The 139th Kentucky Derby is tomorrow, May 4th, at Churchill Downs! 20 horses are allowed in the race, with 21 having applied and qualified this year.
However, only 19 horses will race in the Derby tomorrow. Black Onyx was scratched from the race with a bone chip this morning, and while the horse Fear the Kitten was wait listed to race in the place of a scratched opponent the decision came after the 9 am deadline for adding the additional horse.
Who are some of the top contending horses this year?
(AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Orb pulled out of all the horses as the favorite, being on a four race winning streak. He was purchased for only $50,000 and has already won close to $1 million. Orb drew the 16th post out of 20 horses, which places him in the overflow starting gate but is actually a good position to start from. Four horses have won from the 16th post, the most recent being Animal Kingdom two years ago. You can read more about Orb at ESPN.
Verrazano is in a close second for favorite for the race tomorrow, and has a very good chance of winning. Verrazano is 4 for 4, unbeaten in his racing career. He will break from post 14, very close to Orb but from the actual (rather than auxiliary) starting gate. He never ran as a 2 year old, and if he won would only be the second winner of the Derby ever to claim that after Apollo in 1882. Will he have the stamina to win without the benefits of a few more races and more months of training that most of the other contenders have had?
Overanalyze is owned by Mike Repole who’s company created Vitamin Water (sold to Coke-a-Cola in 2007). This horse has shown good versatility in running style for the length of this race, but has been sort of inconsistent in previous races. But with the wins he has pulled off recently he might just have what it takes to win the Derby.
Goldencents is a horse to watch not only for his ability to win, but for what that win would mean for his owner and trainer. Goldencents is owned by Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville basketball coach who just won the national championship. A win in the Derby coupled with that win would be unprecedented. The trainer, Doug O’Neill won the Derby last year with horse I’ll Have Another. To have this horse win the Derby for a second year would more than prove O’Neill’s horse skills.
About that ability to win? Goldencents has shown as much skill as the other major contenders and has only been getting faster as he runs longer races. He has a fast start, but has also shown an ability to pick up speed later in the race. It is unknown whether he can last such a distance as this race, but we won’t know until he tries.
Revolutionary has won three consecutive races, and his odds are fairly good for this race. The most outstanding factor for this horse? Why his jockey, of course. Calvin Borel rides Revolutionary, and he has won the Kentucky Derby three times! Borel is one of the most decorated jockeys in the history of horse racing, and much of that success has only happened in the past 6 years aboard a few different horses. Given Borel’s record for handling horses, Revolutionary has a really good chance given his and his jockey’s skills. Will that be enough?
While Mylute has not won a graded stakes race, he managed to qualify for the Derby. His full potential is unknown and he might just have the sprinting speed to win. He also has a female jockey, Rosie Napravnik, who is the only female jockey running this year and a win would be the first for a female jockey ever at the Derby.
Watch the Derby tomorrow from 4 to 7 pm on NBC and I will post the results when available.