This is the most puzzling Kentucky Derby in years, with almost a dozen of the 20 horses within a seven point spread on the Beyer speed scale.
We know one of them is going to jump up and run the race of his/her life but which one is it?
In these situations you have to go with the tried and true formulas which work more often than not.
And no one knows how to win the Kentucky Derby better than D.Wayne Lukas who has won it four times and lives for the First Saturday in May. Bob Baffert has won in three times and Nick Zito two.
These are the three to watch in this very uncertain year. They aim their horses just for this race and they are masters at peaking at the right time.
Baffert has the favorite Looking at Lucky but I honestly think that the horse cannot overcome the No. 1 post. Only Ferdinand in 1986 in recent times has won from that gate position and it took a miraculous ride by Willie Shoemaker to make it happen.
The only thing in his favor is Garret Gomez, the best jockey riding in America today,but he will need all his superior skill to pull this one off.
His other horse, Conveyance, seems set to get caught up in a speed duel with Sidney's Candy and possibly American Lion and I believe has little hope of surviving that.
Besides, he looks more like a rabbit for Looking at Lucky, out there to burn out the second favorite Sidney's Candy.
Nick Zito has two but I'm ignoring Jackson's Bend. he is a small horse in a big field with a late running style and seems certain to get bounced around. Ice Box is the Florida Derby winner but it was one of the most substandard Florida Derbies in recent times. He will also be coming late and certainly has a shot.
But Lukas may have the key this year. After several years of running no-hopers he is back with a horse that has a real shot.
Dublin (pictured with Lukas here) reminds me of his Derby Winner Thunder Gulch, down to the blinkers and the so- so form coming into the race.
Dublin looked like he was coming to win the Arkansas Derby when he loomed up beside the pacesetters on the final turn but never went past the two horses in front of him after having every chance.
Kentucky Derby day will be different. He has a good draw on the outside and may be able to get into steady rhythm in midpack--like Thunder Gulch. Coming for home he could be picking up the leaders as they are almost certain to go too fast.
Thee old pro Lukas knows this is his best and maybe last chance to win the Derby. At 74 there will not be many other opportunities. I think Dublin might win one for the old man and cap his career.
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