He sounds like a football coach, yet believable.
No European horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby.
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 previous year set a single-season record with 28 Grade 1 or Group 1 stakes victories.
Let the man, then, assess the uncertainty born of wide quality: "I think it's the deepest field we've had in a long time. I don't know is the honest answer, and not for one moment do we think this is going to be straightforward, though that is stating the obvious". And this: He faced five-, five- and seven-horse fields in his three races.
While Audible does not have an ownership stake or any other direct financial interest in the horse, the Amazon subsidiary is an active sponsor and launched a social media publicity campaign for the 3-year-old colt in the days leading up to the Run for the Roses. Visit SportsLine to get Jody Demling's Kentucky Derby victor, see which huge long shot contends, and get the finish positions for every single horse, all from the man who's picked 9 straight Derby-Oaks doubles!
The chestnut filly has started two 2018 races as the favorite and won both, taking last month's Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland by 5 1/2 lengths after winning the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra by 2 1/2 at Fair Grounds in Louisiana in February.
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There's a Mott element, a Baffert favorite, a Pletcher mass and then the second favorite Mendelssohn sitting over unseen and mysterious in his barn, quarantine process ongoing, after another of his globe-trotting trips.
Mendelssohn emerged as a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender following his stunning win by 18 lengths at this year's UAE Derby. He ran second to Justify in the Santa Anita Derby. Bred by John Gunther's Glenwood Farm, out of the Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic, Justify shared a paddock with Wood Memorial victor Vino Rosso.
In 2015, American Pharoah became the first horse to win the coveted Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. "I'd rather have the best horse than a horse who's run 10 times. I want to be where Wayne is". So, sometimes the luck of the draw, or whatever. To see him atop his horse watching his latest Derby charge at work leaves no doubt about his energy or desire.
"We didn't want the 1-hole, that's for sure", Baffert, the four-time Derby victor, told the Associated Press.
Magnum Moon won the Arkansas Derby, but like Justify he did not run in a straight line approaching the finish. His capacity to get horses to this point is a feat of towering steadiness. "I just see two horses there". He called Pletcher "very organized, very methodical, non-emotional on a lot of fronts". Mott said the recovery time can help them mature.
Sitting well back of the favorites in Kentucky Derby betting, Vino Rosso leads the middle of the pack at +1400, followed by Hofburg at +1600, Solomini at +2000, and My Boy Jack at +2200, while this year's Gotham Stakes victor, Enticed, trails at +2500. "The derby has gone on for 144 years, so this is not a new event, but people are really wanting to capitalize on the greatest two minutes in sports and use it in a way to promote our mission and vision for the Springs and fundraising".