I stopped by restaurant on Huntington Drive one day last week to have a drink with my friend Dave Naftzerger. That drink hit the spot, so I told my bartender friend, Cynthia Naanough, "I'll Have Another."
Since Naanough is , I left the restaurant having decided on my Kentucky Derby picks.
I'm going with winner I'll Have Another to win with favored Bodemeister, who Smith will ride, to finish second in Saturday's race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
If I'm right, the exacta — a wager in which you have to pick the first two finishers in order — should pay pretty well. The odds on I'll Have Another are 12-1 and the odds on Bodemeister are 4-1.
I might box my exacta, meaning doubling my bet so that it will also pay if Bodemeister wins and I'll Have Another finishes second. The problem with that, though, is that the exacta will pay much less if the favored Bodemeister wins.
There's a reason I like my hunch bet involving Smith and a girl he is dating. For , which was also run at Churchill Downs, my hunch bet was a horse ridden by Smith and one ridden by his former fiancee Chantal Sutherland. Those horses finished first and second and I went home a happy camper.
Jon White, Santa Anita's oddsmaker, picked I'll Have Another as his best play for the HorsePlayer Magazine. But he had Bodemeister as his ninth-best play because of the odds. Bodemeister, trained by , was made the Ketnucky Derby favorite after winning the recent Arkansas Derby by nine lengths.
Another contender in the field with Santa Anita connections is Creative Cause, who lost by a nose to I'll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby.
Baffert has another entry in the legendary race, Liaison, who will start on the outside in post position No. 20 and is a 50-1 longshot. Another 50-1 shot is Optimizer, trained by former Arcadia resident D. Wayne Lukas.
Jockeys in the race with local connections, besides Smith, include Kent Desormeaux (Dullahan, 6-1), Joel Rosario (Creative Cause, 12-1), Rafael Bejarano (El Padrino, 20-1), Corey Nakatani (Sabercat, 30-1) and Martin Garcia (Liaison, 50-1).
Number Name Trainer Jockey Current Odds 1 Daddy Long Legs Aidan O'Brien Colm O'Donghue 30-1 2 Optimizer D. Wayne Lukas Jon Court 50-1 3 Take Charge Indy Patrick Byrne Calvin Borel 15-1 4 Union Rags Michael Matz Julien Leparoux 9-2 5 Dullahan Dale Romans Kent Desormeaux 8-1 6 Bodemeister Bob Baffert Mike Smith 4-1 7 Rousing Serman Jerry Hollendorfer Jose Lezcano 50-1 8 Creative Cause Mike Harrington Joel Rosario 12-1 9 Trinniberg Bisnath Parboo Willie Martinez 50-1 10 Daddy Nose Best Steve Asmussen Garret Gomez 15-1 11 Alpha Kiaran McLaughlin Rajiv Maragh 15-1 12 Prospective Mark Casse Luis Contreras 30-1 13 Went the Day Well Graham Motion Johnny Velasquez 20-1 14 Hansen Mike Maker Ramon Dominquez 10-1 15 Gemologist Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 6-1 16 El Padrino Todd Pletcher Rafael Bejarano 20-1 17 Done Talking Hamilton Smith Sheldon Russell 50-1 18 Sabercat Steve Asmussen Corey Nakatani 30-1 19 I'll Have Another Doug O'Neill Mario Gutierrez 12-1 20 Liaison Bob Baffert Martin Garcia 50-1