Its back! The 2017 thoroughbred season is finally upon us. It was a tough spring, and horrible April, but the weather has turned around and the excitement is building as we now get rolling.
We were unable to go with two days for opening weekend, but we do have a solid Saturday to offer – which of course includes the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs. We’ll get to that, but let’s start with the live product.
Quarter horses kick off the season, and there is a very strong favorite in the field. TOUGHIE will make her Northlands Park debut. She has won eight of 11 starts, and just missed in a Grade 3 at Los Alamitos to end her 2016 season. This looks like a good spot to kick off her season.
Trainer Robertino Diodoro returns to Alberta full time for 2017, and looks like he has a strong hand in the 2nd sending out BUCK MAGIC and PURPLE HEAVEN. Let’s give BUCK MAGIC the edge with some winter racing at Oaklawn Park. THE EDGE OF TIME is extremely fast and should love the 3 ½ furlong distance.
The likely 2016 Alberta Bred of the year and top three year old filly ONESTARATATIME makes her season debut in the 3rd. She was a winner in five of eight starts, four of those being stakes races. She has never been this distance, but should have enough class to carry her home.
The Kentucky Derby goes as the 12th from Churchill and will go between our 9th and 10th races. It appears to be a fairly wide open rendition with the morning line choice being CLASSIC EMPIRE at 4-1. There is a pair behind him in IRISH WAR CRY and ALWAYS DREAMING both at 5-1 and IRISH WAR CRY at 6-1. From the talk of the clockers and handicappers on track, its possible IRISH WAR CRY is sent off favored by his impressions so far this week. PRACTICAL JOKE may have wound up with the worst post as there has never been a horse to win from the 19 hole in any previous Kentucky Derby. IRAP, HENCE and BATTLE OF MIDWAY will offer some value in the teens, while LOOKING AT LEE will be closer to 30-1. The sentimental choice may be PATCH the one eyed horse. He unfortunately drew post 20, and will be looking for a Big Brown type performance from there. Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 4:46pm MST.
Make sure to make plans to watch and wager on The Derby, and our first live card this Saturday, May 6th!