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Kentucky Confidential

Who’s Your DMB?

Bill Christine:

DMB is shorthand for Derby Must Bet — a horse you feel compelled to play in the Kentucky Derby — not because he’s the best horse, or even the favorite, but a horse who has a good chance, may have been overlooked, and is someone you’ve been following for so long that you’d flagellate yourself if he happened to win. DMB is only half of the acronym. In toto, it’s DMBNMW — Derby Must Bet No Matter What. You don’t get a DMB every year. Just enough to keep you in sackcloth and ashes.

My first was Gayego, who won the 2008 Arkansas Derby but not much respect, going to post in the Kentucky Derby at 18-1 and finishing seventeenth. I’m hoping for better from my DMB this year, Jaycito. He’s been on my watch list since his debut; I’ve been waiting for him to win again since the Norfolk.

A little KYC news: We’re thrilled that Brown-Forman, maker of Woodford Reserve, has signed on to sponsor the “Bourbon Underworld” column, joining the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge in supporting Kentucky Confidential. You can also back the best independent Derby coverage you’ll find anywhere.

2:55 PM Addendum: Darn it! Tweets Ray Paulick, “Foot abscess may keep Jaycito out of Santa Anita Derby. Trainer Bob Baffert to decide in a.m., but looking at Lexington Stakes on April 23.” [Jaycito’s officially scratched.]

Friday Notes

As Ed DeRosa writes today in a piece about the importance of sanctuaries such as Old Friends, Joe Drape’s reporting on TRF has made the discussion about providing for racehoses when their careers end more public. It also seems to have made the conversation more urgent. The situations aren’t quite analogous, but there’s something reminiscent of the safety debate that followed Eight Belles’ death in the fresh attention on the retirement and rescue issue, a sense that racing has to come up with a solution to a problem that hasn’t been neglected — the work of hundreds of organizations attests to that — but is complex and will probably take collective action to solve. “The only chance that something good can come out of this mess is if this turns out to be a watershed moment in horse racing,” writes Bill Finley. He’s right.

Prepping for the Florida Derby, Dialed In worked four furlongs in :47.55 at Palm Meadows yesterday. Trainer Nick Zito, who said the colt “bounced” in his last race, “caught the final eighth in :11 flat.” Handicapper Mike Maloney calls Zito’s prospect one of three likely Kentucky Derby winners. “If he shows a decent finish in the FL Derby, even if not winning, I think he will be fine.”

Tomorrow is Dubai World Cup day, and Raceday 360 has an overview of every race. I wrote about the UAE Derby, a weak renewal this year, for the HRF Derby Prep alert, and only glancingly mentioned the remarkable entry of two Aidan O’Brien trained starters in the race, the first in six years. Like last year, I assumed that this year no UAE Derby finisher was likely for the Kentucky Derby — Sheikh Mohammed seems have given up on that path for Godolphin 3-year-olds after the disappointments of Regal Ransom and Desert Party in 2009 — but Alan Shuback proposes Coolmore could be using the race as a Derby prep for Master of Hounds or Alexander Pope. “It would be a large irony, indeed, if Magnier & Co. pulled a Kentucky Derby runner out of the UAE Derby hat in Sheikh Mohammed’s backyard.”

Sweet Ducky, recently sold and transferred to trainer Herman Brown, is apparently possible for Churchill Downs, though, if he runs big in the UAE Derby. “It would be tough to turn it down if he runs a great race.” That would certainly be an interesting move, considering the colt’s new ownership. Would Kentucky license Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, called by the late Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, “a Stalin of our times“?

Black Caviar made it 11-for-11 in the William Reid Stakes.

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