Derby Day 2018

by Cantinker Moss


This will be short.  I want to get this down before the final odds are determined.  I’ve seen a lot of picks, and my, what a field of horses!

I am no professional odds-maker, and you may not subscribe to my amateur style of handicapping, but I am evaluating this race from the point of view of a casual observer.  And this is what I have come up with from observation over this last month of the racing season:

WIN  Mendelssohn  I simply cannot forget his victory in Dubai a month ago.  He’s “Irish,” he’s beautiful, and whenever he races, I hear the beginning of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Italian Symphony—so free and exhilarating, and it fits this horse’s soundtrack.  I’ve had him from the first time I wondered who might win the Derby, and there he stays.

PLACE  Magnum Moon  I’ve heard too many good things about Magnum Moon to ignore him.  And they have all been very good.  I might’ve picked him to win if not for my affinity for Mendelssohn.

SHOW  Justify  Given his track record, you just have to give him his due, and besides, he’s a Baffert horse.  The problem is I just like Mendelssohn and Magnum Moon more, and still a favorite doesn’t always win the race.


Here are the post positions and odds for each of these horses according to Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier Journal updated today (May 1, 2018) at 12:04 p.m. ET:

Justify  Post Position 7;  3-1 odds

Mendelssohn  Post Position 14;  5-1 odds

Magnum Moon  Post Position 16;  6-1 odds


Okay, that’s it from where I’m sitting.  I’m going to keep these picks for the Preakness Stakes, but I may make some adjustments for the Belmont.  I’ll be tuning in Saturday to hear the call on NBC.  Post time is 6:34 p.m. ET, and they should be off at 6:46 p.m. ET.  I hope all have a great time with their bourbon, juleps, and hot brown.  And may the ladies look fine in their hats.




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