No clear favorite, rain make for unpredictable Derby

No clear favorite, rain make for unpredictable Derby

A horse with one eye should have no trouble competing in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, said an equine veterinary surgeon whose practice is based in Peculiar. The last non-North American-bred horse to win the Derby was Tommy Lee (Great Britain) in 1959.

The best horse in Saturday's race is H. Graham Motion's Irish War Cry.

While ponchos were aplenty, many people still wore their sharpest outfits they had been planning for months.

"It's been a insane road, but we're right where we want to be", trainer Mark Casse said. Always Dreaming, 3. Classic Empire, 4.

"Some horses don't like that and they lose their concentration", said Ian Wilkes, who trains McCraken. Like Classic Empire, he was also by Pioneerof the Nile.

Also, in a video interview, Pletcher talked about Patch and how the horse's disability hasn't limited his success on the track-and that he did anticipate Patch would become a fan favorite in this year's race. The last was Carry Back in 1961.

Irap (20/1) won the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and is trained by Doug O'Neill, who has two Derby winners in the past six years. Two horses seen set to challenge - the Derby victor Always Dreaming and McCraken - are both at 5-1 odds, from post positions 5 and 15, respectively.

Newlin added that many fans get into the spirit of Saturday's Derby day by wearing their Sunday best.

Also seeking to build on their Derby resumes will be the human connections of Blue Grass Stakes (GII) victor Irap. Horse racing is an exception - and the biggest race is Saturday. The colt has won three of five career starts, but he's been fractious in morning gallops, the opposite of his trainer's always cool demeanor.

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The last Kentucky Derby won on a sloppy track was 2013, when the favored Orb won by 2½ lengths in such conditions.

Anyone taking Practical Joke lightly shouldn't, regardless of his 20-1 odds. A place wager means your horse must come in first or second, while a win means just that - your pick has to come in first.

It's a bet you have to think about, and calculate your options long before the Oaks post on Friday afternoon. Those wins came in the Holy Bull Stakes in Florida and the Wood Memorial in NY. Trainer John Shirreffs noted that he'd thought from the start that Gormley was more of an off-the-pace runner, but because of his raw talent he'd found himself closer to the lead in his early races.

"There's those variables, but aside from all that, the obvious is you've got a 20-horse field". His sire, Lookin At Lucky, had the same spot in 2010.

Other than McCraken, another potential dark horse at the Kentucky Derby is Irish War Cry.

There are even bigger odds for bettors who like extreme long shots.

As it turns out, Patch is not the first visually impaired colt to run for Pletcher at the Derby. He won't be able to see the rest of the field to his left. Fast and Accurate may be neither if you listen to oddsmakers. Sonneteer has yet to win a race in his career.

Trainers: Last year's victor with Nyquist, Doug O'Neill, trains Irap.

A total of 22 horses were entered, two more than the maximum limit of 20. In fact, the past 66 winners all raced at 1 1/8 miles before trying the 1 1/4-mile distance at Churchill Downs. The first is who's eligible for each race. However, he lost his first race of the season and missed significant training time to recuperate from an injury. The winter prep races did nothing to establish a clear favorite.Classic Empire is the 4-1 pre-race choice.