A field of 12 contests this year’s 9-furlong Spiral Stakes. Most are minor turf stars hoping to transition to polytrack on their way to transitioning to Kentucky Derby pay dirt. A few contenders actually own polytrack victories in minor stakes events. So which of all these Derby wannabes will win?

Bettors won’t likely find a speed figure that captures all the surface and distance differences among the past performance of these 12. So I’ll take a stab at identifying the highest quality winner in the crowd.

If you’ve paid attention to the many Derby preps run this year, you might recall the hullaballoo arising from McCraken‘s impressive, record-breaking victory in the Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay. Finishing a close-up 3rd that day was State of Honor, stablemate to Spiral contestant King and His Court. Although King didn’t run a lick in the Sam Davis, a glance back in his resume shows an easy victory on polytrack over State of Honor. A return to his favored surface should put the King back on his minor stakes throne in the Spiral.

The Mark Casse colt owns a few minor stakes wins on Woodbine’s synthetic surface, and he owns wins around two turns. He’s the only horse in the race who can claim a fondness for both the surface and distance.

Casse, who has notched a few Spiral victories over the years, recently commented that they’ve been pointing for this race all along. I’m betting his plans pay off.

$20 Win and Place, King And His Court (at 5-1 or higher)

Roger LeBlanc

Results of LazyBettor.com
Top Picks & Best Bets in
2017 Kentucky Derby Preps

Feb. 4, Holy Bull Stk…..Classic Empire, 3rd
No bet; odds too low.

Feb. 4, Robert Lewis Stk…..Royal Mo, 1st
No bet; odds too low.

Feb. 11, Sam Davis Stk…..King and His Court, 9th
$20 win at 50-1. Loss of $20.

Feb. 11, Sam Davis Stk…..Six Gun Salute, 7th
$6 win at 99-1. Loss of $6.

Feb. 20, Southwest Stk…..Silver Dust (at 8-1+), 4th
No win bet; odds too low (7-1). Loss of $4 on exactas.

Feb. 25, Risen Star Stk…..Local Hero (at 3-1+), 3rd
$20 win at 3-1. Loss of $20.

Mar. 4, FOY Stk…..Irish War Cry (at 2-1+), out
No win bet; odds too low.
Loss of $16 on exactas.

Mar. 11, San Felipe Stk…..Iliad, 2nd
$20 win. Loss of $20.

$86 wagered. $0 returned
Minus $86.