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 out.
It can look so easy after the fact, so here we helpfully tell you in advance why the winner will prevail.
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 -- including the perilous exercise of handicapping the Racing Gods.
Notes: Final Fractions reflects how fast the horse ran the last eighth-mile and last three-eighths of a mile in its 1 1/8-mile prep race. The Final Fraction Theory rules out horses who ran the last eighth slower than 13.0 and the last three-eighths in slower than 38.0. Bris and Beyer speed figures are ratings designed to compute how fast a horse ran taking into account track conditions as a means of comparing horses from different tracks and races.
5. AUDIBLE (8-1)
Owner: WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and Starlight Racing
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Last race: 1st, Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park
Fastest Bris speed figure: 107, Florida Derby
Fastest DRF speed figure: 99, Florida Derby and Holy Bull
Final fractions of last race: 12.52, 37.40
Why Audible can win
He's unbeaten at a mile and farther after finishing third sprinting in his first start. The Florida Derby has produced more Kentucky Derby winners — 24 — than any other active prep, including three horses who have swept both races since 2013 and six since 2001. He finished very well in the Florida Derby, and his Bris speed figures have gotten better every race — and he's actually started showing more in his morning workouts. Todd Pletcher goes for two in a row, having won out of post 5 last year with Always Dreaming. He's really figuring out this Derby business. He also is on a roll as the first trainer to win the Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Arkansas Derby and Louisiana Derby in the same year. Hall of Famer John Velazquez opted to ride stablemate Vino Rosso, and racing history is full of jockeys who picked the wrong mount for the Derby.
Why he won't
He might not be able to beat stablemates Vino Rosso or Magnum Moon. His rider, another Hall of Famer in Javier Castellano, himself opted to ride Audible over California standout Bolt d'Oro — and history is full of jockeys who pick the wrong mount for the Kentucky Derby. Velazquez, aboard Audible for three of five starts, chose Vino Rosso because he feels that the Wood Memorial winner is more likely to thrive at the Kentucky Derby's 1 1/4 miles. Being out of a mare by Gilded Time makes one question how much beyond 1 1/8 miles Audible wants. The Racing Gods won't hear of an Audible win that allows all those bad puns in headlines. We've seen this before: Pletcher wins most the preps and comes up with a goose egg in the Derby.
Many of the Starlight Racing partners are local, the last Louisville owner to win the Derby being H.C. Applegate with Old Rosebud in 1914. Javier Castellano has never finished better than fourth with 11 Derby mounts. That's the most mounts without a top three finish in history. Funny Cide (2003) is the only New York-born horse to win the Kentucky Derby. With 10, post 5 has produced the most winners since the starting gate was utilized in 1930.