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The individual responsible for the Kentucky Derby 147 leaderboard has a full-time job. The field seems to change multiple times each day. As of this writing, I believe the list of also eligibles has been exhausted. Therefore, we finally have our list of twenty contenders barring any further defections.
Essential Quality remains the favorite and little has changed with the top contenders coming out of their final.prep works. Of course, this is the week when each of those contender’s trainers will tell you the horse has never been better going into a race. Okay. Right. Bob Baffert is an exception to
that rule, and did pull one of his two contenders from the race this weekend based on a mediocre work. Hozier was out, in, and out again. That leaves the Hall of Famer with just one Derby starter, Medina Spirit.
Brad Cox had three contenders until yesterday. Caddo River’s jockey, Junior Alvarado, suffered a concussion in a spill at Belmont opening weekend and will not be available to.ride in the Derby. Cox made the decision shortly thereafter to pull Caddo River from contention. I believe that was a very wise decision, as I expected Caddo River to go to the lead and set some fairly fast early fractions, then fade to the back of the field at the mile and a quarter distance.
My top selections remain unchanged after viewing the final prep works. However, I still believe there will be at least one longer shot who finishes in the superfecta. Trip is such a factor in a twenty-horse field. Some of the best horses are sure to get a nightmare trip.
1. Essential Quality
2. Known Agenda
3. Hot Rod Charlie
4. Rock Your World
5. Highly Motivated
6. Midnight Bourbon
Possible long(er) shots to hit the board:
Like the King