Big Blue Grass Weekend Cashes + KY Derby Implications! – Super Screener
Super Screener

Big Blue Grass Weekend Cashes + KY Derby Implications!

Photo by Candice Chavez/Eclipse Sportswire

Blue Grass (G2)

Good Magic progressed slightly forward in his pursuit of a Kentucky Derby win but the “numbers” are not coming back impressive and he’ll need a big, big step forward come that first Saturday in May if he is to have any shot at the mighty Pletcher brigade and West Coast-based horses who have risen to the top post their most recent performances.  Once could now see Good Magic going off at odds of 8-1 or higher in the Kentucky Derby.

“There is no question that #11 Good Magic is the horse to beat here.  Too much has been made of his “disappointing” 3rd place finish in the G2 Fountain of Youth.  Actually, it was an ideal 2018 debut in that he doled out energy in a very balanced way, got some air into those lungs that had been on the sidelines the past 4 months and laid down a solid foundation for a progression that would have him peak on May 5th and not a day sooner.  Look at his progression in 2017 and you can expect the same pattern to be in formation here. He should move 5 to 6 points higher off that last effort and easily finish in the Exacta in this race with, again, the G1 Kentucky Derby being the ultimate goal just as the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was the goal last year in which he delivered a lifetime top.  Top Board Hitter pick here and while he offers no value, he is quite reliable against these.”

You have to admire the “no quit” in he Super Screener Top Value pick, Flameway. This horse really has a lot of grit and heart and he has definitely worked hard to earn his ticket to the Kentucky Derby. While he won’t win the Derby you know he’ll be putting forth another “A” effort.  

“#12 Flameaway has been the “Rodney Dangerfield” on this road to the Kentucky Derby…he just doesn’t get any respect, yet, he keeps performing – winning 5 of his 8 lifetime starts.  Yep, he had everything his own way in the G3 Sam F. Davis carving a slow pace turning that one into a 2-furlong sprint race. Connections then tried to teach him to take off the lead in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby (critical move to optimize his chances in the G1 Kentucky Derby)…but he encountered a dawdling pace but was running fastest of all late, however, #5 Quip got the first jump. #12 Flameaway was clearly doing the best running late. Will get dismissed again here and continues to offer genuine value.”

The Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, Blended Citizen, ran a good one but just missed hitting the Superfecta but he clearly ran best of 8 long shot bombers in this race.

Kanthaka confirmed that sprinting or 1-turn routes will be his best game going forward. Sporting Chance needs more maturing as he once again failed to keep a straight line in the final yards of the race which worked out to Free Drop Billy’s advantage who now gets into the Derby on the DQ after being interfered with by Sporting Chance.  

The Super Screener rating for this prep comes back as a “B+”.

The Super Screener suggested wagers returned about $250 in this chalky affair.


Santa Anita Derby (G1)

What else can you say but “wow!”  Both Justify and Bolt d’Oro submitted the best prep performances to date by far.  The numbers are coming back huge as the Santa Anita racing surface was very dull on this day and this pair are clearly at the top of the heap.  Justify was left alone on the lead and with his high cruising speed that is a dangerous advantage. Bolt d’Oro surprisingly was taken back and then tried to close the gap but it was in vane.  This was a tremendous performance by Justify who is clearly the most talented horse coming into the Kentucky Derby and looking more and more like a Big Brown type. The lack of experience and the very different conditions he’ll encounter in the Derby are the only concerns.  

One bit of concern is that Bolt d’Oro may have grabbed a quarter during the race.  While that shouldn’t be a major set back, you don’t want even the most minor concerns coming into the Kentucky Derby.

The Super Screener rating for this prep comes back as an “A+”.


Wood Memorial (G2)

Vino Rosso finally delivered on that potential we saw a few races back and looked far more professional in this race giving Todd Pletcher yet another legitimate Kentucky Derby win contender.  This good looking colt enjoyed a perfect trip running in the clear on the outside from off the fast pace set by Old Time Revival. He then engaged a game Enticed in the stretch making contact a few times but easily put that rival away with a strong gallop out to boot.

“Pletcher has had success in this race and #9 Vino Rosso has been knocking on the door but hasn’t pushed through.  His best race was the G3 Sam F. Davis but then he caught another dreadfully slow pace next out in the G2 Tampa Derby and ran on very well but Quip and Flameaway who had everything their own way on the front in that merry-go-round race.  Will improve off that effort, working well and appreciates the added ground. Hoping for odds of at least 5-1 which represents fair value.”   

Enticed didn’t have to win this as he had plenty of Kentucky Derby points registered.  He just needed a solid race which we delivered but it was a regression off this last race but “numbers” wise it comes back very similar to the effort that Good Magic laid out in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes so can’t quite count him out yet but others are looking stronger.


As a side note, the Super Screener scored on multiple Pick 4 tickets on the Keeneland card including and $5.00 ticket that, alone, paid nearly $1,500.  And, there were 7 other $1.00 and $.50 tickets that cashed as well.

With less than 4 weeks to go to the first Saturday in May we are left with two Derby preps to complete with the big points coming from the G1 Arkansas Derby in which Solomini with face off against Magnum Moon and Quip.  The Lexington Stakes only offers 20 Derby points to the winner but horses like My Boy Jack who are near the bottom of the current point rankings will use this race to try and secure more points to guarantee a spot in the Kentucky Derby field.  Another great weekend of racing ahead!

Until next week, Go Fast and Win!