Thursday, April 30, 2015

Woodford Reserve Turf Classic


The Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic is run at a mile and 1/8 over the Matt Winn Turf course every year on “Derby Day.”

And while no match for America’s premier race and the “greatest two minutes in sports”, race fans and handicappers will still be looking for a winner and to a great extent, a horse to use in their horizontal wagers.


This year that horse could be the mare, Stephanie’s Kitten.


Runner up in her Breeders Cup Division last year, after winning the juvenile fillies Breeders Cup the year before, Stephanie’s Kitten is coming into this race with a win in her seasonal debut in the Hillsborough at Tampa. She has the services of John Velazquez; she is 3 for 3 on the Churchill turf and getting weight from every other horse in the field. She gets the weight allowance is because she is running against colts. Not sure if JV tacks 115, but even a few pounds over will be an advantage.

Six works since the Hillsborough, this multiple Grade 1 winner says she is ready to face the boys.


Highweight Jack Milton is coming off a very nice win in the “other” Grade 1 bourbon race at Keeneland.  He is picking up six pounds off that win, has the services of Javier Castellano. He was an allowance winner over the course last year.


Seek Again is an intriguing horse. Can he break clean? Can he stay out of trouble? His one start at Churchill was a second in this race last year after bobbling at the start. He was “out-nodded” by the great Wise Dan. Not many are better at giving horses time to figure things out than Bill Mott. This horse has been freshened and could be dangerous.


And to spice it up a little bit, a horse you have to consider in your exotics is Scrumpdilicious. Sharp young trainer, Joe Sharp, seems to have the right feel for knowing where to place his horses. This former claimer is always “right there”. Of course it’s a huge jump into Grade 1 company and that’s why he is 50-1 on the morning line.


Thank you ThoroFan, it’s good to be back to the Handicapping Corner especially for the first weekend in May.


 Enjoy all the great racing this Derby weekend.


And, as always, FAST & SAFE to all our equine friends.