Inexperience, rain in the forecast for Kentucky Derby

Justify will be the favorite in the 2018 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday May 5

But she has bounced back from that defeat with a pair of back-to-back wins in 2018, culminating with a dominant performance in the Grade-1 Ashland in April. Mendelssohn won in wire to wire fashion so I looked to see how track bias may have contributed.

The 144th Kentucky Derby is set to take place Saturday. That colt went on to win the Triple Crown. That colt hasn't done much since.

I am going against that curse this year and backing Mendelssohn. So which one is sitting on the big race?

Pletcher is also unconcerned by this horse's inexperience.

Justify was the morning line favorite at 3-1. Baffert already had Bodemeister, unraced at 2, finish second in 2012. Over the 144-year history of the Kentucky Derby, being the favorite has been more of a curse than a blessing in projecting a victor.

"He's always been a superior animal", trainer Bob Baffert told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Since 1937, 61 horses have run in the Derby without a start at age 2; they've all failed.

The Run for the Roses is just around the corner! My Boy was 30-1 on the morning line. He's ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, who rode Animal Kingdom to the 2011 Derby win (and, yes, the last time I picked a Derby winner) and Always Dreaming to the roses a year ago.

"He has a big personality, we always try to encourage our horses to develop a personality, and he has developed a big one", O'Brien explained. Depending on how hot the early pace is will determine if he has his nose in front at the wire. Cox, who grew up blocks from Churchill Downs, wasn't fazed. Promises Fulfilled is the speed of the speed in Post 3. I don't see that happening again this year. But he's a closer, and showing up in the superfecta is not beyond the realm of possibility.

I'm going to bet Mendelssohn at $50 across the board. So maybe the field Mendelssohn beat in Dubai wasn't all that great, though he is still to be feared.

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With homebred Hofburg, Juddmonte turns to another Hall of Famer in trainer Bill Mott. To narrow things down, you have to nitpick, so I'm throwing Audible out because he's a New York-bred.

Despite Good Magic's top-notch credentials, he was relegated to the 7-1 fifth choice on Friday. Weeding it all out is hard, but it's a good kind of hard. Florida Derby victor Audible and Wood Memorial champion Vino Rosso give trainer Todd Pletcher a potent group in this year's running, and longshots like Combatant and Hofburg could also pose a major threat in the final quarter-mile. He'll start from the No. 16 post.

I'm a sucker for late runners, and Audible quickly struck my fancy as I watched his prep races.

"These are the most talented Apollo horses and we have two of them", Scully said.

I've been sold on him since Del Mar, when he gave me the side eye during training hours and then belted out his signature scream as if to command my attention. Like Justify, Magnum Moon, trained by Todd Pletcher, is unbeaten. He won by 4 1/2 lengths over 10 rivals at six furlongs at Gulfstream Park near Miami.

"After 25 years, I'm finally getting horses that I don't have to buy", he said. He'll have to work from the outside in with the No. 11 post. And Good Magic followed up on his Breeders' Cup Juvenile win previous year with a score in the Blue Grass Stakes. McKinzie bore out big time in the stretch and was taken down. Justify, 3. Bolt D'Oro, 4. But Justify had things all his own way that day in a small field. Smith won last year's Oaks aboard Abel Tasman and seeks to become the first rider since Eddie Arcaro (1951-53) to win in consecutive years.

Even for those of us who don't follow horse racing on a daily basis, you have to have action on this race.

The key is to find something that you like about a horse. What if he steps up his game today like Baffert horses do? This colt might blow away the field.

Besides the likely favorites, 2017 juvenile champion Good Magic enters the Derby off a convincing score in the Blue Grass Stakes. "Whether it happens this year or whatever, but it will happen because Bodemeister nearly got away with it".

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