There are three horses I initially am favoring, more for sentimental or "you'd be dumb not to bet this horse" reasons than anything else. I haven't even looked at past performances yet, since I like to do that after the post positions have been drawn. But here are the three:
Smokey Stover in the Sprint: he's our hometown boy! He's stabled ten minutes away at Bay Meadows. He did a great work last Saturday with Russell Baze in the irons, 5 furlongs in .58 seconds and some change. I don't think he'll be the chalk either, so he should fetch somewhat decent odds; I'm hoping 3-1 or something like that.
Nashoba's Key in the Filly and Mare Turf or Distaff: she's one of Carla Gaines' horses (Southern Cal trainer) and the filly is undefeated. She a four year-old who started racing just this January. Out of seven races, four of which (I think) were graded stakes, she's won them all. She beat Citronnade and, for a filly, is amazingly consistent. (She may be up against another local horse, Hystericalady, but I'll have to bet against Jerry Hollendorfer in that case.)
English Channel in the Breeder's Cup Turf: how can you NOT bet that horse?!
As for the Classic, holy cow. It's anybody's race! Street Sense, Curlin, Hard Spun, Tiago, Lawyer Ron, the list goes on. In fact the first four could be an easy "Kentucky Derby based" superfecta. It could happen, although I'll probably look for at least one older horse to be in there. Hmmm.
More on this later ...