Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Five Good Questions with . . . Railbird Roberts on The Kentucky Derby

Today’s "Five Good Questions" is with legendary horse racing reporter Railbird Bob Roberts.....Railbird wrote for many years with The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.....since retiring, he now works for Thisteldown Race Track just outside Cleveland.....I just want to say that when I called Railbird and asked him if he could provide feedback for the Triple Crown races, he was more than gracious to help out....after reading his work for all those years, it is an honor to have him write something for this blog......

Q1. What are some tips for someone who only bets on horse racing during the Triple Crown season? What should they look for when betting a horse for the Kentucky Derby?
An old-timer once told me that if you want to bet the classiest horse, divide a horse's earnings by the number of starts that he's made. The horse with the highest average earnings per start is the class of the field. It probably is a good way to approach the Derby. This year, it would have you deciding between Curlin and Street Sense.

Q2. Back in February the talk was that Nobiz Like Shobiz was almost a guarantee to win The Derby. It seems like he will be one of the favorites going into The Derby. Is he the real deal?
His victory in the April 7 Wood Memorial was impressive. He was anxious in the early running but settled down and won as a professional. Nobiz Like Shobiz has to be one of the favorites.

Q3. Circular Quay does not get a lot of publicity, but he has the pedigree in former Kentucky Derby champ Thunder Gulch. What are your thoughts about Circular Quay?
He has certainly done nothing wrong. A jockey fell in his path in the Feb. 10 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds and his rider had to snatch him up to avoid a disaster. He then came back to win the March 10 Louisiana Derby. I guess Circular Quay is one of those "out of sight, out of mind" horses. Still, he is difficult to discount, especially for those playing trifectas and superfectas.

Q4. What type of horse is best suited to win The Kentucky Derby?
There is no "best suited" horses. Winners come from just off the pace (Barbaro) and from the back of the pack (Giacomo), so running styles are not a factor. It is hard to go wire-to-wire, but that also has been done. I try to find a horse who is peaking on the first Saturday in May, which means I watcha lot of video replays.

Q5. Who do you think will win the Derby and who are your sleepers?
I'm still studying workouts, but I kind of like Street Sense, Chelokee, Tiago, and Nobiz Like Shobiz. I'll watch the final round of morning drills and then the post position draw before making up my mine. There is really no hurry . . . until late afternoon on May 5.

Once again, I want to thank Railbird.....and we will hear from him again.....

In honor of Derby week - everyday I will put a link to a classic Derby Race...today is the 1978 Kentucky Derby when Affirmed beat out Alydar

  • 1978 Kentucky Derby
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