (11th).  Was a close second to Gemologist in the Wood Memorial.  Has some decent pedigree too.  Another horse that could spell trouble for the favorites, but will have to run a very clean race, something he has not done of late.
Morning odds: 15-1

#12/Prospective/Luis Contreras/Mark Casse
Has some up and down results, but does have 4 career wins, including the Tampa Bay Derby back in March.  But a 6th at the Blue Grass Stakes, and a 13th in the BC Juvenile stand out as well.  Those erratic results are probably the reason for the longer odds.
Morning odds: 30-1

#13/Went The Day Well/John Velazquez/H. Graham Motion
Thirteen is my lucky number, so I always throw a few bucks on it.  This year I will do the same!  I know, REAL advanced system there!  This horse hasn't been tested too much, but has shown decent results in the 5 career starts he had.  Including a win in the Vinery Racing Spiral GIII Stakes in March.  Probably not a great price for a horse that most will consider a longer shot.
Morning odds: 20-1

#14/Hansen/Ramon Dominguez/Mike Maker
Hansen is a grey horse, if that's your sort of thing!  He's had very impressive results in his short career with 4 wins and 2 places in 6 starts, including the BC Juvenile last November.  Came in 2nd to Dullahan at the Blue Grass Stakes last month.  I really wanted to find a way to bet on Hansen, but I'm afraid I have to leave him off.  He has the speed, but will he have the stamina?
Morning odds: 10-1

#15/Gemologist/Javier Castellano/Todd Pletcher
Never lost in 5 times out, including a close win over Alpha in the Wood Memorial.  Has had the same mount every race, and Pletcher is a proven winner.  This horse could have the right combination of stamina and speed to take this one home.  Will be on my card for sure.  Aside from my "dream" theory, I do think he has a chance to get it done.
Morning odds: 6-1

#16/El Padrino/Rafael Bejarano/Todd Pletcher
Another Pletcher trained horse with a few wins under his belt.  Won the Risen Star and finished 4th in the Florida Derby.  Could be one to keep an eye on, despite not being talked about much. I'm passing, as I think you can find better value at this price.
Morning odds: 20-1

#17/Done Talking/Sheldon Russell/Hamilton Smith
Illinois Derby win was far and away his best win.  Mixed results otherwise.  Not getting much love, would be a long shot to get in the money.  Definite pass.
Morning odds: 50-1

#18/Sabercat/Corey Nakatani/Steve Asmussen
A 3rd in the Arkansas Derby is respectable, some mixed results outside of that.  We'll see how this horse does coming from the outside.  Another closer that might get in them mix, but past results don't merit putting anything major on him.
Morning odds: 30-1

#19/I'll Have Another/Mario Gutierrez/Doug O'Neill
The winner of the Santa Anita is getting a lot of talk here.  A lot of racing experts think he has what it takes to win out the 19 slot.  Probably get a decent price here too.  Have to consider this one in the mix.
Morning odds: 12-1

#20/Liaison/Martin Garcia/Bob Baffert
After 3 wins last year, Liaison has not cracked the money in 3 starts in 2012.  That coupled with it's outside draw will drive this price up, justifiably.  Too many better options here.
Morning odds: 50-1


I will make my final picks and post them later.  


Here is the link for the website I used to help me decide, and get a lot of the info found above.  It's a good read, even if you already have your mind made up.


www.kentuckyderby.com also has decent info, included each horse's past performances.  If it's expert picks you are after, try here.




Thanks, and good luck!!




bk









Wednesday, May 2, 2012

BK Sports Blurbs 05/02/2012

05/02/2012

Kentucky Derby post position draw will be held today at around 4pm (CDT).  You can catch it live on NBC SportsNetwork (formally VS.).   Probably take a look later this evening or tomorrow to come up with my losers for this Saturday's race!

Devils even their series with Philly behind 4 3rd period goals.  Does anyone outside of Philly root for the Flyers.  Not that I'm a Devil fan by any stretch, but I was definitely rooting for them, for no apparent reason other than they are playing Philly!  One note, 19 year old Adam Larsson scored his first even playoff goal.  While most 19 year olds are sneaking alcohol passed their dorm R.A.'s, this kid is sneaking goals past NHL goalies, in the PLAYOFFS.  Pretty cool.

