Texas Red back in action in The San Vicente Stakes

If you are tired of “I’m only here so I won’t get fined” and Deflate-Gate talk ad nauseam, good news, you have a sports alternative for Super Bowl Sunday if you have HRTV or TVG. Should I remind everyone that my blog centers on the Kentucky Derby trail and that Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuous sporting event in US that draws a larger attendance than the Super Bowl?

This Sunday February 1st at 3:30 CST, Texas Red will compete in the San Vincente Stakes at Santa Anita Park. This 7 furlong race is not a point paying race for entry into the Kentucky Derby. However, it does carry a decent $200,000 purse that has attracted some promising 3 year olds. Texas Red’s main competition will come from Bob Baffert’s duo of Lord Nelson and Punctuate

Others notable entries include:

1) The Peter Miller trained Serbian Syclone who has won his last two starts. The last being a 6 furlong claiming race at Santa Anita Park.

2) John Sadler’s Bench Warrant, who was unimpressive in the Los Alamitos Futurity, but won his last start less than 3 weeks ago (January 15th) at Santa Anita Park. He beat Jazzy Josh (also entered in the San Vicente) by a nose.

Texas Red is my early favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, but I am not putting much stock in his performance this Sunday. In fact, as someone who wants to place another bet on him in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool #2, I hope he finishes in 3rd and fairly close to the winner to turn off bettors. This race is nothing more than tune-up for Texas Red. He is not a sprinter and his racing style and closing speed is better suited for distance races. If he wins this race that he is not well-suited for, his KDFW Pool #2 odds will lower from the 14-1 final odds he had in Pool #1.

Texas Red will still undoubtedly be the race favorite but I think Lord Nelson is a speed horse–the “horse for course”–in this one. However, he drew the dreaded rail and has speed next to him Serbian Syclone in post #2. And Texas Red, Lord Nelson and Punctuate haven’t raced in over two months. In fact, it has been over four months since Punctuate last raced.

There are a lot of unknowns on this one so I don’t recommend placing any big wagers. I don’t want to pick a winner, but if I had a gun to my head and had to, it would be Lord Nelson.  I would probably be more inclined to place some small Boxed Trifectas or Superfectas using the above named horses for entertainment value.

If I had to predict a finishing order, it would be: 1) Lord Nelson, 2) Texas Red, 3) Punctuate, 4) Serbian Syclone, 5) Bench Warrant, 6) Jazzy Josh, 7) Sir Samson and 8) Magic Taste.