2017 Derby Preview of Always Dreaming (condensed)

This year nearly half a dozen horses headed for the Derby starting gate ran fast enough early and late to qualify for the Gold and Silver standards. Maybe the breeding industry is on a huge upswing, which means I need to adjust my standards upward. Maybe this year is just a fluke, which means I should leave these enormously effective markers alone. For now I’ll go with, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Always Dreaming defeated 20-plus opponents by a total of 20 lengths in his most recent three races. His Florida Derby win blew the screws off the timers, ringing in as the fastest Florida Derby since the Spanish-American War.

My one concern with Always Dreaming, and it’s a minor one, is that he has run truly fast only once. His other victories are slow-paced walkovers against weak competition. My concern is mitigated by his consistent M. O. He toys with his rivals early and just about flies away from them late. The heightened competition in the Florida Derby didn’t alter that pattern a bit.

Betting the 2017 Kentucky Derby

Top Pick: Always Dreaming

Second-Best: Hence

Third Choice: Classic Empire

I recommend betting primarily on Always Dreaming, with Hence and Classic Empire as minor backups. In other words, arrange your bets so that your largest potential payoff will be with an Always Dreaming victory.

Roger LeBlanc

April 26, 2017

To read the full date-stamped publication of “LazyBettor.com 2017 Kentucky Derby Preview: An Embarrassment of Riches,” go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/721036

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