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Free Horse Racing Picks and Tips from the Judge: Kentucky Horse Racing Expert.
Free horse racing picks for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Turfway, Kentucky Derby, Breeders Cup
About "Judge" McCoy
We were introduced to “Judge” Fletcher McCoy by a customer of ours from Paris, KY. It seems that the “Judge” took a liking to our customer's Storm Cat hat and wanted to get one for himself. The Judge does not fool with computers, the internet, cell phones, credit cards or bank accounts. He is a “cash money” man, so we arranged to meet him at Keeneland due to the demands of his rigorous schedule. We brought a few hats for him and decided to take in a few races on the simulcast card.

Very shortly after meeting the Judge it became obvious that he was a true handicapping genius. His methods, mannerisms, and language were strange – but his skill was indisputable.

Fletcher was born in Eastern Kentucky some 40 plus years ago and earned his nickname - “Judge”- as a very young man. There has never been a person, horse, dog, or topic that the Judge hasn't had a strong opinion about and his constant judging and commentary earned him his nickname.

After determining that his formal education was complete at age 16, the “Judge” hitch-hiked to Lexington to embark on a career as a horseman. The early hours and hard work required of a horseman prompted the Judge into his present career as a professional handicapper. For over 20 years “Judge” McCoy has been earning a living betting on horses, and he just might be one of the best handicappers alive. Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Belmont and Gulfstream are some of the race tracks he focuses on.

In exchange for some free hats and a public forum for his various opinions, the Judge has agreed to share his insights with us. From time to time - and as long as it does not interfere with his schedule - the Judge will provide us with some “Steamers” and “Waggles”, an occasional “Lead Pipe”, and the ever elusive “Big Gizmo”.

Enjoy. And please remember – take his advice (and anyone else's) - at your own risk.

  Today's Free Pick from the Judge.Today's Free Pick from the Judge.

Kentucky Derby - May 1, 2010
It's good to be back in KY, but the weather is about as welcoming as the lawyers and ex's that required me to move my tack to Nevada last year.  Looks like I might need to find a ride back to the desert on a boat if this keeps up.

I had every intention of betting Eskendereya with the full bank roll - would have been easy money.  His scratch, the bad post draw for Looking At Lucky, and the monsoon over the Louisville area have turned this years Derby into nothing more than a wild ass guess.  Not too many standouts among this year's starters so you have to look for some value.  With 20 horses in this field and about 16 of them with a legitimate chance to win I am going to be playing the odds.  If they are all failry evenly matched, and have about a 1 in 20 chance of winning why would you bet a horse less than 20:1? Not me.  I will be playing a very reduced ticket and it looks like the best value in the bunch is Discreetly Mine.  As of right now his odds are in the 40:1 range for some reason, and that represents real value in this field.  The other horse to use is Jackson Bend. Betting both of them across the board and in exactas and trifectas with a few others that will be a post time decision.

Preakness - May 16 2009
Well the Derby goes to show you why you need to buy insurance and wear your seatbelt - or in other words, uh, stuff happens. I think the Preakness might just allow us to get out of the hole we dug ourselves on Derby Day.  With the entry of Rachel Alexandra, there will be a lot of sentimental money riding on her and allow us to get a bet down on the likely winner at inflated odds.  First off, I love that filly Rachel Alexandra and wish her a safe trip.  I think she can hit the board here, but I am not using her to win.  I don't like her post and I think an owner, trainer, and jockey switch might have upset her routine a bit

Mine That Bird ran like he stole something in the Derby and on that particular day he was by far the best 3 year old colt on the track.  He put an absolute whipping on every horse in the race and most folks who were watching it.  I can't use him today because his jockey Borel has decided to take the mount on Rachel.  Don't really blame him, but Mine That Bird without Calvin Borel is like Penn without Teller - no magic happening.

FRIESAN FIRE is the win bet.  He was slightly injured when he grabbed a quarter in the Derby and had an all around lousy trip from the get go.  To his credit, Saez knew the horse was out of the race and did not use him at all after the 3/8 this pole.  The Derby took nothing out of him and he could be sitting on a monster effort today.  I will use him in an exacta with a horse who skipped the derby, BIG DRAMA.  His speed makes him legitimate for this race and I will be boxing him with Friesan Fire in case he gets up first.

Oaks Day, May 1st 2009
Forget betting on the Oaks - the beautiful and talented Rachel Alexandra will win with ease and be too short to bet.  Try and beat her if you like, but you should feel like a greedy pig if you do.  She's a thing of beauty and would give the boys all that they wanted and more if she were in the Derby.

