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.
10. MY BOY JACK (30-1)
Owner: Don't Tell My Wife Stables, Monomoy Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Keith Desormeaux
Jockey: Kent Desormeaux
Last race: 1st, Stonestreet Lexington, Keeneland
Fastest Bris speed figure: 99, Louisiana Derby
Fastest Beyer speed figure: 94, Louisiana Derby
Final fractions in last race: 12.94, 36.91
Why My Boy Jack can win
He had a difficult trip in the Louisiana Derby and still nearly won, losing by three-quarters of a length behind fellow Derby starters Noble Indy and Lone Sailor. He's following on the lines of 1999 Derby winner Charismatic, fourth in the Santa Anita Derby and winner of the Lexington before attaining Derby glory. His late-running style will be well-suited for the anticipated faster Derby pace. He had the fastest final three-eighths time of the Louisiana Derby runners, easily qualifying under the Final Fraction Theory. My Boy Jack raced predominantly on grass last year, and a little turf doesn't seem to hurt at Churchill Downs in the Derby (see Barbaro, Big Brown, Animal Kingdom). History suggests you're more likely to win the Derby with a $20,000 yearling than a $1 million-plus yearling. Mine That Bird, the late-running 2009 winner at 50-1, showed that any closer has a shot with the right set up.
Why he won't
Louisiana Derby was one of the weakest final preps. While he could get a favorable pace set up, there are too many other quality horses that also will be running at the end. This is a lot tougher year than 2009, when the best 3-year-old to race that weekend was in the Kentucky Oaks (Rachel Alexander). If the racing gods are going to tab a horse with such strong Louisiana connections, it will be Lone Sailor.
Trainer Keith and jockey Kent Desormeaux would be the first brother team to win the Derby — they teamed to win the Preakness in 2016 with Derby runner-up Exaggerator. Another late-closing long shot in Giacomo (2005) was the last horse to win from post 10. The post has been the second-most productive starting position, launching nine winners, and its 29.6 percent for finishing in the first three tops all posts since the advent of the starting gate in 1930. 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.