all in Tips

The Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve is a race unlike any other, and for handicappers this is especially true. The prestigious race is conducted over 1 ¼ miles, a distance that few—if any—of the entrants will have tackled in the past. For most, their longest race will have been 1 1/8 miles, an eighth of a mile shorter than the Kentucky Derby.

Keeping a 3-year-old on the Triple Crown trail through the first four months of the year is an experience overwrought with worries. If a horse simply takes one bad step during a morning workout, it can go from the favorite for the Kentucky Derby to a colt looking to begin a second-half surge in the Travers, Saratoga’s Mid-Summer Derby.

With all due respects to the cast of “This Is Us,” horse racing will present the melodrama of its own “Big Three” on Saturday.

No one can ever say Kentucky Derby prep races are in short supply.

In between the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the first Saturday in May, there are about 30 races that can make or break a horse’s Triple Crown hopes.

Everyone has a bad day every now and then, and sometimes that rough day can lead to an extremely nice day in the near future.

The lesson here is that one bad effort should not be reason enough to discount the chances of a horse who had been in solid form prior to that, especially if the odds are right.

Sometimes, there’s an obvious reason for that surprising loss. Perhaps a bad trip or fractions that worked against the horse. Other times a poor outing can be a sign of downward spiraling form cycle and sometimes bad efforts just happen for no apparent reason.

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