Pre-race favorite Kentucky Derby horse trained in NCFL

In December the city announced plans to finally repave some of downtown Louisville's most torn-up streets. Yet six weeks into spring- and three days before the city's premiere event of the year- those streets are as bad as ever

Kentucky Derby: Can Justify beat the Curses?

Can't recall the name, but it didn't get to wear the garland of roses that's presented to the victor. "I just see two horses there". But this reader apparently believed "If it's in the Gazette, it must be true".

Last year, the first Derby Day at the Quality Inn after years at Gallagher's Dining & Pub, filled the lounge and the neighboring restaurant and had prospective bettors lined out the door. I think he's pretty nice. It was quite simple. He doesn't have any tricks but looks to the horse's bloodline and a good trainer.

The field of 20 horses received their post positions on Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs, with Blended Citizen making the field as an "also eligible" addition if one of the other 20 horses in the field can't run Saturday. "So, a lot of horses have tried to break the Apollo curse ... only some of them were actually good". So in two columns I picked a loser to win and a victor to lose. No victor of the UAE Derby has continued on to win in the Kentucky Derby, with the best result in nine tries a sixth-place finish. History says shy away from posts one and two. While he is still definitely a long shot behind the favorites and some of the other names on this list, My Boy Jack has the potential to surprise as an excellent sleeper option to win the Kentucky Derby this week.

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And then came a resounding triumph in the UAE Derby in Dubai in March where Mendelssohn romped by 18 ½ lengths to earn a trip to Kentucky, where he was bred.

Secretariat, also known as "Big Red", went on to clinch the Triple Crown in 1973, ending a 25-year wait. Velasquez has Vino Rosso.

It's both a lot and a whole lot to comprehend, and at the top of the odds it has Baffert placing his 3-0-0 Justify into sentences with American Pharoah. The last long-shot was Animal Kingdom at 20-1 in 2011, but that paled compared to Mine That Bird at 50-1 in 2009 with the toothless jockey Calvin Borel aboard, and Giacomo at 50-1 in 2005.

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"So it is not just betting, the chance to prove with money your luck or what you call your judgment, that draws people to horse races". Three horses who won the Florida Derby in their last prep wore the roses in the past seven years, including the last two, Always Dreaming and Nyquist.

Yet, if handicappers believe the Curse of Apollo and the Curse of Storm Cat will endure Saturday, most will likely settle on either Good Magic, the champion 2-year-old champion of 2017 who won the Blue Grass last time out, or Bolt d'Oro, a multiple Grade 1 victor who finished second behind Justify in the Santa Anita Derby.

This year's Kentucky Derby may be the most talented field we've seen since Street Sense bested future two-time Horse of the Year and National Racing Hall of Famer Curlin by eight lengths in 2007. Post 16? That's Magnum Moon, a major contender.

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Yes, there are plenty of superstar 3-year-old-horses set to test the 1 1/4-mile race, namely race favorite Justify, who has won all three of his prep events including the prestigious Santa Anita Derby; Eclipse Award recipient Good Magic, who took the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last fall; and European invader Mendelssohn, who was last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf victor and this season's runaway UAE Derby champion. Critics will point out that no UAE Derby victor has ever hit the board in the Run for the Roses, but the combination of a champion horse, a brilliant trainer, a top jockey and maintaining excellent form makes him a prominent runner.

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