LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - No race is tougher to ferret out than the Kentucky Derby, which at times can seem as perplexing 30 minutes before post time as it is 30 days before the run for the roses.
It can look so easy after the fact, so here we helpfully tell you in advance why the winner prevails.
Of course we do it for every horse in the field -- as well as explaining why you can't possibly cash a ticket betting that horse.
So let us do the detective work as we case out the Kentucky Derby.
Owner: Michael Langford
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
Sire-dam: Trappe Shot-Exit Three
Fastest Bris speed figure: 96, Risen Star
Fastest Beyer speed figure: 91, Risen Star
Last race: Sixth in Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park
Why he can win:
One thing he knows about is full fields, having raced in five with at least 11 starters and his sixth has nine. Except for when wearing blinkers in his last start, he's been admirably consistent. One of his best races was second in the LeComte conducted in the mud, and with the forecast there's a good chance of an off track.
Why he can't:
You must go back to 1957 with Iron Liege to find a Derby winner who was worse than fourth in his final pre-Derby prep. Instead of his races getting increasingly better, they seem to be getting slower from a speed-figure standpoint. Horses who win the Derby don't need the late equipment changes of adding blinkers for racing for their final prep, then taking them off. He doesn't want to run that far.
It's a positive move that Ricardo Santana Jr., who rode him in his first four starts to four seconds and a maiden win at Churchill Downs, is back aboard. Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard is the co-breeder.