Trainer Todd Pletcher picked up his second victory in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on Saturday with Always Dreaming getting the job done, and starting next year I am no longer going to mention his record in the Run for the Roses.
He came into this year’s running with a mediocre 1 for 45 record in the Derby, his lone win coming with Super Saver, who was my top pick in 2010.
He started three runners in this year’s edition, with Tapwrit checking in sixth and Patch finishing 14th.
So, next year Pletcher will go into the 144th running of the Run for the Roses with a 2 for 48 mark, which is still not exactly a good record.
However, I am going to look at it this way—Pletcher has now started runners in 17 runnings of the Kentucky Derby with two wins, two seconds, three thirds and a pair of fourths.
A record of 17-2-2-3-2 really does not look that bad considering only Always Dreaming went off as the betting favorite.
When handicapping this year’s race, I have to admit that at least subconsciously, his record was in the back of my mind. Also, I gave Tapwrit and Patch no chance.
My take on Always Dreaming was he had improved his Beyer 26 points in his Florida Derby (G1) win, he seemed very keen all week in his works, I thought he could encounter trouble breaking from the five post, and his price was going to be too short.
The colt got a great trip sitting just off the pace over a wet fast racing strip that was kind to speed on Friday and seemed to play fair on Saturday.
The winner earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102, besting his 97 he earned in his Florida Derby victory
“This is the best horse Todd (Pletcher) and I have ever come to the Kentucky Derby with,” said winning jockey John Velazquez. “Nothing against all the others, but this was the best horse. I got a good position with him early and then he relaxed. When we hit the quarter pole, I asked him and he responded. He did it himself from there.”
I guess we could talk about Pletcher’s Preakness record for the next two weeks. He is 0 for 8 in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, his last runner coming last year where Stradivari ran fourth at odds of 8-1.
But I think I am just not going to mention it once over the next 13 days.
It was a profitable weekend starting with Oaks Day where I had seven winners on top, returning $6.20, $15.20, $15.20, $8.60, $8.80, $20.40, and $8.20. Among the exactas, we hit was the Oaks which we hit for $203.00.
On Kentucky Derby Day, we only had three winners on top but turned a profit, the payoffs being $8.20, $9.00 and $28.40.
143rd Kentucky Derby Replay
143rd Kentucky Derby Payouts
5 Always Dreaming – $11.40 / $7.20 / $5.80
1 Lookin at Lee – $26.60 / $15.20
11 Battle of Midway – $20.80
$2 Exacta – $336.20
$0.50 Trifecta – $4,148.60
$1 Superfecta – $75,974.50
$1 Super High Five – $493,348.70
$1 Daily Double – $25.50
$0.50 Pick 3 – $207.50
$0.50 Pick 4 – $3,441.40
$0.50 Pick 5 – $50,063.35
$2 Pick 6 (5 of 6) – $1,815.80
$2 Pick 6 (6 of 6) – $875,335.40
143rd Kentucky Order of Finish
5 – Always Dreaming
1 – Lookin at Lee
11 – Battle of Midway
14 – Classic Empire
19 – Practical Joke
16 – Tapwrit
10 – Gunnevera
15 – McCraken
18 – Gormley
17 – Irish War Cry
8 – Hence
4 – Untrapped
7 – Girvin
20 – Patch
13 – J Boys Echo
12 – Sonneteer
3 – Fast and Accurate
9 – Irap
6 – State of Honor
2 – Thunder Snow – DNF