Brian’s Derby Preps: The Spiral

Eighty-five points on the line at Turfway Park, in the race won by Animal Kingdom in 2011 and his stablemate Went the Day Well a year later.  Not sure how much effect it will have on our Derby charity league, but we’re back again tomorrow with the Sunland Derby, and Brian will have his analysis up for that later today or early tomorrow.

Congrats to John Perotti for taking the lead, and all those who got points last week.

Turfway Park: The Grade III, $500,000 Spiral at 1 1/8 miles, by Horseplayer Now’s Brian Nadeau

Intriguing renewal of the Spiral brings together a modest cast, many of which look about the same on paper, so searching for a price seems like a good idea. With that in mind, let’s try to see if the overrated #9 ALMOST FAMOUS can finally live up the hype and use his dirt speed and shake loose early in his Polytrack debut in a race that has other speed signed on but nothing  like this son of Unbridled’s Song can offer; come and catch the pick.

If someone runs with ‘Famous early, then a pace meltdown could be in the offing, which would put #4 TAMARANDO in the mix late, as he used his closing style to annex the GIII El Camino Real Derby in his last start at Golden Gate Fields for Jerry Hollendorfer; he wins this  if he can bring that solid West Coast form to Kentucky; imposing.

The wildcard in the field is #11 WE MISS ARTIE, who won the GI Breeders’ Futurity over the Poly at Keeneland last fall but did it in painfully slow time, which means you’ll have to take an underlaid price on this Pletcher runner from a tough post to boot; making him prove it.

If you’re looking for a big price to upset the apple cart, you could do worse than #1 BIG BAZINGA, who drew perfectly, was a fine second over the Poly in his lone try last fall at Woodbine in the GIII Grey Stakes, and showed in his grassy second at GP last out that he’s in fine form; intriguing at a big number.

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