CRAWFORD | Breaking down the curse that will hang over Kentucky Derby 144

Virginia Carson
May 4, 2018

He's transcended that very point by winning two Derbys with what turned out to be very average three year olds.

One ran a blisteringly fast race to win the Santa Anita Derby and the other won the UAE Derby and looked like Secretariat doing it. No horse has won without racing at 2 years old since Apollo in 1882.

The wild card here might be Mendelssohn, the horse from Ireland who has been pointed to this race by Aidan O'Brien, the superstar European trainer who past year set a single-season record with 28 Grade 1 or Group 1 stakes victories. Monomoy Girl is the 2-1 favorite.

The Derby is the first leg of racing's prestigious Triple Crown, which also consists of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and the Belmont Stakes in Belmont Park, New York.

While he's won nearly every major race, he still needs to win the Kentucky Derby.

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"With the hastag "#GoAudible", Audible, Inc. has a section of its website devoted to the campaign and includes an interactive game, in which participants are asked to choose whether certain names are an audiobook book name or horse name. "So we just bring these horses along slowly". I explained it was only my opinion and didn't urge anyone to wager on the race or that horse.

My fourth choice is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Mendelssohn, who embarrassed the field in the UAE Derby. Start with the so-called Apollo Curse.

Here's a look at the entries for this year's race, along with the starting positions and odds.

If a full field of 20 starters, the gross purse of the Derby will be $2,192,000, with $1,432,000 going to the victor.

"Mendelssohn certainly has the talent to run a big race in Saturday's Kentucky Derby", Moore told his Betfair blog. The results were mind-blowing, as he won the race by 18-and-a-half lengths. Though anything can change until the starter pistol goes off at the 2018 Kentucky Derby on May 7, currently, there's only one horse with better odds than Mendelssohn. Ahmed Zayat, an owner of the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, has part of Solomini; Vincent Viola, a co-owner of Pletcher's 2017 winner Always Dreaming, has the 12-1 Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso. No victor of the UAE Derby has continued on to win in the Kentucky Derby, with the best result in nine tries a sixth-place finish. He did come to the US for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and win gamely. I think his pedigree and running style suit the distance, and he should find his way into the exotics.

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Good Magic, trained by two-time Eclipse Award victor Chad Brown, is the "live" long shot in this race, with the Derby as the third start of his form cycle this year. While he does not have a lot of experience with just three previous starts, he is trained by William Mott and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

But his fight to overcome his injury triggered an outpouring of public support for the horse and his owners the world over.

The 144th edition of the mile-and-a-quarter race for three-year-old thoroughbreds is expected to attract more than 150,000 spectators. In this case, because the more important athletes are the horses, that is where the gender line is drawn.

Trainer Brad Cox believes the filly can run even better.

"Will that be good enough?"

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Magnum Moon will try to press the pace and will finish in the show position.

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