The 137th Kentucky Derby on May 7 lacks a clear favorite to root for, although many “experts” (not me) are picking Dialed In, ridden by Julien Leparoux in No. 8 post position. Dialed has won 3 of his 4 races so far, so it makes some sense.
Uncle Mo is this year’s big let-down. He was looking like a shoo-in until he developed tummy trouble and broke his 4-race winning streak by coming in 3rd at the Wood Memorial last month. But he’s training at Churchill Downs this week, and is tentatively slated to run the Derby in post position No. 18.
I predict Uncle Mo will be scratched at the last minute because they’re not taking any chances with his health.
Now, for my picks…
My favorite is Animal Kingdom. He has won or placed in his previous 4 races (2 and 2). On March 26, he outran 2 other Derby horses, Twinspired and Decisive Moment. His jockey will be Robby Albarado, and the last time they raced together, they won.
Soldat’s my second choice. He’s won or placed in 7 of his 8 races (3 wins, 4 seconds) and he has a solid partnership with this jockey, Alan Garcia. Soldat’s last raced on April 3 in the Florida Derby and came in 5th. It was his only off-day ever, so he’s probably itching for a comeback.
My third choice is Derby Kitten, ridden by Javier Castellano. I wanted Kitten to be my first choice, naturally, but he has won only 3 of 9 races (and placed in 3). He won his most recent race, but it was on April 23, and I think it’s too soon for him to be running again.
Horse Racing Nation provided more user-friendly information on the horses than the official Derby site.
May they all cross the finish line safely, and may the best horse win!