The bet you want to make on Oaks day is in the 9th race, the Alysheba (G3). #3 Mambo In Seattle is set to pop.  He's making his second start of a long layoff that included him getting an un descended testicle removed.  If you've ever run with a testicle lodged up in you somewhere you'll know what a relief it is to have it out.  Here's a horse who loves the dirt, loves CD, and can handle an off track.  That race at Keeneland was a toss-out and he should be ready to fire.  Bet him to win and in exactas and trifectas with Macho Again, Bulls Bay, Ready Set and Dr. Pleasure.

Its Derby time again, and all the women in pretty hats and bourbon-drinking good 'ol boys are in town just waiting to give us their money. A fellow can make a score on derby day that will set him up like a king for the year, or he can wind up broke and dog-drunk looking for his car on Central Ave. I've been in both situations, and believe me, one of them is a sight better than the other.

This year's Derby is as tough as they come from a handicapping perspective. The polytrack nonsense has made a tough job even tougher. Its like trying to figure out a crossword puzzle with some of the clues written in Chinese. The Kentucky Derby is run on dirt, so I'm going to handicap it that way.

Eleven of the twenty horses in this field have hit the board in a Graded Stakes race run on the dirt. Your winner will come from that group (West Side Bernie, Musket Man, Friesan Fire, Papa Clem, Join In The Dance, General Quarters, I Want Revenge, Atomic Rain, Dunkirk, Summer Bird, Desert Party).
You also need to be fast to win this race. Most Derby winners have posted a Beyer number of 100 or higher in their last 3 starts. That leaves us with only six horses to deal with: West Side Bernie, Friesan Fire, Papa Clem, General Quarters, I want Revenge, and Dunkirk.

I like West Side Bernie, and burned good money on him in the BC Juvenile. He didn't have a great trip that day, and I expect he won't get one on Saturday either breaking from the 1 hole. Can't win.

Friesan Fire is has the right running style, I love his trainer and owner and will be happy for them if he wins. He has never raced 1 1/8 miles, but is bred to get the distance. He hasn't raced in 7 weeks, but has a super
work at CD. Could be the one...

Papa Clem is a street-fighter that should be a factor in this race from gate to wire. His jockey (Bejarano) knows his way around this track like I know the way from the couch to the fridge. He had a slow and awkward work on the 25th, but came back and scorched the earth going 3f on the 30th. He lost to
Friesan Fire on a sloppy track in the Louisiana Derby and beat I Want Revenge on the polytrack at Santa Anita. I think he likes the dirt better than the plastic and looks like a contender.

General Quarters broke his maiden at Churchill downs in a MCL race where he was claimed by his owner Tom McCarthy from Ken Ramsey. Ramsey must be madder than hell at the way things turned out, I know I'd be. GQ won the Sam Davis in the dirt down in Tampa, and then went on to win the formerly
prestigious Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland on the polycrap. Leparoux will ride him for the first time in the Derby. His previous rider, Coa, has opted to sit on Musket Man. Interesting decision.

I Want Revenge is the favorite. He blew 'em away in the Gotham and overcame trouble that most would need a lawyer to get out of in winning the Wood. Here's a horse that has shown he is a dirt loving son of a gun. His jockey, Talamo, might not be old enough to drive a car, but he knows how to pilot a
horse. Has a bullet work over the surface. The only horse to get near his 113 Beyer number is your winner, DUNKIRK.

Dunkirk ran a 108 Beyer in a losing effort against Quality Road in the Florida Derby. The move he made in that race (See Video) would have smoked every horse in this field. Quality Road is out with quarter crack issues, but he would have been an easy favorite and the probable winner if he was healthy. Pletcher is 0 for 20 something with Derby horses and I believe this is his best chance yet to get to the winners' circle. Gomez made a bad move in taking Pioneer Of The Nile over Dunkirk, and Prado will make him regret it for years to come. Dunkirk will win the 2009 Kentucky Derby and looks like he could be one of those real special horses.

Bet DUNKIRK to win and place, and then go back and bet on him again.

I will also play a pretty healthy Dunkirk - Papa Clem exacta box.

Wouldn't be the Derby without a monster trifecta and I will key Dunkirk in every spot with Papa Clem, I Want Revenge, Friesan Fire, Desert Party, and Summer Bird.

Summer Bird is going to be 75:1 or more, and is worth using in all of your gizmos.  He closed with gusto in the Arkansas Derby to finish 3rd in only his 3rd start.  If, and I mean If, he improves off his last start he might find his way into the picture real late.  Be a damn shame not to have a few bucks on him across the board just in case.







































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