Street Sense Eyes Derby Dollars
Handlers of Street Sense hope the luck of the Irish will be with them when their prize colt makes his 3-year-old debut in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 17.
The St. Patrick’s Day race took on additional signifigance when Churchill Downs made Street Sense an 8/1 Kentucky Derby co-second choice with Ravel and Great Hunter in its second of three pre-Run for the Roses wagering pools.
Street Sense is attempting to become the first Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion to go on to win Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious prize.
The field, which closed Pool l betting last month at 5/2, was posted as a 4/1 Pool 2 favorite.
New odds on the 23 individual betting interests in addition as the field were released Wednesday in preparation for the Thursday by Sunday wagering period.
Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia fashioned the numbers just days after Fountain of Youth favorite Nobiz Like Showbiz finished third behind Scat Daddy and Stormello in the Grade II Gulfstream Park stakes race last Saturday.
It was only the second defeat of the colt’s career, the first also being to Scat Daddy in October’s Champagne Stakes.
Scat Daddy, handily beaten by Nobiz Like Showbiz in February’s Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream, did not run in the Juvenile.
Nobiz Like Showbiz, an early 7/1 choice in most Las Vegas Derby futures books, closed at 8/1 in Pool 1, but opens Pool 2 at 15/1.
Veteran Las Vegas bookmaker John Avello of Wynn Las Vegas modificated Nobiz Like Showbiz to 8/1 after the race.
Journalists Gordon Jones, house handicapper at Sam’s Town, and Daily Racing Form Las Vegas correspondent Dave Tuley agreed Avello made the right decision in increasing odds on Nobiz Like Showbiz only slightly.
Both believe the colt remains in the thick of the Triple Crown picture, though Jones says Steret Sense’s Juvenile victory remains more impressive than anything this year’s 3-year-old class has turned in however.
“Nobiz Like Showbiz lost by one-half length and did not run his best race,” said Jones, a former turf columnist for the old Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.
“He was three wide on both turns and did not run straight at the top of the stretch.
“Nobiz Like Showbiz probably was the best horse in the race and Scat Daddy second best.
“Neither horse looked like a Kentucky Derby winner and they’ll have to enhance considerably if they want to be one.
“Right now Street Sense is the best 3-year-old in the country.
“We don’t know who’s second-best, but we nevertheless have 90 percent of the main preps ahead of us.”
“I don’t think it was any great surprise that Nobiz Like Shobiz lost the Fountain of Youth.
“Anyone who bets a 3/5 shot in a Derby prep race deserves to lose their money.
“None of these 3-year-olds, who are pretty unpredictable to begin with, lay over these fields to that extent.
“already the great Secretariat lost as a 3/10 favorite in the Wood Memorial the year he cruised to the Triple Crown.
“Besides, already though there is a lot of money to be won, these are PREP races for the owners’ and trainers’ main goal of the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown.
“That being said, Nobiz like Showbiz is nevertheless a authentic contender and anyone who liked him before should like him already more, though I don’t speculate the pari-mutuel future book will close anywhere near the 15-1 morning line.”
Two-time Eclipse Award trainer Todd Pletcher conditions Scat Daddy, Ravel and King of the Roxy (30/1), winner of the Hutcheson Stakes on the Fountain of Youth undercard.
He has three additional horses in the second Churchill Downs Derby wagering pool: Any Given Saturday and Circular Quay, both 12/1, and Sam P., 20/1.
The latter is one of 10 new horses additional to Pool 2, with another 10 being taken down.
Street Sense, who hasn’t raced since the Breeders’ Cup, also has committed to the April 14 Blue Grass Stakes as his only other pre-Derby start.
Ravel likely will go in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7, Great Hunter’s handlers are eyeing the Blue Grass or Lexington Stakes and Scat Daddy may come back in the March 31 Florida Derby.
Trainer Barclay Tagg nevertheless is considering options for Nobiz Like Showbiz.
This weekend’s Kentucky Derby preps are the Louisiana Derby at the Fairgrounds, where Circular Quay is a 9/5 choice, and the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.
1 Adore the Gold 30-1
2 Any Given Saturday 12-1
3 Birdbirdistheword* 30-1
4 Circular Quay 12-1
5 Cobalt Blue* 50-1
6 Curlin* 50-1
7 Flying First Class 30-1
8 Great Hunter 8-1
9 Hard Spun 20-1
10 Imawildandcrazyguy 50-1
11 King of the Roxy 30-1
12 Liquidity 30-1
13 Nobiz Like Shobiz 15-1
14 Notional 15-1
15 Officer Rocket 50-1
16 Ravel 8-1
17 Sam P. 20-1
18 Scat Daddy 12-1
19 Stormello 12-1
20 Street Sense 8-1
21 Summer Doldrums 15-1
22 Teuflesberg 30-1
23 Zanjero 50-1