Jamie Rhodes, USA Today Sports. P
- There is rain expected at the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
- BlackJack Fletcher offers some strategies to take advantage of the wet, sloppy conditions.
The rain has finally started falling at Churchill Downs and should continue all afternoon. That means we will have a wet, sloppy, off track for most of the day.
Theses track conditions will have a detrimental impact on speed throughout the day. Yet, there is one place on the racetrack that is typically drier than the rest of it on days like this. The rail.
On wet days at the racetrack you want to watch the rail, not only is it the shortest distance around the track, but it is always drier than the rest of the racecourse. Let’s see if we can find some horses that should or could find themselves on the rail as they turn for home.
Race No. 9: American Turf Stakes
One way to get to the rail is to be on it at the start. The other way is to have early speed. In this race the same horse has both. No. 1 A Thread of Blue (3-1) is coming out of the one-hole and is the early speed. Providing he gets a clean break out of the gate, he is a good bet to wire this field with Luis Saez aboard.
Race No. 10: Pat Day Mile
Take a look at No. 14 Last Judgment (5-1) with John Velasquez riding. Breaking so far outside means he will have to come out fast and get over to the rail. Johnny V is as good a rider as there is in the world right now and he will have that horse out fast and over quick.
Race No. 11: The Turf Classic
Mike Smith will be on the No. 1 Qurbaan (8-1) and while everybody will be playing Chad Brown’s No. 12 Bricks and Mortar (5-2), I think we’ve already seen his best effort. Qurbaan has faced serious competition in his career and always hits the board. With a heavy favorite you may get some good value on the rail out of the gate here.
Race No. 12: The Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs 12th Race–Rail or no rail, I’m still taking Game Winner. Boom!