Pre-race favorite Kentucky Derby horse trained in NCFL

Todd Pletcher

Good Magic should not be overlooked at odds of plus-900.

Audible the horse now has 8-1 odds of winning this year's race, according to Churchill Downs' official website. His ashes are now buried at Churchill Downs, while a bronze statue of the horse was erected at the race track in 2009. Sire Shackleford was as tough as they get. Not today! Flameaway flamed out in only Grade 1 race.

Audible's Florida Derby triumph extends his win streak to four races, which also includes a gutsy victory by four lengths at the Holy Bull. The new emphasis is on how you race in March and April before the Derby.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has four entrants, including contenders Magnum Moon and Audible, but he's not a smart pick, either. The son of Curlin had poor start to 2018 then won Blue Grass Stakes April 7, regaining unsafe form.

Unbeaten in three starts, Justify was established as the early favourite at 3-1 for the 2,000m showcase at Churchill Downs. Lone Sailor, the horse of late Saints' owner Tom Benson drew the No. 8 post. "They are a lot more lightly raced (now)".

One of the last times I wrote a column about the Kentucky Derby, I mentioned a horse I thought would win.

The Derby has been known as a great race for long shots, but the trend in the five most recent races has seen favorites do quite well. Did have one gutsy win at Churchill past year and should love return to twin Spires dirt. At 13-1 odds, Audible has decent potential to build on that legacy. Mendelssohn won the $2 million UAE Derby by an astonishing 18 lengths - and that's just four of the 20 horses that will tackle the $2 million Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Canonero II won 1971 Derby after mostly overseas racing. The suggestion is that the horse is fast enough and closes hard enough to adapt his style to however the Derby unfolds.

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Pletcher's four - Magnum Moon at 6-1, Audible at 8-1, Vino Rosso at 12-1 and Louisiana Derby victor Noble Indy at 30-1 - are as thick with oddsmakers' promise as any group he has had along his way to 52 Derby entries (provided all four run Saturday).

No. 17 Solomini (30-1): Cursed?

In 1973, Secretariat won the Derby in a time of one minute, 59.4 seconds, a record that still stands to this day. This may be the year a bettor can capitalize on a qualified runner that may be overlooked among other bettors.

No. 19 Noble Indy (30-1): Louisiana Derby victor makes the field.

In 1955, American author William Faulker, a victor of the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize and a Southerner like Rice, covered the race for Sports Illustrated. It's something, to really, fully get a real handle on the race, I'll have to go back and watch the replay a number of times, and watch each horse individually.

Three jockeys have combined for six Derby victories recently and two are riding on Saturday; John Velasquez and Victor Espinoza have won two apiece in the past seven years.

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