I enter Week 10 with a $15 profit on the bankroll bets and two futures tickets in hand—one on Zulu (33-1; not likely to run in the Kentucky Derby), and one on Outwork (34-1; winner of the Wood Memorial). Week 10 feaures my second prime bet of the Derby prep season.

The Arkansas Derby

Bob Baffert’s Cupid owned the Rebel Stakes last time from start to finish. Despite breaking poorly he rushed immediately to the lead and drove his rivals to ruin. With many of the same opponents coming back for more punishment, you might have to drink or smoke something strong to imagine a different result.

There is one out-of-towner of interest in the race. Todd Pletcher ships in Gettysburg, who ran 2nd in a stakes race at Sunland in his most recent attempt to become Derby-like. Is this the mysterious stranger who rides into town and then rides off with all the money in his saddlebag?

No. Definitely not.

Although Gettysburg often finds himself among the early leaders, he really isn’t that fast. He’s simply had the pleasure of lightweight competition. In fact, Bob Baffert thinks so little of Collected, who defeated Gettysburg at Sunland, that he shipped Collected to Keeneland to run in the Lexington Stakes for a paltry $150,000. Also, with just 10 Derby-qualifying points going to the winner, the Lexington is nearly worthless in qualifying Collected for the Kentucky Derby. I can’t see why Pletcher thinks Gettsyburg is worth a half a million more in purse money and is a better Derby prospect than the horse who just defeated him.

As usual, Baffert’s shipper to Oaklawn owns the pace and likely the race. I think Cupid’s a sweet deal at odds of 9-5 or higher. Give me a big, savory chunk of that!

And hold my really strong drink for the after-race celebration.

THE BET: Cupid, $30 Win/Place at 9-5 or higher.