Dan's Double: Logical Plays for Kentucky Derby Undercard

Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire

Dan’s Double of the Week, featuring handicapping analysis from America's Best Racing's New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – @DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the sharpest horseplayers around.

Each Week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Good luck! 

Saturday, Sept. 5

Churchill Downs, Race 9, Pat Day Mile Presented by LG and E and KU, post time 3:35 p.m. ET

weekend TV schedule

Friday, Sept.4: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. ET on FS2; 3-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Sept. 5: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. ET on FS1; 2-4 p.m. ET on FS2; 2:30-7:30 p.m. ET on NBC; 4-6:30 p.m. ET on FS1; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Sept. 6: 12:30-4:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 4:30-6 p.m. ET on FS1; 6-7 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Monday, Sept. 7: 12-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

#6 Tap It to Win: He ran an absolute monster race last out in the H. Allen Jerkens when he cut back to seven furlongs from 1 1/8-miles in his previous race, the Belmont Stakes. In the Jerkens, he was three-to-four wide the entire way around and was within a few lengths of a bruising pace that saw front runners No Parole and Mischevious Alex fade to finish sixth and ninth. Tap It to Win is much better drawn here for the Pat Day Mile (he was in the 11 post last out) and now that he’s proven comfortable rating off the pace, jockey John Velazquez will have his option of trip depending on how fast they’re going up front. If #7 No Parole were to try to slow it down early on, Tap It to Win is fast enough to keep the pressure on and make sure No Parole doesn’t sneak away from them.

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$5 to win on #6 Tap It to Win ($5)

$2 exacta box 6,9 ($4)

Strategy on a $25 Budget 

$10 to win on #6 Tap It to Win ($10)

$8 exacta 6 with 9 ($8)

$2 exacta 1,3,9 with 6 ($6)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$20 to win on #6 Tap It to Win ($20)

$10 exacta 6 with 9 ($10)

$4 exacta 1,3,9 with 6 ($12)

$1 trifecta 6 with 1,9 with 1,2,3,5,7,9 ($8)

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Churchill Downs, Race 13, Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes, post time 5:50 p.m. ET

#3 Rockemperor: Going with a bit of a shorter price here but one of the more logical plays of the day, given the anticipated pace setup of this race. #1 Factor This has been in incredible form all year and will be looking for his fifth straight win. Taking nothing away from him, he has in several races enjoyed a pretty soft pace up front (often uncontested too). That shouldn’t be the case here with #9 Somelikeithotbrown and #10 Spectacular Gem both being the kinds of horses who do their best work when they get to the lead early. That said, I think this could be a spot where a closer or a mid-pack horse benefits from that early action up front. I’m going with #3 Rockemperor for a number of reasons. 

Were it not for an unbelievable late burst by Instilled Regard in the Manhattan Stakes, Rockemperor would’ve won that race over a really nice group – and that’s despite having to wait for running room in the stretch. Two races back in the Charles Whittingham Stakes, he just lost a headbob to United before getting disqualified. John Velasquez is back for the return mount here for trainer Chad Brown. Velasquez has won at a 24% clip when up for Brown on the turf over the past 5 year, and a spectacular 35% in turf graded stakes over the past three years. 

Strategy on a $10 Budget 

$10 to win on #3 Rockemperor ($10)

Strategy on a $25 Budget

$10 to win on #3 Rockemperor ($10)

$6 exacta 3 with 6 ($6)

$4 exacta 3 with 8 ($4)

$1 exacta 3 with 5 ($1)

$2 exacta 6,8 with 3 ($4)

Strategy on a $50 Budget

$20 to win on #3 Rockemperor ($20)

$12 exacta 3 with 6 ($12)

$5 exacta 3 with 8 ($10)

$2 exacta 3 with 5 ($2)

$2 exacta 5,6,8 with 3 ($6)

BONUS: Churchill Downs, Race 14, Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, post time 7:01 p.m. ET

Top Selection: #16 Honor A. P. 

Horses to use underneath: #13 Attachment Rate, #17 Tiz the Law, #7 Money Moves, #15 Ny Traffic

Last Week’s Earnings: $0

2020 Earnings: $4,021.68

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