RICK NEEDHAM AT

CHURCHILL DOWNS
SATURDAY May 2, 2009

Kentucky Derby Day!

TODAY'S WEATHER AT CHURCHILL DOWNS

Click for Louisville, Kentucky Forecast

NEW FEATURE: I am now including the "PAR TIMES" for each race as part of this graded selection column. The "Par Time" is the average winning time for today's race, at this class level, at this distance at Churchill Downs. The data is based on winning times stored in the TrackMaster Data Base for THE LAST FIVE YEARS! Comparing current times recorded by today's entries to these "Par Times" may be a valuable handicapping aid!

RACE PAR TIME
1 1:10.61
2 1:22.34
3 1:44.40
4 1:44.09
5 1:34.78
6 1:21.29
7 1:28.65
8 1:35.28
9 1:21.55
10 1:47.95
11 2:00.98
12 1:23.30
13 1:23.30

NOTE: Why 4 selections in many races? Churchill Downs offers Superfecta wagering on every race. Also, the 4th selection is often a longshot with a reasonable chance of hitting the board, as well as providing a viable alternative in case of a scratch.

RACE/APPROXIMATE POST TIME

RACE #1 - 10:30 AM

6.0 FURLONGS DIRT THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT $48,300.00 PURSE

#1 MOTHER RUTH
#3 RAPOSA
#4 AWESOME GRANNIE
#6 KEY PLAY

#1 MOTHER RUTH takes a class drop (-8) this afternoon, and is both the speed and pace profile leader here in the "Derby Day Opener" sprinting at 6.0 furlongs on the dirt, and comes off a "POWER RUN PLACE FINISH" in her "first asking," 40 days ago at Santa Anita Park, missing her "diploma" in that race by just a "photographed head" at the wire, in a determined attempt to break her maiden. #3 RAPOSA has hit the board in five straight, with four of those efforts also qualifying as "POWER RUNS." She's a daughter of Orientate, whose progeny have hit the board in 45% of more than 1,800 combined lifetime starts to date. For your information, Orientate is one of only a handful of active sires that qualify for my "Three Star Sires" list ... if you would like a copy of this list, along with a description of the rigid "rules" that I employ to formulate this list, just send me an email requesting such ... and yes ... it is indeed free!


RACE #2 - 11:00 AM

7.0 FURLONGS DIRT THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD ALLOWANCE $52,700.00 PURSE

#4 RILEY TUCKER
#3 HEAVENLY CHORUS
#7 MAJOR PLEASURE
#2 BY SPOT

#4 RILEY TUCKER is a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony" qualifier, and has nice early speed for this sprint at the "specialized distance" of 7.0 furlongs on the dirt ... he's dropping in class (-8) this afternoon, and is also both the speed and pace profile leader in this field today ... he's produced a quartet of "POWER RUNS" in each of his last five starts, hitting the board in three, including a "POWER RUN WIN" in his 2nd race back. Jockey Garrett Gomez and Trainer Bob Baffert send him to the post today ... they've "whacked the tote board" with 66% of their entries saddled as a team to date. Gomez has been in his irons on 3 previous occasions, hitting the board in each, winning twice, en route to a +67% profit in the process.


RACE #3 - 11:30 AM

8½ FURLONGS DIRT THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT $48,300.00 PURSE

#5 LUV GOV
#8 GOLD SCHLEIGER
#2 EAGLE POISE
#7 GOLD BREW

#5 LUV GOV, a 6-1 shot on top, has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in each of his last three outings, missing a "Circle Trip" in his last start, by just a length. #8 GOLD SCHLEIGER is 8-1 in the morning line, qualifies as a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony," drops in class (-9), and comes off a "POWER RUN PLACE" finish in his last start.


RACE #4 - 12:04 PM

8½ FURLONGS DIRT THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD ALLOWANCE $50,200.00 PURSE

#3 GLENWOOD CANYON
#1 NORTHERN PRINCE
#6 BROTHER KEITH
#4 LEOPOLD BLOOM

#3 GLENWOOD CANYON has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in four of his last five starts, including a "POWER RUN WIN" in his last start. Jockey Jamie Theriot and Trainer Albert Stall Jr. send him to the post ... they've hit the board with 55% of their entries saddled as a team to date, producing a +11% return on investment in the process. #1 NORTHERN PRINCE has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in four of his last five starts, including a "POWER RUN WIN" in his 5th race back. Jockey Miguel Mena and Trainer Steve Margolis send him to the post today ... they've hit the board with 58% of their entries saddled as a team to date.


RACE #5 - 12:39 PM

8.0 FURLONGS TURF THREE YEARS OLD AND ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD $55,300.00 PURSE

#4 ARTIC CRY
#1 WHY TONTO
#7 PICK SIX
#2 DESERT WHEAT

#4 ARTIC CRY is the speed and pace profile leader in this O.C. field today, and has hit the board in each of his last three outings, winning in both his 2nd and 3rd races back. He's coming off a "POWER RUN PLACE" finish in his last start, missing three consecutive "Circle Trips" in that race by less than a length. Jockey Julian LeParoux and Trainer Eddie Kenneally send him to the post ... they've hit the board with 48% of more than 100 entries saddled as a team to date. #1 WHY TONTO comes off a POWER RUN PLACE" finish in his last start, facing slightly better company (+1) in that race than he will face in this field today.


RACE #6 - 1:21 PM

The Churchill Downs Stakes

7.0 FURLONGS DIRT GRADE II FOUR YEARS OLD AND UPWARD STAKES $250,000.00 PURSE

#3 KODIAK KOWBOY
#6 ACCREDIT
#9 SOK SOK
#1 MY PAL CHARLIE

#3 KODIAK KOWBOY has hit the board in four of his last five outings overall including "POWER RUN WINS" in both his last start, as well as in his 4th race back. Jockey Gabriel Saenz and Trainer J. Larry Jones send him to the post for the first Graded Stakes Race of "Derby Day Saturday" ... they've hit the board with 59% of more than 250 entries saddled as a team to date. #6 ACCREDIT is 8-1 in the morning line, and has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in four of this last five starts, winning in both his2nd and 5th races back. Jockey Julian LeParoux and Trainer Michael Maker send him to the gate ... they've hit the board with 55% of nearly 250 entries saddled as a tandem to date.


RACE #7 - 2:11 PM

The Eight Belles Stakes

7½ FURLONGS DIRT GRADE III THREE YEAR OLDS STAKES $100,000.00 PURSE

#4 FOUR GIFTS
#1 JUST JENDA
#9 LARAGH
#8 LADY'S LAUGHTER

#4 FOUR GIFTS qualifies as a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony," and has hit the board in four of his last five outings, winning in both his fourth and fifth races back. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan and Trainer Steve Asmussen send her to the post today ... they've hit the board with 55% of nearly 600 entries saddled as a team to date. #1 JUST JENDA, a 4-1 shot, takes a class drop (-8) and his hit the board in four straight, winning in both his 2nd and 4th races back ... that's indicative of a "Bounce Pattern" folks, and the BoUnCe will be UP/POSITIVE this afternoon if this pattern continues.


RACE #8 - 3:03 PM

The Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes

8.0 FURLONGS TURF FILLIES AND MARES THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD STAKES $200,000.00 PURSE

#11 DAWN AFTER DAWN
#6 SUGAR MINT
#1 LEMON CHIFFON
#2 VISIT

#11 DAWN AFTER DAWN, a 10-1 BOMB, qualifies as a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony," takes a class drop (-4), and has won 3 of 4 in her career to date racing at today's distance of a mile on the turf. She's turned in "POWER RUNS" in three straight, including back-to-back "POWER RUN WINS" in her 2nd and 3rd races back. #6 SUGAR MINT, an Irish-bred entry, and a 6-1 shot, comes off a "POWER RUN WIN" in her last start, and goes to the post with the skills of the Jockey/Trainer tandem of Rafael Bejarano and Jerry Hollendorfer in her corner ... they've hit the board with 63% of their entries saddled as a team to date.


RACE #9 - 3:57 PM

The Humana Distaff Stakes

7.0 FURLONGS DIRT GRADE I FILLIES AND MARES FOUR YEARS OLD AND UPWARD STAKES $300,000.00 PURSE

#3 INFORMED DECISION
#9 GAME FACE
#5 SECRET GYPSY
#7 ROYALE MICHELE

#3 INFORMED DECISION takes a class drop (-3) this afternoon, and is the pace profile leader in this stakes field racing at the "specialized distance" of 7.0 furlongs on the dirt. She's hit the board in five straight starts, winning four times in this recent streak of racing consistency, including back-to-back "POWER RUN WINS" in her last two starts. Jockey Julian LeParoux and Trainer Jonathan Sheppard send her to the post today ... they've hit the board with 64% of their entries saddled as a team to date, producing a +61% return on investment in the process, which is based on their excellent 32% of their entries saddled as a team to date. #9 GAME FACE has hit the board in five straight, winning three, including a pair of "POWER RUN WINS" found in his 2nd and 3rd races back.


RACE #10 - 4:52 PM

The Woodford Turf Classic Stakes

9.0 FURLONGS TURF GRADE I THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD STAKES $500,000.00 PURSE

#6 EINSTEIN
#3 PROUDINSKY
#1 ARTISTE ROYAL
#4 COURT VISION

#6 EINSTEIN, a Brazilian-bred entry, is the speed leader in this stakes field racing at 9.0 furlongs on the turf, qualifies as a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony," and has produced "POWER RUNS" in five straight, hitting the board in four, including "POWER RUN WINS" in both his last start, as well as in his 3rd race back. #3 PROUDINSKY, a rare German-bred entry racing in North America, and a 6-1 shot, and comes off back-to-back "POWER RUN WINS" in both of his last two outings.


RACE #11 - 6:24 PM

The Kentucky Derby

10. FURLONGS DIRT GRADE I THREE YEAR OLDS STAKES $2,000,000.00

#13 I WANT REVENGE
#7 PAPA CLEM
#2 MUSKET MAN
#10 REGAL RANSOM

Well folks ... this is indeed the most "overanlyzed" race in North America every year, with both "Punters and Handicappers" basing their successes and failures (sometimes for an entire year) on the result of their efforts on this race .. I personally base my success on my R.O.I on this "card" today, rather on a race with 20 entries racing a distance that they have never raced before, and for most of the entries in this field, will never race again! This is also probably the most "lackluster field" in many years here at Churchill Downs, with most of the more probable winners being scratched earlier due to injuries. #13 I WANT REVENGE is one of five "dual qualifiers" in this race, which means that he had to have run in a graded stakes race as a Juvenile, as well as in a pair of graded stake races this year .... he also posted an excellent 116 TrackMaster PLUS speed figures as winning The Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. He's hit the board in five straight, winning three, including back-to-back "POWER RUN WINS" in his last two outings. Jockey Joseph Talamo and Trainer Jeff Mullins send him "postward" today .,.. they've hit the board with 59% of their entries saddled as a team to date. The interesting entry in this field today, is the 20-1 BOMB, #7 PAPA CLEM (as far as I know - no relationship to another "go fast and turn left" - Bubba The Love Sponge Clem) .. he qualifies as a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony," and has hit the board in four straight, winning twice, including a "POWER RUN WIN" in his last start. #2 MUSKET MAN, another 20-1 BOMB, comes off a "POWER RUN WIN" in the Illinois Derby in his last start, however, I also note, that none of his juvenile starts were in "stakes company." #10 REGAL RANSOM" upset stablemate Desert Party in the U.A.E. Derby, but he is also coming off a 6-week layoff, which is not condusive to a winning effort. Quite honestly folks, I also like the 4-1 shot, #16 PIONEEROFTHENILE, who has won four straight .. however only one in his 3rd race back, qualified as a "POWER RUN" ... and finally there is another 20-1 BOMB that I'm looking at carefully ... #11 CHOCOLATE CANDY who has hit the board in five straight who has won two stake races this year ... both at Golden Gate Fields. and also finished 2nd in the Santa Anita Derby, losing to PIONEEROFTHENILE. So enjoy the day folks ... make your money on the "undercard!"

