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Free advice: My Kentucky Derby superfecta

It is one of the most difficult horse racing predictions to nail, requiring the bettor to pick the top four finishers in order. 

The odds are astronomically against the straight superfecta picker; there are 116,280 possible combinations in a 20-horse field such as this Saturday’s
Kentucky Derby. But the payoffs can be huge. When 50-1 shot Giacomo won at Churchill Downs in 2005, the correct $1 straight superfecta bet paid $864,253.50 to seven extremely lucky winners.

With the 136th running of the Derby set for Saturday, I offer advice that will cost you as much as the paper amNew Yorkers depend on — a straight superfecta for 2010:

No. 17 Dublin (12-1 odds)
Dublin caught my eye Thursday because he wore a superhero-like mask during his training run — an intimidating flourish. The hunch this week is that a relatively weak field makes midrated horses such as Dublin attractive options. While Dublin is still searching for a maiden victory, he’s trained by four-time Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas and has the bloodline of a worldclass sprinter. That and his green-and-white masked avenger look are good enough for me.

No. 20 Sidney’s Candy (5-1)
Only 38 percent of the 135 previous odds-on Derby favorites have won the race. This year’s top two contenders, 3-1 favorite Lookin At Lucky and 5-1 pick Sidney’s Candy, are at opposite edges for the start; a poor trip to the first turn could seriously hamper either colt’s shot. Unlike Lookin At Lucky, however, Sidney’s Candy didn’t draw the rail, and he
beat the Derby favorite at Santa Anita four weeks ago.

No. 7 American Lion (30-1)
A popular pick with two career wins, though neither at the top level, American Lion reportedly has had strong workouts. For the sake of my superfecta, let’s hope the still-improving American Lion has the hickory toughness of Andrew Jackson, the former president whose best-selling biography shares his name.

No. 19 Homeboykris (50-1)
Part owner Joe Torre will watch his gelding’s trip to the right of Sidney’s Candy closely. Homeboykris last raced in February, so behind this pick is a hope that “well-rested” trumps “unheralded” and my homeboy Kris crosses with the top four. Four: Isn’t the number of championships Torre won as manager of the Yankees? 

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