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.
12. ENTICED (30-1)
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
Last race: 2nd, Wood Memorial, Aqueduct
Fastest Bris speed figure: 104, Gotham
Fastest Beyer speed figure: 95, Gotham
Final fractions in last race: 13.39, 38.25
Why he can win
He's already won at Churchill Downs, last fall's Kentucky Jockey Club (a race also won by 2010 Derby winner Super Saver). He's run in 12- and 14-horse fields and has experience in getting bumped and in dogfights and still running well. Such grit serves a horse well in the Derby. Kiaran McLaughlin finished second in the 2005 Derby with 71-1 Closing Argument, and this is a much better horse. The Racing Gods bet him in the Wood Memorial and thought Vino Rosso should have been disqualified for interference.
Why he won't
Closing Argument was second, not the winner. The only Gotham winner to wear the roses was Secretariat, and — news flash! — Enticed is not Secretariat. He came home too slow in the Wood to qualify under the Final Fractions Theory. He doesn't want to go that far.
Lexington product Kiaran McLaughlin has had seven prior Derby starters. Junior Alvarado is in his first Derby. The only jockeys since Ronnie Franklin (Spectacular Bid, 1979) to win on their first attempt are Stewart Elliott (Smarty Jones, 2004) and Mario Gutierrez (I'll Have Another, 2012). The Kentucky Jockey Club has produced seven Kentucky Derby winners, five of whom won both races. Godolphin has raced 10 horses in the Derby, its best finish also being with a horse based in America rather than Dubai, with the McLaughlin-trained Frosted fourth in 2015. Canonero in 1971 is the last of post 12's trio of Derby winners.