Roedemeier: Handicapping with veteran writer Bill Dolittle


by Gary Roedemeier

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 7:06 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- This time every year, they perfect the art of fence leaning, the patter of small talk and the inexact science of handicapping a race horse.

You know who you are. You are the early bird, the rail bird, the backside bird, looking for an angle, the thing that other bettors miss because they're still in bed.

Bill Dolittle does research and writes to piece together the Derby puzzle. And this year, he's found a lot of candidates for second and third but what about a winner?
“I really like medal count. I think he has a decent distance pedigree and he's coming up to the race right. I think that, of a long shot nature is general a rod, who is gonna be under the radar. I think unless the radar gets on him,” Dolittle said.

Has the radar picked up any more decent distance pedigrees? Dolittle answers with one word – “none.”

The pedigree puzzle seems to indicate a lot of these horses will not run very fast at the end.
One mystery entrant could be Danza, as in Tony, who shipped in and won the Arkansas Derby.
Danza is trained by Todd Pletcher, but had not won since a maiden race last summer.

Still, perhaps in this Derby.....could he get the distance?
“He looks like a big old bright chestnut horse. He's kinda long. Long horses are better at distances. He looked like he won for fun in the Arkansas Derby, but he's very unseasoned,” Dolittle said.

Yes, I would call just four races a bit unseasoned, but it is a Derby of lightly raced, lightly pedigreed and lightly regarded at least until they won a million dollar race.

So the railbirds peer onto the track looking for a sign, an angle that will lead them to the window that cashes tickets.