Speaking of 19 year olds, Bryce Harper made his home debut for the Nationals last night, but went 0 for 3.  However, he did make another AMAZING throw from left field on a sac fly.  However, the runner was called safe despite replays that showed otherwise.  Check out the video and be the judge for yourself (0:55).  Also, what's with the dude clapping at 0:14??   Come on buddy, you can clap better than THAT!

Matt Kemp went 1 for 4, dropping his average to 0.409.  Man, he SUCKS!  He did drop to 2nd in RBI's, as his teammate Andre Either drove in 3 to pass Kemp on the year.

Albert Pujols STILL has not homered on the year!  He did drive in his 5th run though, despite going 0 for 4.  Anyone want to do a pool on when he'll get his first?  It can be kind of like one of those "guess when the baby will be born" pools. 

The Bulls played their first post-season game without Rose, and got crushed by 17.  We'll see if they can adjust, but right now, things are looking bleak.  I discussed the Rose debate the other day in THIS POST.

Full slate of MLB games today, including a few day games.  Two NHL games, and three NBA games as well, so plenty of sports to be watched!!! 


Thanks for stopping by!

bk





Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Celtic v. Rangers: Old Firm Derby

This past Sunday, the Scottish Premier League's "Old Firm" match between Celtic and Rangers took place.  It's by far the biggest rivalry of the SPL, and considered one of European football's biggest league rivalries (ranked #4 by the Bleacher Report).  These teams, and fans really hate each other. 
Watching (on TV, I was NOT in Scotland) last Sunday's match was an awesome experience.  It was played at Celtic Park in Glasgow, and the singing, chanting, cheering and jeering from the crowd was pretty much non-stop from the 1st minute to the last.  Right at kickoff the crowd sings "You Will Never Walk Alone", which continues on, until completion, even as the game is being played.  It was quite stirring.  Keep in mind Celtic is a SCOTTISH based team, not Irish, and the game is being played in Glasgow.

(note: the videos below are NOT from this past Sunday's match)



I'm not sure what it is about all the singing and chanting at soccer matches that draws me to it, but it sure does.  Perhaps the lack of scoring on the pitch forces the crowds to entertain themselves.  Regardless, for me, it's cool to witness, even if just on TV.


The rivalry has WAY more to it than just the teams and players on the pitch.  Politics, religion, and even immigration have played a major role over the years.  I'm not going to get into any of that right now, but let's just say that even as a non-catholic, I side with Celtic.

I know, I know, most Americans think soccer is boring and lame.  That's fine, we're all entitled to our opinions.   But I would have to think that even the biggest soccer cynics in the US would appreciate the passion these fans have for their teams!

Oh, and by the way, Celtic won 3-0!!



Here are a few more links of videos, and other info on the clubs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_F.C.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rangers_F.C.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Premier_League
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBbVuQj5lw4&feature=fvst
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qXmDyGKgi8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXHx9KnzgSY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McJJ7BlzEWc&feature=relmfu




You'll Never Walk Alone Lyrics
When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark,
At the end of a storm, there's a golden sky,
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone...


bk

BK Sports Update 05/01/2012 (EPL, Andy Petitte, Yu Darvish, NHL and more...)

Tuesday, May 1st:

Soccer:  First, to recap the EPL match between Man United and Man City.  Man U's agenda was obviously to play super tight D and be content with the draw.  But Man City snuck in a header on a corner kick just before half for a 1-0 lead.  City would hold on in the end to take the 3pts and now sits atop the EPL table with just two games left.  City definitely deserved the W Monday, as they outplayed United for most of the match.  They still need to take care of business in their last two games, but should they win both, they will likely take home the title, unless Man U can overcome a goal differential of 8.



MLB:  My Cubbies looked like they might get 3 out of 4 in Philly when they rallied for 3 runs in the top of the 8th to tie the game, but they gave up 2 in the bottom half, and Philly held on to get the split.  It's going to be a long season, as expected.  However, for the first time in a while, I actually feel like this team might be going in the right direction. 

