Derby Day recap.
While Mine That Bird's Derby victory shocked and left most handicappers scratching their heads, congratulations must go out to the connections of the impressive 135th Kentucky Derby winner.
Although the Brisnet Prime Power selected runners failed to make much impression in the Derby itself ( the best finish the top three ranked Dunkirk, Friesan Fire and Hold Me Back could achieve was 11th) following the Prime Power numbers on the rest of Saturday's card proved profitable. Indeed, and not including the first race in which five first time starters were entered, in the remaining 11 races the top two Prime Power selections finished first and second in the correct order on three occasions. These generated straight exacta payoffs of $15.80 (race 2), $22.40 (race 7) and $19.40 (race 12). In addition, in the Eight Belles S. (race 7), the top three ranked Prime Power runners, Four Gifts, Just Jenda and Warrior Maid completed the straight trifecta worth $171.80. It must be noted that the strength and consistency of the Prime Power numbers is seen at its best on dirt races and by excluding Saturday's turf races at Churchill, a flat win bet on each of the top ranked runners in the eight races on the main track produced a slight profit. Meanwhile a straight $2 exacta placed on the top two ranked runners resulted in a profit of $41.60 for a $16.00 outlay -- an impressive profit of 260 %.
Through the first few days of the Churchill meet the inside on the main track was slightly disadvantageous to runners, but as last week progressed this trend changed culminating with five winners, including Mine That Bird, using that course to victory. Speed and early pressing types fared best throughout last week on both the dirt and turf courses and favorites won at a slightly low 27 %.
Arlington endured a wet opening weekend with all races scheduled for the turf transferred to the main track. Favorites won 11 of the 33 races (33 %) and, while no running paths seemed to hold any advantage, early speed was an asset with nearly half the races won in wire-to-wire fashion.
Beautiful weather was enjoyed for Calder's second weekend of racing. Speed was an asset in sprint races, while pressing types dominated the route events and closers held an advantage on the turf. In the 33 races run Friday through Sunday 39 percent of favorites returned winners.
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