Kentucky Derby hopeful Domestic Product waits to work out at...

Kentucky Derby hopeful Domestic Product waits to work out at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in Louisville, Ky.  Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel

Man, I love the first Saturday in May. Remember, wagering on the chaos of horse racing is more about price than handicapping.

KENTUCKY DERBY TOP FOUR SELECTIONS

  • 15 - DOMESTIC PRODUCT (Minimum odds to make a win wager 10-1)
  • 4 - CATCHING FREEDOM (10-1)
  • 1 - DORNOCH (20-1)
  • 2 - SIERRA LEONE (5-1)

KENTUCKY DERBY FIELD ANALYSIS

1) DORNOCH

He has positional speed and fired a crisp half-mile work over the track last Saturday. He's never been more than 5-2 in six career starts and he's 20-1 on the morning line. Put him on your contender list if he's 20-1 or greater.

2) SIERRA LEONE

Certainly, has the credentials on paper. From the Chad Brown barn, Grade 1 winner and 3-for-4 lifetime. But he figures to attract far too much cash for our liking. Obviously can win, but I wouldn't take anything less than 5-1 in a likely 20-horse field.

3) MYSTIK DAN

He owns fast late-pace figures and outworked 71 rivals in a 5-furlong work over the track on April 20. Put him in the mix if 20-1 or better.

4) CATCHING FREEDOM

Owns fast late-pace figures, sharp recent works over the Churchill Downs surface and running style that should handle the 1 1/4-mile trip. Big-time player if 10-1 or more.

5) CATALYTIC

Lightly raced and developing with each start but would have to make a huge forward move on the final figures to contend. Steer clear if he's anything less than 60-1.

6) JUST STEEL

Was a clear-cut second in the Arkansas Derby (the winner, Muth, is trained by Bob Baffert and is barred from the race). Would be the feel-good story of the day if he can become fifth Derby winner for 88-year-old D. Wayne Lukas. Bet against it if less than 30-1.

7) HONOR MARIE

From the below-the-radar barn of D. Whitworth Beckman, a Todd Pletcher protege. He owns two wins at Churchill Downs and is riding a "healthy line" on the numbers. Factor him into the fray if final odds exceed 19-1.

8) JUST A TOUCH

This corner wouldn't touch him at less than 30-1. He's off a “double top” in his last race, which in pace handicapping speak means he earned career bests in both internal and final figures. Such big efforts usually lead to a backward step in the next race.

10) T O PASSWORD

Japanese import Number 1. Hasn't lost in two lifetime starts but this is really asking a lot. 100-1 shot at best.

11) FOREVER YOUNG

Japanese import Number 2. This one is 5-for-5, including the UAE Derby. Does deserve some scrutiny but let the price dictate your move. 30-1 or greater.

12) TRACK PHANTOM

He's speedy and adds blinkers, positives in any horse race. The unknown is whether he can handle the distance. I wouldn't speculate unless he's a minimum of 40-1.

13) WEST SARATOGA

This one represents the epitome of every runner having a price on their heads. Appears hopeless on paper but if offered at 300-1 or greater on the tote, he's worthy of a wager. It's not going to happen.

14) ENDLESSLY

He's only raced on the Tapeta surface or grass but he's chalked up five wins from six starts. Sure, it's a gamble to think he can pull this off, but at 50-1 or more you've got the odds in your favor.

15) DOMESTIC PRODUCT

This 3-year-old from the Chad Brown barn tallied a sizzling late-pace figure when winning the non-wagering (due to a tote issue) Tampa Bay Derby last out. He fits Brown's classic pattern of a freshener along with a tightly grouped workout tab. This handicapper's top selection, provided he's at least 10-1 at post time.

16) GRAND MO THE FIRST

Has never won a race beyond 5 ½ furlongs and has no workouts at Churchill. He's got a 50-1 ML and but more like a 500-1 chance to win.

17) FIERCENESS

All the rage after his fierce 13-length romp in the Florida Derby. He's the 5/2 ML favorite to take down all the cash but he has shown a disturbing pattern of "bouncing" (take a backward step) after his big-figure efforts. He'd need to be 6-1 or greater before I'd wager.

18) STRONGHOLD

His final numbers are in the ballpark, but he benefited big time from a scorching early pace to win the Santa Anita Derby last time. Just don't think he'll have enough at crunch time; 35-1 or greater.

19) RESILIENCE

Received the most perfect of perfect trips to win the Wood Memorial. Highly doubtful he'll get the same setup in this bulky field. Playable, but you should get 30-1 or better before taking the money clip off.

20) SOCIETY MAN

Second to Resilience at 106-1 in the Wood. Only has a maiden to his credit but if you get 100-1 or greater again, he could warrant a play.

21) EPIC RIDE

Draws in because of the scratch of No. 9 Encino. Looks severely distance challenged. Demand 250-1 or more before heading to the windows.

More horse racing

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME