Well it should come as no surprise that I will stick with American Pharoah as my official Derby pick after trying to beat the winning favorites Orb and Chrome the last two runnings. I think Carpe Diem is the possible spoiler and should have versatility to be close or make a late move depending on the break. And I hope Upstart can return with his best race to complete my trifecta. In addition, my toss horse will be Materiality - another Pletcher lightly raced speed horse who crawled home in his Florida Derby score after having things all his own way. My criteria for a toss horse is top 5 odds that I try to exclude from all tickets and only Ice Box has burned me over the last 15 years.
The horse I am worried about is Frosted, who I'm only including near the bottom of my super tickets. If the throat procedure prior to his last race truly made all the difference he should be right there late. But trainers have a tendency to lay blame too much on health issues rather than admitting their horse's shortcomings. Frosted's last 3 furlongs in the Wood were the fastest of all prep winners followed by Int'l Star, Carpe Diem, then American Pharoah (under wraps), Firing Line, and finally Dortmund (13:05 final furlong) and Materiality.
I was very bummed when I learned of my long shot pick El Kabeir being scratched yesterday (sorry Borel), but then Lovely Maria won and got my betting budget kickstarted! Best of luck with your Derby strategy and enjoy the greatest two minutes in sports!