"Bet With Your Head - Not Over It!" - Rick Needham


RACE #12 - 7:04 PM

7.0 FURLONGS DIRT THREE YEAR OLDS ALLOWANCE $50,200.00 PURSE

#1 LUSTER
#3 KNOCKOUT BERTIE
#8 PASSION DU COEUR
#4 EAST BREAKS

#1 LUSTER qualifies as a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony," is the speed leader in this allowance field sprinting at today's "specialized distance" of 7.0 furlongs on the dirt, and has hit the board in each of his four career starts to day, including a maiden-breaking, "POWER RUN WIN" in his 2nd race back.


RACE #13 - 7:34 PM

8½ FURLONGS TURF THREE YEARS OLD AND UPWARD MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT $48,300.00 PURSE

#9 GLOSS
#3 CULLINAN
#6 JUST RIGHT
#13 VICTORY NOTION

#9 GLOSS, a 12-1 BOMB on top here in the "Derby Day Finale," has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in four of his last five starts overall, including a "POWER RUN PLACE" finish in his last start.


Disclaimer: Every attempt has been made to insure accuracy, however since this report is prepared and typed by hand, errors, including typographical and numerical, can be made. It is the responsibility of the end user to "cross check" these selections against the actual entries and program numbers.


TODAY'S BEST BET: #6 EINSTEIN - RACE #10
TODAY'S BEST VALUE BET: #4 RILEY TUCKER - RACE #2
TODAY'S BEST LONGSHOT: #11 DAWN AFTER DAWN - RACE #8
TODAY'S BEST "BOXED EXOTIC WAGER" OPPORTUNITY: RACE #1


Today's Wet Track/Soft Turf Suggestions

NOTE: "N.R." = NO RECOMMENDATION

RACE #1: #3 RAPOSA
RACE #2: #2 BY SPOT / #5 SARATOGA SEVEN
RACE #3: #6 PROSPECTIVE LOVE
RACE #4: #1 NORTHERN PRINCE / #3 GLENWOOD CANYON / #7 BULL TOCCET
RACE #5: #3 MR MACCOOL
RACE #6: #3 KODIAK KOWBOY / #6 ACCREDIT / #9 SOK SOK
RACE #7: #1 JUST JENDA / #7 LOVEYOU EVERYBODY
RACE #8: #5 ZEE ZEE / #6 SUGAR MINT
RACE #9: #7 ROYALE MICHELE / #8 MODIFICATION / #9 GAME FACE
RACE #10: #2 EL CABALLO / #7 FURTHEST LAND
RACE #11: #6 FREISAN FIRE / #7 PAPA CLEM / #19 DESERT PARTY
RACE #12: #1 LUSTER
RACE #13: #9 GLOSS / #16 RELVADO


Today's "PowerPonies"

RACE #2: #4 RILEY TUCKER
RACE #3: #8 GOLD SCHLEIGER
RACE #7: #4 FOUR GIFTS
RACE #8: #11 DAWN AFTER DAWN
RACE #10: #6 EINSTEIN
RACE #11: #7 PAPA CLEM
RACE #12: #1 LUSTER


2009 Leading North American Jockeys

Garrett K. Gomez $5,967,822
Rafael Bejarano $5,811,190
Julien R. Leparoux $5,289,364
Ramon A. Dominguez $4,834,503
Joel Rosario $3,885,027


2009 Leading North American Trainers

Steven M. Asmussen $5,427,021
Todd A. Pletcher $3,807,078
Kiaran P. McLaughlin $2,747,245
Robert J. Frankel $2,392,582
J. Larry Jones $2,308,151


NOTES ON CLASS: The TrackMaster PLUS software uses a sophisticated mathematical formula to calculate the "class" of a particular race. It is important to note that this calculation is NOT based on purse structure, but on the competitive level of the entries in today's field. Therefore, it is possible (and not uncommon), that an entry may be racing for a higher purse today than in his or her last race, but in a "TrackMaster Sense" is dropping in class, because the overall abilities of the entries in today's race are not as competitive as the entries in his or her last race. The TrackMaster class scale is numeric, and basically ranges from 50 to 100, and is particularly helpful in judging entries that are "shipping" in from another track. In my analysis of a race, I often note that an entry is "dropping in class," or "stepping up in class." Following this statement, you will see a (number in parenthesis). The value of that particular number indicates the degree of the class change. EXAMPLE: "#4 SIN CITY takes a fairly significant class drop (-8) this evening." This indicates that this entry is dropping by 8 TrackMaster Class Levels from his or her last race. It does not necessarily mean that this entry is racing for a lower purse, only racing against a less competitive field.

