Dissecting The Derby: Thunder Snow

Dissecting The Derby: Thunder Snow

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.

THUNDER SNOW (Post position 2; 20-1 odds)
Owner: Godolphin
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Jockey: Christophe Soumillon
Record: 8—4-2-0
Earnings: $1,627,541
Sire-dam: Helmet-Eastern Joy
Fastest Bris speed figure: not applicable
Fastest Beyer speed figure: not applicable
Last race: First in UAE Derby at Meydan in Dubai

Why he'll win:
No other horse has raced farther than 1 1/8 miles, and Thunder Snow won the 1 3/16-mile UAE Derby after only once before racing as far as a mile. He's a high-quality horse who captured France's Group 1 Criterium International. Having grass in the pedigree and past performances didn't hurt Big Brown or Animal Kingdom win the Kentucky Derby.

Why he won't:
He's a grass horse who beat up other grass horses and second-tier dirt horses in the UAE Derby. There's grass — and then there are horses starting out on the grass such as Big Brown and Animal Kingdom who also have American speed. His UAE Derby winning time of 1:57 3/5 would be outstanding — if he were running the Derby's 1 1/4 miles.  The best Kentucky Derby finish by a horse who ran in the UAE Derby has been fifth.

The last time a horse won the Kentucky Derby after making his prior start outside North America was Canonero II in 1971. Christophe Soumillon would be the first  jockey from Belgium to win the Kentucky Derby.

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