Using Running Styles To Identify Contenders And Pretenders In the Kentucky Derby

Aidan O'Brien's colt Mendelssohn can score a first for Europe

Aidan O'Brien's colt Mendelssohn can score a first for Europe

Trained by four-time Kentucky Derby victor, Bob Baffert, Justify will face a serious challenge from Mendelssohn, who makes his North American debut as a +400 bet on the Kentucky Derby odds.

Audible the horse now has 8-1 odds of winning this year's race, according to Churchill Downs' official website.

Jose Lezcano aboard State of Honor (6) races John Velazquez aboard Always Dreaming (5) during the 2017 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. She has attended the Kentucky Derby several times with her family but this is the first time they have had any horse run in the race.

Twenty horses will make a "run for the roses" in the first leg of the Triple Crown. But the speed and intelligence he's shown in three starts this year have shown he just might be the one who can end the "curse of Apollo", as the long streak of futility has come to be known.

The four-time Derby victor D. Wayne Lukas has Calumet Farms's 50-1 shot Bravazo, which gives him the chance to relay to listeners that he still rides "four or five hours every day", and that he considers proximity to the horses his secret because, for one thing, "I feel more comfortable out there [on the track] than I would be standing [around], talking about my golf score or who I slept with or something".

Of other leading fancies, Magnum Moon drew the 16 stall, with Audible in five, Good Magic in six and Santa Anita Derby runner-up Bolt D'Oro in 11. Storm Cat was won of the most prolific sires in thoroughbred history, once standing for a stud fee of $500,000.

Now, I'll land the mic to the #RJhorseracing handicappers, who this week are handicapping both the Kentucky Oaks, the equivalent of the Derby for 3-year-old fillies, on Friday and the Derby on Saturday. Still, Vino Rosso shows the improving qualities you look for in a Kentucky Derby victor - someone who may not have quite peaked in performance.

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Scat Daddy was a son of Johannesburg, a son of Hennessey, who was a son of Storm Cat. "We've had Bodemeister, and we've had Curlin who ran second and third and ran well, but we've never had two horses like Magnum Moon and Justify not run a race at 2".

No. 14 Mendelssohn (5-1): Bred in Kentucky with big win at Del Mar along with UAE "sheik-y" Dubai cake walk win by 18 last out. One might listen to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert noting the recession of patience in 21st-century horse buying, or saying of the sport, "We don't have a draft".

The horse is not named after "Audible" the company.

"He looked smooth as silk coming by me", Mott said then.

All the guesses and handicapping using various angles can be ignored as the gates open on Saturday, when more than 150,000 fans are in full throat and 20 horses barrel down the front straightaway at Churchill Downs just hoping to survive the crush that heads into that first turn.

Owner/trainer Mick Ruis is equally as effusive in his praise for Bolt d'Oro.

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