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.
GUNNEVERA (Post position 10; 15-1 odds)
Owner: Peacock Racing Stables
Trainer: Antonio Sano
Jockey Javier Castellano
Sire-Dam: Dialed In-Unbridled Rage
Fastest Bris speed figure: 102, Fountain of Youth
Fastest Beyer speed figure: 97, Fountain of Youth
Last race: Third in Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in Florida
Why he'll win:
From five-eighths of a mile to 1 1/8, he never runs a bad race, including making the tough ships to New York's Saratoga and Louisiana's Delta Downs to win graded stakes. He had a tough trip in the Florida Derby, being out of the picture most of the way, coming very wide and then closing strongly over a track where speed fared well. He's a son of Dialed In, whose sire (Mineshaft) was Horse of the Year and handled 1 1/4-miles admirably. And he's out of a mare by 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled. There's precedence for a horse owned-trained and ridden by Venezuela products: Canonero in 1971.
Why he won't:
He comes from too far out of it and will be up against it to pick his way through the field or being forced to come extremely wide. There's not as much pace in the Kentucky Derby now that the points system forces out the true sprinters, who would go out so fast that it spread the field to lesson traffic problems for closers. He's a wonderful, hard-trying horse but might just be a notch below the best.
Just guessing that trainer Antonio Sano would be the first kidnap victim to win the Kentucky Derby. Dialed In was the beaten favorite in the 2011 Kentucky Derby. At $16,000 as a Keeneland yearling, he's the kind of purchase that keeps dreams alive in horse racing.