NOTES: I frequently use the term, "POWER RUN" in this column. It is my terminology for a previous race run at a speed, which if duplicated today, should compete for the winner's circle at the class level in which the entry is competing today. Space requirements do not allow for a thorough discussion of this calculation, however, if you would like a short essay on how the "POWER RUN" is calculated, kindly send me some EMAIL at rneedham1@yahoo.com and I'll send you a copy of my "POWER RUN" file.


Do you want some handicapping tips? Select an "essay" below, and I'll return some comments to you via email!

Kindly enter Your Name:

    Bouncers
    Power Run
    Maiden Starters
    LASIX Runners
    Three Star Sires
    The Value of Class
    Exotic Wager "BOXING"
    Aqueduct's Inner Track
    Down and Dirty Quick Pick Longshots
    The Psychology of Pari-Mutual Wagering

TRIVIA NOTE: "TrackMaster Rick" Needham is the "oldest" Thoroughbred Racing Handicapper on the "INTERNET!" His selections began appearing back in 1982 when our current Internet System was just a "Figment of imagination" of the current operating systems ... he was the "creator," and SYSOP (Systems Operator) for both The Sports Forum and The Science and Mathematics Forum on the Compuserve Network, and posted his selections from The NYRA and Southern California Circuits on a daily basis some 20 years ago! These selections continue via Equibase/TrackMaster today!


FOOTBALL NOTE: If you need some reliable weekly analysis of selected College and Professional football games this season ... visit Rick's web site ... Rick Needham's Better Bettor to sign-up for his weekly reports! Daily FREE picks for all sports on Rick's Web Site - usually posted by 6:00 PM Eastern!

SIMULCASTED LONGSHOTS

FINGER LAKES

RACE #2: #9 EMMAS MOON STAR, a 10-1 BOMB, takes a class drop (-3), and is the overall speed leader in this maiden field sprinting at 5.0 furlongs on the dirt.

RACE #5:

The 5-1 shot, #6 SMITHWICK, drops in class (-5), and is the speed leader in this claiming field sprinting at 6.0 furlongs on the dirt.

RACE #7: #1 DADOWAY is 4-1 in the morning line, qualifies as a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony," drops in class (-6), and has nice early speed to compliment for this sprint.


PRAIRIE MEADOWS

RACE #1: The 6-1 shot, #4 TAKIN ISSUE, takes a class drop (-11), and has nice overall speed for this mile test on the dirt.

RACE #2: #2 MAMBO AGAIN is 4-1 in the morning line, and has decent speed for this 6.0 furlong sprint.

RACE #9: Here in the $50,000.00 Golden Circle Stakes, the 5-1 shot, #7 SLATER'S PEANUTS, qualifies as a TrackMaster PLUS "PowerPony," and is the overall speed leader in this field today.


Ultra Longshot Angles

NOTE: The entries listed below have been "found" utilizing TrackMaster's fantastic new product Ultra Angles ... I have utilized this product to scan EVERY TRACK in North America for entries today meeting the following 4 criteria:

a. Odds are 4-1 - or higher
b. The entry must be the TOP POWER RATED entry in the field
c. The entry must also have the BEST SPEED in this field for today's distance and surface!
d. The entry has raced in the last 25 days - no extended layoffs allowed!

NOTE: Listed Post Times are given in the local time zone of the track.

Delaware Park - Race #5 - 3:03PM - #6 CAT DELITE 10/1
Delaware Park - Race #9 - 4:51PM - #6 RED CRAFTY 6/1

HANDICAPPED USING ...