The Kentucky Derby has always been a great reason to throw a party. Dermot Weld is the only European trainer to have a horse win an American classic, and Weld sees something special in Mendelssohn. He was a no-show in the Preakness and missed the board, then struggled at Saratoga over the summer in both the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes and the Grade 1 Travers Stakes.
Justify is undefeated in three starts, won by a combined 19 lengths.
"Only the horse race is more universal because the brutality of the prize fight is absent, as well as the attenuation of football or baseball - the long time needed for the orgasm of victory to occur, where in the horse race it is a matter of minutes, never over two or three, repeated six or eight or 10 times in one afternoon". The last victor from seven was Street Sense in 2007. The exacta paid $336.20 and the trifecta, even with the favorite on top, made folks $16,594.20 richer. "You need to have a good horse and you need to have a good trip regardless of where you start".
The similarities stop there. Chad Brown's colt Good Magic, who won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, in coming off a win in the Blue Grass. "Now sitting at 7-to-1 we are facing some severe exposure if Audible can win the most exciting two minutes in sports".
One of the last backstrech bromides to die has been the so-called "Curse of Apollo".
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If you fancy a punt, this year's Derby looks like a very open race, with Justify, trained by American Pharaoh's handler Bob Baffert, heading the betting ahead of Aidan O'Brien's Irish raider Mendelssohn. And this year, the race will be wagered on with a more modern innovation: cryptocurrencies.
Hofburg is facing a severe test in just his fourth career start. A race for female horses will take place on Friday. "All the important horses got good draws". But it all worked out for the best. Noble Indy, Lone Sailor and Bravazo all last ran at the Fair Grounds before Saturday's race. This is sure to go down smooth and quickly; so make plenty. Kicking off at 2:30 p.m., the free bash also features drinks from Budweiser and themed food including Nashville hot chicken sliders and pimento cheese dip.
"It's a pretty big call but this is quite doable and I believe he [Mendelssohn] has a great chance", Weld told the Irish Times. This horse finished behind Vino Rosso at the Wood Memorial, but he was dominant at the Gotham Stakes. His name means red wine in Italian, and his connections were hoisting a few glasses of that after he finally lived up to his potential and guzzled down the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct by three lengths.
Since 2000, the 14 horses unraced as 2-year-olds that ran in the Kentucky Derby had an average finish of eighth.
Mendelssohn, the UAE Derby victor, is a freak. Post positions are via SB Nation; odds are via CBS News. That could put him in a hard position turning for home, but he showed some grit in finishing second to Good Magic in the Blue Grass at Keeneland and that might come in handy here.