Horse Racing Selections – Illinois Derby Hawthorne Racetrack

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Race 9 (Saturday, April 19, 2014: 6:42 p.m./ET; 3:42 p.m./PT).Mile and an eighth on the main track (three-year-olds). Let’s take a look at the Horse Racing Selections for Saturday.

Horse Racing Selections A Derby race in the spring usually means you’ll find horses entered by trainers named Pletcher & Baffert and the Illinois Derby (G3) this year is no exception. Let’s take an in depth look at the field:

#1 DYNAMIC IMPACT is one of two cross entered in here and in the Lexington (G3) at Keenland. He most recently broke his maiden by a neck in his fifth career start. According to his comment line, he was “all out” to win that race.

#2 A STEP AHEAD has lost five races in a row since breaking his maiden over this course in October. Pass.

#3 MIDNIGHT HAWK is the class of the field. He finished second behind CHITU last time out in the Sunland Derby (G3) and was the winner of the Sham Stakes (G3) in January. This will be his third start in five weeks. The one to beat.

#4 IRISH YOU WELL is an 0-for-6 maiden. He has finished in the money in his last three starts, but if he can’t beat horses that have never won before, how can he beat stakes winners?

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#5 KING CYRUS adds blinkers for the first time for Todd Pletcher after being well beaten in the Louisiana Derby (G1). His lone win came in his career debut at Saratoga in August when he won by 11 lengths, but since then he has not shown the talent many thought he had. Will need to improve to win.

#6 EMMETT PARK has only run once on dirt and that was a 12th place finish in the Risen Star (G2). Will need to see significant improvement in order for him to make an impact.

#7 GLOBAL STRIKE is another cross-entered here and in the Lexington (G3). He lost by over 20 lengths in the Sunland Derby (G3) and even though he faces a much weaker field here (if he runs), he still has to deal with MIDNIGHT HAWK, who finished second in that race.

#8 CLASS LEADER is an improving horse that could get a piece of the pie.

Horse Racing Selections

1. #3 MIDNIGHT HAWK – His race to lose.
2. #8 CLASS LEADER – Two race win streak.
3. #5 KING CYRUS – His best gets him on the board.

LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #1 DYNAMIC IMPACT – Maybe a win under his belt will be a good confidence booster.

WAGERING STRATEGY
MIDNIGHT HAWK is 4/5 on the morning line and likely will be lower odds at post time given the weakness of his competition. Would love to try to beat him, but I can’t envision a likely scenario of that happening, so I’ll try to extract some minimal value out of the race by playing simple exactas of MIDNIGHT HAWK over CLASS LEADER and KING CYRUS.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$25 Exactas: #3 MIDNIGHT HAWK over #5 KING CYRUS and #8 CLASS LEADER

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