Kentucky Derby: Can Justify beat the Curses?

04 May, 2018, 14:17 | Author: Sergio Cook
  • Baffert back for more with latest star, Justice

He sounds like a football coach, yet believable.

Bolt d'Oro, owned and trained by Mick Ruis, was once considered the early Kentucky Derby favorite but dropped down the rankings when he was beaten by Good Magic in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and returned to a first-place finish in the San Felipe due to the disqualification of McKinzie in his sophomore debut, followed by a runner-up performance to Justify in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7. For one thing, enough Hall of Fame trainers lurk around that there's even this 82-year-old marvel atop a horse, and if you've never seen an 82-year-old marvel atop a horse, you really should see an 82-year-old marvel atop a horse.

Brian Zipse from DerbyDayRacing.com and HorseRacingNation.com broke down the Kentucky Derby field and went into detail about the style and prospects for every horse. Eliminating those two, the field is practically wide open. "I'd rather have the best horse than a horse who's run 10 times".

"When Todd gets these big horses and sends them to J.J., his father here a Payton Training Center, this is where they get their start, and this is where they first learn to become champions".

In all, the trainers of the 20 runners have combined for 10 Derby wins and 23 Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer, both the most ever for a single running of the Derby. This year it may be more hard to pin down the victor.

Headlining the 20-horse field at this year's KENTUCKY DERBY is Justify, a best-odds colt with five-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert in his corner.

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There's a Mott element, a Baffert favorite, a Pletcher mass and then the second favorite Mendelssohn sitting over unseen and mysterious in his barn, quarantine process ongoing, after another of his globe-trotting trips. He has already shown the ability to win in the United States, having captured the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar last November and is a half-brother to multiple-U.S. champion Beholder. Justify, trained by Bob Baffert, is the victor of the Santa Anita Derby and has won his three starts by a combined 19 lengths. Baffert's accomplishments include a Triple Crown victory in 2015 with American Pharaoh.

"We've had a great spring", said Pletcher, who is tied with Lukas for the most Derby starters with 48. "All the final prep races I thought were pretty good". So, sometimes the luck of the draw, or whatever. The horse made the cover of Sports Illustrated and was photographed by United States fashion magazine Vogue.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, who picked up his second career Kentucky Derby win past year with Always Dreaming, Audible will be aiming to become the third straight horse to follow up a victory in the Florida Derby with a trip to the winner's circle at Churchill Downs. His capacity to get horses to this point is a feat of towering steadiness. He called Pletcher "very organized, very methodical, non-emotional on a lot of fronts". Hofburg is trying to give Mott his first Derby victor, and he has had a head-turning week of training that illustrates why a conservative trainer like Mott is taking on the Derby with a horse with so few starts.

Pletcher, a two-time Derby victor trying to become the first trainer in 20 years to win consecutive Derbies, sends out the aforementioned potent foursome of Audible, Magnum Moon, Noble Indy and Vino Rosso, all winners of major preps in their most recent races.

Mendelssohn won the $2 million United Arab Emirates Derby by an astonishing 18 lengths - and that's just four of the 20 horses that will tackle the $2 million Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

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