The English Channel sired Optimizer will compete in its 10th career race on Saturday, May 5th when it saddles up for the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. Little about the bay colt’s performance would suggest it is capable of winning at Churchill Downs and the odds makers at Bovada.lv seem well aware of that fact. The latest Horse Racing Odds and Kentucky Derby Predictions at the online horse book have Optimizer listed at 35 to 1 odds in this weekend’s Triple Crown event.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has four Kentucky Derby wins (Winning Colors, Thunder Gulch, Grindstone, and Charismatic), but his last victory in the first leg of the Triple Crown series came in 1999 with Charismatic. The veteran handler did not sound optimistic about adding another Derby title resume when Optimizer garnered post position 2 in yesterday’s draw.
“Not good,” said Lukas in reference to the gate. “My horse isn’t going to be that quick. You get down there and you are going to get a lot of dirt. We’ll have to deal with it. I’m in the race, and that’s the main thing.”
In addition to the poor post draw, Optimizer has done little in the way of performance to brighten Lukas’ mood. Despite bloodlines that include Seattle Slew and A.P. Indy, the colt has not won a race since breaking its maiden last August. Second place results at the With Anticipation Stakes and Rebel Stakes, both Grade 2 events, are the high marks for the heavily raced animal.
Optimizer did take third at the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity last October, but it placed eighth and ninth in its other two Grade 1 outings, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Arkansas Derby.
Certainly Lukas name as well as that of two-time Arkansas Derby winning jockey Jon Court being attached to Optimizer gives the colt some clout, but a winning turn for the animal this weekend would be nothing short of stunning.
Optimizer Odds 2012 Kentucky Derby Predictions: Provided by Bovada.lv
Optimizer 35/1 (To Win the 2012 Kentucky Derby)