It seems like only yesterday that American Pharoah was winning the Triple Crown, but he’s retired now and living the good life. It’s time for new hooves to run for the roses in the Kentucky Derby. You can watch it on NBC May 7 from 4-7:30 p.m. ET (post time 6:34).
Studying this year’s field of 20, it was hard to find a favorite, but then one jumped out at me. Actually, two.
The first is Exaggerator, son of Curlin. Curlin was Big Brown’s all-round nemesis back in 2008. And here’s an interesting twist: Exaggerator’s going to be ridden by Brownie’s faithful jockey, Kent Desormeaux. The Ex Man pulled post position 11. He’s won four of his nine previous races, the most recent being the Santa Anita Derby on April 9, and his odds aren’t too bad at 8-1.
My treats are on Exaggerator to win.
My second pick is Suddenbreakingnews, who has won three of his eight previous races. His most recent race was the Arkansas Derby on April 16, where he came in second.
Sudden’s grandfather is Afleet Alex, who won the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes in 2005. Alex is another sentimental favorite of mine because of that moment in the Preakness stretch when Scrappy T bumped into Alex so hard, he nearly fell on his knees and threw his jockey, but then he recovered and WON THE RACE by 4 ¾ lengths!
Suddenbreakingnews’ pulled post position 2, which could put him in a tight spot by the rail. His jockey is Luis Quinonez. His odds are 20-1
And because I’m not into jinxing any horse’s chances, my third pick is the 3-1 favorite, unbeaten in seven previous races, Nyquist. He most recently won the Florida Derby on April 2. He’ll be in post position 13 under Mario Gutierrez.
Interesting FYI: Nyquist is competing against his half-brother, Outwork (post position 11, odds 15-1). They are both sons of Uncle Mo.
Another family tie I noticed was Destin (pp 9, 15-1) and Brody’s Cause (pp 19, 12-1), who are cousins that share a grandpa, Storm Cat.
Cats Working wishes all the horses good luck (because you never tell them to “Break a leg!” before a big race), and hopes all cross the finish line safely.