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.
TAPWRIT (Post position 16; 20-1 odds)
Owner: Bridlewood Farm and Eclipse Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Sire-dam: Tapit-Appealing Zophie
Fastest Bris speed figure: 101, Tampa Bay Derby
Fastest Beyer speed figure: 96, Tampa Bay Derby
Last race: Fifth in Blue Grass at Keeneland
Why he'll win:
His Tampa Bay Derby victory over State of Honor was extremely impressive. He had a major excuse in the Blue Grass when he was unprepared at the start, taking him out of the game for a race devoid of speed. It's the old "bet one of the lesser regarded horses when a trainer has more than one in the Derby" axiom. (See Real Quiet, Grindstone, Charismatic etc.) A $1.2 million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase, he's supposed to win.
Why he won't:
Iron Liege in 1957 is the last Derby winner who finished worse than fourth in his last prep. Tapwrit's two races outside Florida resulted in defeats by double-digit lengths. He came home way too slow in the Blue Grass to win. About those million-dollar babies, 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus is the only $1 million-plus auction purchase to win the Derby.
Todd Pletcher is expected to start three horses, which will give him 48 in his career to tie for the all-time lead with his former boss D. Wayne Lukas. Of course, Pletcher, who won the 2010 Derby with Super Saver, would prefer to tie Lukas' four Derby victories.