The first time that most people really start to think about the Kentucky Derby is early April when the three biggest prep races of the year take place. It just so happens that this year they all fall on the same day, Saturday, April 6. The $1 million dollar Blue Grass Stakes is worth 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points so that means an automatic entry into next month’s race. A field of 14 will go to the post on Saturday afternoon on NBCSN, with Vekoma listed as the 9-5 morning line favorite. Let’s look at the race and Blue Grass Stakes picks.
Horse Racing Betting at BookMaker.eu
Blue Grass Stakes Odds and Post Position
1 Somelikeithotbrown (10-1)
2 Vekoma (9-5)
3 Signalman (8-1)
4 Market King (20-1)
5 Chess Chief (30-1)
6 Dream Maker (10-1)
7 Admire (15-1)
8 Win Win Win (7-2)
9 Sir Winston (15-1)
10 Lucky Lee (15-1)
11 So Alive (15-1)
12 Parsimony (20-1)
13 Moonster (30-1)
14 Aquadini (30-1)
The Blue Grass Stakes is a Grade 2 race and the winner will get a spot in the Kentucky Derby. Vekoma is listed as the favorite and the horse finished third in the Fountain of Youth Stakes last time out. Only two other horses are listed at single-digit odds, as Win Win Win is listed at 7-2, while Signalman is 8-1. Let’s look at the top three horses and some longshots who might surprise.
Vekoma is going to go off as the favorite in this race and it is hard to argue. The horse made a good move and finished third last time out in the Fountain of Youth. He won the Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct in November, so we know he can win on this track. The odds of 9-5 seem a little low, but the field overall is weak. One of the co-owners, Mike Gatsas said to the media that the horse continues to improve. “I’ve been watching him train all winter in Florida and he just gets better and better and stronger and stronger. He’s got all the qualities, he really does. He’s so talented. He’s athletic as can be and he’s got an awesome mind. He’s a fun horse to be around. He does everything he’s supposed to. He’s mild-mannered and kind in the barn but all business and flamboyant when he’s on the track.”
Win Win Win is the second choice in the betting and he didn’t look that great last time out in the Tampa Bay Derby. The problem with this horse is that he is a sprinter who couldn’t handle the added distance in Tampa. It seems highly unlikely he can handle a mile and a eighth here.
Signalman ran second in the Breeders’ Futurity and he was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He didn’t run well in the Fountain of Youth, but perhaps he needed that race. I think he is a better choice than Win Win Win and we get better odds at 8-1.
Somelikeithotbrown is definitely worth considering at odds of 10-1. The horse finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and he was second in the Pilgrim Stakes and the With Anticipation Stakes. If he takes to the dirt he could have a big chance and keep in mind that the horse is the son of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown.
Dream Maker didn’t run well in the Breeders’ Futurity and then was a poor 10th in the Risen Star Stakes but he is getting blinkers for trainer Mark Casse and it would not be a surprise to see a big improvement on Saturday.
Blue Grass Stakes Picks
I really don’t like backing favorites that often unless they look really good and I am just not sure about Vekoma, but this field is weak and Vekoma has a really good chance to win. It is worth noting, however, that only two favorites have won this race since 2004. I’ll take Vekoma to win, but I also like Somelikeithotbrown and I’ll take him to win and place. I also think an exacta box with Vekoma and Somelikeithotbrown is worth a shot.
Check out the latest horse racing odds at BookMaker Sportsbook!