Friday, April 8, 2011

Paulie's Picks, Aqueduct, 4/9/11

Uncle Mo is the presumed favorite in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, but for me there are still a few question marks about this horse that will stay unanswered even if he takes down the G1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct tomorrow as he is expected to do. You ask: "Why so sour, Professor Paulie?"

Uncle Mo supporters certainly have some ammunition: he's won all four of his races, and his two-year-old campaign was superlative: He broke his maiden by open lengths at Saratoga, then took down two prestigious G1 races for two-years-olds: The Champagne at Belmont and The Breeder's Cup Juvenile Churchill. In the maiden race and the BC juvenile, he put up Beyer speed figures greater than 100. Again you ask: "Professor Paulie, what's not to like?"

For whatever reason, great two-year-old form does not necessarily translate to great three-year-old form - I'm thinking of Galloping Grocer, but there are many, many other examples. Before I throw any real money at a Derby horse, I want some proof that that he's maintained the sharpness of his debut season.

Uncle Mo's three-year-old debut (The Timely Writer, shown above) was a non-graded affair with fractions so slow that you might have been able to keep up on your bicycle. Tomorrow's Wood Memorial is overloaded with patsy horses - it's kind of like a Harlem Globetrotters game (what was the name of that team in the green uniforms?). There are two 20-1 shots, three 50-1 shots, and, get ready for it, a 99-1 shot.

I'm not saying he's not a good horse, and he might just be the super-horse, triple-crown winner that many are hoping for. But I'm unconvinced and will remain so even if he wins tomorrow. Depending on how the other big prep races go this month, I might be fishing for a longshot on Derby day.

Here are Paulie's Picks for tomorrow's card at Aqueduct:

1st Race:
1 - Callmetony
11 - Cognito
7 - Digger Karakorum

2nd race:
4 - French Fury
5 - Moon On Fire
2 - Swinging Tune

3rd race:
2 - Ducale
1 - Gold Prospect
3 - History Starts Now

4th race:
8 - Master Splash
12 - Faulkner
4 - Hook and Lateral

5th race:
10 - Fortitude
11 - Darrin's Dilemma
13 - Modern Child

6th race:
10 - Drink At Last Call
6 - Cihangir
7 - Little Wise Guy

7th race, The Comely, Grade 3:
5 - Ava K.
2 - R Holiday Mood
3 - Her Smile

8th race, The Bay Shore, Grade 3:
3 - JJ's Lucky Train
7 - Vengeful Wildcat
2 - Buffum

9th race, The Carter Handicap, Grade 1:
7 - Apriority
10 - Morning Line
6 - Yawanna Twist

10th race, The Wood Memorial, Grade 1:
5 - Uncle Mo
8 - Norman Asbjornson
2 - Toby's Corner

11th race:
1 - Person of Interest
3 - Con the Cat
12 - True Linnet

Tune in tomorrow night for results and video.