Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted May 4, 2022 at 10:52 am

Bet the favorite

Right off the bat, let me say by no means do I claim to be any sort of horse racing expert, so take these words of picking for next week’s Kentucky Derby as lightly or as seriously as you want – it’s all in fun.

For a few decades now, I’ve been offering up my picks for the greatest two minutes in sports in this space the week prior to the Run for the Roses, and although it still feels a little like winter outside from night to night – Derby Day is upon us.

My methods for picking Kentucky Derby horses to bet on – and believe me, I don’t bet a ton when I do bet on the ponies – has changed from time to time, so for the 148th Derby coming up Saturday, here goes.

I depend on my gut feeling about a horse, and the horse with the best (most unique) name, and sometimes a third pick just because the horse, jockey or trainer has some special story.

First off, remember these picks are being made prior to the drawing for post positions on Tuesday, and while that doesn’t always have a big effect on the outcome, sometimes it can alter my choice slightly.

All that said, I’m going to drop a couple of bucks on Epicenter to win.

The 2022 favorite has a lot going for him and for me, he’s two-fold in my reason for picking him to cross the line first this Satuday.

Really cool name – for those readers who remember my annual 127 Yard Sale reports, the term Epicenter became one of the most used words in each report.

Secondly, this horse doesn’t hail from one of the traditional thoroughbred farms in and around Lexington and Versailles, but rather from across the way in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

He’s finished with four first place runs and a second in his last five starts coming into Saturday’s Derby, making him the hottest horse in the gate.

Epicenter won’t make you much money as he’ll likely be the favorite when the final odds are set, but you should finish with a little jingle in your pocket.

My pick for the most unique story was going to be Un Ono, a horse that has only one eye after losing one to a wind blown limb during a storm. Word came over the weekend, however, that Un Ono was leaving the field. He would have been the long shot pick.

With that development, looking at the field, my next pick with the best name coming out of the gate is going to be Summer is Tomorrow.

It’s been a long, hard and difficult winter, and we can only all hope his name holds true for the short-term weather in our area.

Still – I’m not going to put him any closer to the front of the line than a Show finish.

There you have it – enjoy Kentucky’s shining moment this Saturday with the 148th Run for the Roses. Wear some silks, get the stick horses out of the closet or however you celebrate the race every year.

Post time is 5:57 p.m., central time.

In the meantime – March is over, so tell me what you think.