Mr. Triple Crown (Matt Kemp) homers again, his 12th!!  He ended up going 1 for 4, as the Dodgers fell to the Rockies 6-2.  Kemp now leads the NL in ALL three Triple Crown categories (HR, RBI and AVG).
On a side note, Andy Petitte is making a comeback and is reportedly (by himself) ready to jump into the Yankees rotation!!  REALLY?!?!  Here is a link to the report from cbs.com. In case you were wondering, Petitte is 102 years old and is part robot.  No, but he will turn 40 this June, and has 16 MLB seasons under his belt.  Here are his career numbers.  I am at the age now where any professional athlete that is older than me, gets my respect.  I can barely do 20 push ups without breaking a massive sweat.  We'll see how this plays out for the Yanks, who seem to be back on track anyway. 

Yu Darvish had another stellar outing for the Rangers going 7 IP and only gave up 1ER on a homer, and allowed only 4 hits and 2 walks total.  Also struck out 9.  He moves to 4-0 and has looked really good since he his first outing which was a little shaky. 

Albert Pujols watch!  Pujols went 1 for 4 last night, and was again homer less.  Last year in April he had 7 HR, so he is JUST a bit behind that pace!  I'm sure he'll get hot eventually, the question is when.  It has to be killing him to be struggling like this.  Especially considering the Angels are in dead last in the AL West.
Not much too exciting on the plate for Tuesday night.  Of course, there is always the Bryce Harper watch!!  I'm not one that usually gets sucked into the hype, but I am very interested to see how Harper does at this level.  So far, I've been nothing but impressed with what I have seen. 


NHL:  Only got to watch the 3rd period of the Rangers-Caps game, as I had to watch the soccer match on DVR first.  It was a pretty exciting period though.  The Rangers tied it up on the power play, only to have the Caps answer with a PP goal of their by Ovechkin.  Rangers hit the cross bar in the last minute with the goalie pulled, and had a couple other chances, but came up short so the series is now tied at 1 and headed to DC. 

The Kings won their second in a row at St. Louis, putting the Blues in a very tough 0-2 hole.  Watch out for these Kings, as they are not your average 8 seed, and have a goalie (Quick) that can get VERY hot and carry them.  In the NHL, sometimes all it takes to advance is some good goal tending and timely scoring. 

Only one game tonight as the Devils will try to even their series vs. the Flyers in Philly tonight. 

I admit, I was a bad hockey fan this year, but I am really getting into the playoffs this year.  Been some really exciting games.  In fact, I bet I have watched more games in the playoffs than I did the entire regular season!


NBA:  Blah blah blah, there were some NBA games, the Heat beat the Knicks I think, and Indiana and OKC won as well.  Tonight the Rose-less Bulls host Philly, Atlanta hosts Boston and the Lakers host Denver, with all three home teams up 1-0.

I'll only briefly touch on the Amar'e Stoudemire incident, in which he apparently punched a glass fire extinguisher case.  Dumb, da dumb, dumb dummmmmmb!  What can you say really.  What really struck me as odd was the press conference with Knicks coach Mike Woodson.  Now, until yesterday, I had no idea what the Knicks coach's name was, nor could I have picked him out of crowd.  But based on what I saw from the 1 minute clip, he has NO control on this team.  He didn't even have info on the incident, aside from the fact that Stoudemire was "cut".  No shit sherlock.  Why don't you go find out WTF is going on you moron!! 

Again, I have spent too much time on the NBA.


In off the field news, Delmon Young was suspended 7 games by MLB for his shenanigans, and some Laker player I never heard of choked some family out.  YAAAAAWN!  Of course, the Lakers news is being reported by none other than TMZ!! LOL! 


DON'T FORGET!!!  THIS SATURDAY IS KENTUCKY DERBY DAY!!!  I literally have watched ZERO Horse Racing this year, and aside from browsing over the horses today, I have done ZERO homework on it.  I did have a dream about horse racing Sunday night, and in the race that took place, the #15 horse won!!  The post-draw for Saturday's Derby takes place on Wednesday, so we'll see who the lucky horse that pulls the 15 hole!!  Regardless, it's always a fun race to watch, and to throw a few bucks at.  More coming this week on the Derby after the posts are drawn, so stay tuned.

bk