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.
8. LONE SAILOR (50-1)
Trainer: Tom Amoss
Jockey: James Graham
Last race: 2nd, Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds
Fastest Bris speed figure: 100 Louisiana Derby
Fastest Beyer speed figure: 95 Louisiana Derby
Final fractions in last race: 13.04, 13.06
Why Lone Sailor can win
More than any horse in the field, if the Racing Gods have a heart they'll drape the roses on the horse owned by the widow (Gayle Benson) of the recently deceased Tom Benson, who has meant so much to New Orleans as the owner of the New Orleans Saints and NBA Pelicans, as well as saving Dixie Beer and his extensive philanthropy. Lone Sailor has been training lights-out and will be running late. If Mine That Bird, a less accomplished 50-1 shot can win, so can Lone Sailor. And hey, Mine That Bird also drew post 8 in 2009.
Why he won't
There are too many good horses this year, and he's just a cut below. If he couldn't put away Noble Indy in the Louisiana Derby after taking the lead in mid-stretch, he probably won't be able to pass and put away the likes of Justify, Audible, Magic Moon, Good Magic (choose your horses) — or at least not enough of them.
This is jockey James Graham's first Kentucky Derby mount. Trainer Tom Amoss has had five prior Derby starters, including the Bensons' eighth-place finisher Mo Tom in 2016. The Louisiana Derby has produced three Kentucky Derby winners, the last being Funny Cide in 2003, but six horses have come out of the race to finish second or third in the past seven years. Post 8 has produced eight Derby winners since the advent of the starting gate in 1930. Lone Sailor was a $120,000 Keeneland yearling purchase.