Thursday Thoughts with Jason Beem May 2, 2024

May 2nd, 2024

Jason gives his final thoughts and picks for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1)

A good Thursday morning to you all! Happy Thurby! I don’t know why, but for me, this week has been going by quite slowly and I’m truly ready for the big days to arrive. There are so many races throughout the two big days and I’ve been just looking at three or four races a day throughout the week. I know that my brain only has so much handicapping capacity and it isn’t that much. Usually more than an hour and I start getting distracted and lose focus as races start to run together. I think it actually hurts the handicapping process to look at the races tired and distracted. 

I know that you all come here for my Derby and Oaks picks. I constantly mention on my show what a lousy handicapper I am, but every squirrel, even the dumbest among us, sometimes finds a filbert or a cashew. So here goes nothing!

MUCCIOLO: Tipsheet: 2024 Kentucky Oaks

In the Kentucky Oaks, I’m keying a bit off of the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland. I think that Leslie’s Rose and Just FYI are poised to run big, even if they didn't draw all that well. I’m a sucker for far-outside posts in this race which only really worked with Plum Pretty from the 12-hole years ago. I suppose Lemons Forever won from way out wide but I certainly didn’t have her. Leslie’s Rose I think has more talent so that’s why I’m putting her on top. Just FYI I think will step forward off of her effort in the Ashland so they’re my top two. 

Kentucky Oaks picks 

  1. Leslie’s Rose
  2. Just FYI
  3. Where’s My Ring
  4. Gin Gin

Ok, so now the Kentucky Derby. What’s funny is all week I’ve thought about all of the horses in this race but hadn’t really started to truly weigh who I really thought was going to win. Giving picks out a few days in advance like this is kind of a dumb practice, but as I mentioned earlier, I’m not that bright, and it’s fun. Of course, price will end up being the biggest director on who to actually play at the windows. But from a strictly “who do I think is the best horse?” for me it’s Sierra Leone. I was wowed by both of his last two starts and I just think down the lane if he’s within striking distance, I can’t imagine anyone getting to him. So let’s put him on top.

RELATED: How Mucciolo is bettting the 2024 Kentucky Derby

Underneath I’m going with the Blue Grass (G1) runner-up (do I have a Keeneland recency bias happening here?) Just a Touch. Our Tampa Bay Derby (G3) winner Domestic Product has been stuck behind two obscenely slow paces in his last two starts and I think if he gets an honest pace to run into he can make some noise. Then let’s toss in Track Phantom just in case he shakes loose as he’s super honest. 

Kentucky Derby picks

  1. Sierra Leone
  2. Just a Touch
  3. Domestic Product
  4. Track Phantom

So there you have it, guarantees all around! Ok, not really. But I hope it’s a safe and fun weekend on the track, and hopefully, we all can leave with our wallets a little more full than when we start on Friday. We only get so many Derby weekends in our lifetime, so it’s important to savor the spectacle and the memories. 

Good luck everyone!