Countdown to Derby Day

Even though I haven’t lived with my parents for seven years, we still draw horses on Kentucky Derby day.


We’re the typical family that has moved around the country. I live in Maryland, while my 28-year-old sister Lauren lives in California and the rest of my family (Mom, Dad, one brother and one sister) live near Boston.


On Derby day, we’re all back in the family room when I was a teenager and my youngest sister wasn’t even born.


It’s a fun ritual. Someone prints out the names of the horses and we go through a draw. After the draw, my Mom calls myself and Lauren to let us know what horses we have for the race. Even though there’s no prize awarded to the winner, the Dachille tradition of picking a horse on Derby day is one of the most anticipated events of the year.


That says a lot about my family.


Checking the forecast in Kentucky, it appears that a 70 percent chance of rain exists for the 135th running of the Derby. If it does rain in Kentucky tomorrow, expect an underdog to run away with the roses.


Since I backed Quality Road after his impressive win in the Florida Derby, I wouldn’t run to the window with my wagering advice.


That being said, I like Chocolate Candy to charge down the middle of the track late in the race and finally defeat his nemesis Pioneerof the Nile in a dawdling Derby.


I Want Revenge, winner of his last two races, has too many glaring questions for anyone to back at 3-1 odds. Can he win? Absolutely. Do I like him at such a short price? Not a shot. He’s lost to Pioneerof the Nile (on a poly track) twice, seems to be losing Beyer speed (never a good sign) and it took four races for him to break his maiden. Still, he has a cool name. Don’t think that’s half the battle for the betting public.


If you draw a line through the Tampa Bay Derby, General Quarters looks like a wiseguy pick that can sneak up on the board. Beating a number of those in the field, General Quarters could go off at 25-1 tomorrow and make the race at his own pace.


I’ll take Chocolate Candy with Pioneerof the Nile on top with those two on the top line, I Want Revenge, Musket Man and Papa Clem on the second line and those five with West Side Bernie and Advice on the third line.


I really hope I end up with the 11 in the Dachille Draw.


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