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Horses That Can Make Or Break The Kentucky Derby

by Daniel Gerbick on Friday, May 4th, 2018

Justify Kentucky Derby 2018With the 144th Kentucky Derby taking place tomorrow at Churchill Downs it’s worth looking at some horses that can make or break your day at the “Run for the Roses,” which is expected to be one of the most competitive in recent memory.

This is a race where experience matters, as this race is only for three-year-old horses and it’s been 135 years since a horse won the Derby without racing as a two-year-old horse.

In fact, only three of the past 49 horses Derby winners came to the race without any wins as 2-year-old horses (Fusaichi Pagasus, 2000; Monarchos, 2001; and Always Dreaming, 2017).

That’s bad news for horses such as Justify (3-1), which is the race favorite after a great Santa Anita Derby, Magnum Moon (6-1) and Hofburg (20-1).

Mendelssohn (5-1), won the United Arab Emirates Derby in record time by 18-and-a-half lengths. The drawback is that horses exiting that race are 0-for-13 in the Run for the Roses, so it’s hard to see him winning tomorrow.

One horse with no blemishes on his record is Bolt d’Oro (8-1), as he has run well basically in all of his starts, has good genes and is not overly priced for his talent. Furthermore, his sire (Medaglia d’Oro) led all of North America stallions in 2017 producing seven grade-1 winners.

Vino Rosso (12-1) is a horse that is picked to be among the front-runners early in the race. He could use the pace of the race to settle in nicely in the middle and could look poised for a big start at the Kentucky Derby. If he stays in the middle of the pack saving some energy he could gain some valuable ground late, when the other horses are tired, to come back and win the race.

As for long shots, a horse that has been drawing some interest is Instilled Regard (50-1), who looked like a major player after his visually impressive win at the Lacombe Stakes in New Orleans. Despite a disappointing result at the Santa Anita Derby he enters the race with a strong two-year-old campaign and has kept that momentum going as a three-year-old.

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