Florida Derby, Louisiana Derby
Itsmyluckyday is listed as the Florida Derby’s 2/1 morning-line favorite, while Todd Pletcher’s Revolutionary has the oddsmakers eye as 3/1 lukewarm ‘chalk’ at Fair Grounds.
Florida Derby Picks: Orb, Pick of the Litter, Are You Kidding Me
Itsmyluckyday has notched two straight victories, but faces some foes who are worth a longer look at more favorable betting odds.
No. 6 Orb (3/1) hit career-high speed last time out, closing to win Gulfstream’s Fountain Of Youth Stakes last month. Jockey John Velazquez stays aboard here for trainer Claude McGaughey, who has had 12-of-54 mounts reach the winner’s circle in the track’s present meet.
No. 2 Pick of the Litter (6/1) broke his maiden at Gulfstream in a 1 1/8-mile affair against a short field, one month ago. The 7 ½-length victory is worth some attention, while former Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus’ bloodline could kick in again at the lengthy distance.
No. 9 Are You Kidding Me (15/1) has done his share of switches with both surfaces and riders – but may have found the right mix this time. Rider Jose Lezcano gets the call here, with a 21-percent win mark at Gulfstream (57-for-269), while showing a solid closing kick in distance runs on turf at Tampa Bay Downs and Woodbine. 15/1 shows good value for your sports picks here.
Louisiana Derby Picks: Departing, Sunbean, Ground Transport
A sizable field of 14 sets up the Louisiana Derby as a wide-open affair, making me pass on the contest’s top two favorites, Revolutionary (3/1) and Code West (9/2). Revolutionary ships south after winning the Withers at Aqueduct by a neck, while Code West fell short by a nose in last month’s Risen Star Stakes.
No. 7 Departing (8/1) has won all three of his career starts for trainer Albert Stall, who has notched a stellar 23-of-112 winners at Fair Grounds. Two of the victories came at the Louisiana oval, including a 4 ½-length triumph going one mile and 70 yards, last month.
Stall also sends No. 6 Sunbean (12/1) to the fray with four straight trips under his saddle at Fair Grounds, including wins in the span’s last three outings. The colt has hit some of his best speed in stakes action, including a 4 ¾-length victory in February’s Gentilly against seven challengers.
No. 13 Ground Transport (20/1) keeps rider Mark Guidry aboard here, with wins in two of his first three career starts. The son of Big Brown could have his shot to lunge into the hoofsteps of his father, bringing a bloodline hard to ignore at these high odds.