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Kentucky Derby 144

BETTING GUIDE
Produced by Courier Journal
1.FIRENZE FIRE
Why he can win: Because you believe in miracles?
Why he won’t: He seems to have very little desire to race farther than a mile, and he’s
finished fourth in each of his last two races. He may well be the longest shot on the
board.
Morning-line odds: 50-1.
Last time out: Fourth in Wood Memorial — 11 lengths behind Vino Rosso — on April 7
at Aqueduct.
Running style: Closer. CAREER RECORD
Owner:Mr. Amore Stable (Ron Lombardi). Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Trainer: Jason Servis. 2018 4 1 1 0 $220,000
Jockey: Manuel Franco. 2017 5 3 0 0 $449,100
Career 9 4 1 0 $669,100

2. FREE DROP BILLY


Why he can win: He’s finished in the money in 7 of 8 career starts, the only bad race
coming in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (ninth place). With stablemate Promises Fulfilled
expected to set fast early fractions, he figures to the set-up he needs to make a late
charge.
Why he won’t: His career-best Beyer Speed Figure — 90 in the Holy Bull — indicates he’s
just not fast enough to compete with the best horses in this field.
Morning-line odds: 30-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Finished fourth but was bumped to third in the Blue Grass — 4 lengths Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
behind Good Magic — on April 7 at Keeneland. 2018 3 0 1 2 $197,200
Running style: Middle of the pack early and makes a late run. 2017 5 2 2 0 $428,020
Owner: Albaugh Family Stables (Dennis Albaugh and Jason Loustch). Career 8 2 3 2 $625,220
Trainer: Dale Romans.
Jockey: Robby Albarado.

3. PROMISES FULFILLED
Why he can win: He’s expected to be leading the way when the field enters the first
turn, and he’s found a way to turn that strategy into three victories in five career starts.
Maybe jockey Corey Lanerie can save enough for the stretch run.
Why he won’t: It’s far more likely Promises Fulfilled meets a similar fate as his Florida
Derby performance, when he led early before fading to last place.
Morning-line odds: 30-1.
Last time out: Ninth in the Florida Derby — 35 lengths behind winner Audible — on March CAREER RECORD
31 at Gulfstream Park. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Running style: Straight to the front, likely will set the early pace in the Derby. But how far 2018 2 1 0 0 $248,080
can he go? 2017 3 2 0 1 $89,200
Owner: Robert Baron. Career 5 3 0 1 $337,280
Trainer: Dale Romans.
Jockey: Corey Lanerie.
4. FLAMEAWAY
Why he can win: He has five career victories, the most of any horse in the field, and has
won on synthetic, turf and dirt surfaces. Don’t be surprised to see trainer Mark Casse
doing a rain dance this week as Flameaway is 2 for 2 on a wet track.
Why he won’t: Only two Canadian-breds have won the Derby — Northern Dancer (1964)
and Sunny’s Halo (1983).
Morning-line odds: 30-1.
Last time out: Finished second — 1 ½ lengths behind Good Magic — in the Blue Grass on
April 7 at Keeneland. CAREER RECORD
Running style: Near the front early and could be among the pace-setters in the Derby. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Owner: John Oxley. 2018 4 2 2 0 $450,760
Trainer: Mark Casse. 2017 5 3 0 0 $254,074
Jockey: Jose Lezcano. Career 9 5 2 0 $704,834

5. AUDIBLE
Why he can win: Audible has displayed an impressive versatility, winning the Holy Bull
while near the front early and capturing the Florida Derby after rallying from the back.
Why he won’t: None of these have raced 1 ¼ miles, but there are serious questions about
whether Audible can get the distance because of his pedigree. His sire Into Mischief and
dam Blue Devil Bel have been more successful producing winners at shorter distances.
Morning-line odds: 8-1.
Last time out: Won the Grade 1 Florida Derby by 3 lengths over Hofburg on March 31 at CAREER RECORD
Gulfstream Park. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Running style: Middle of the pack, presses the pace. 2018 2 2 0 0 $803,520
Owners: China Horse Club International (Ah Khing Teo), Head of Plains Partners (Sol 2017 3 2 0 1 $79,400
Kumin), Starlight Racing (Jack Wolf) and WinStar Farm (Kenny Troutt). Career 5 4 0 1 $882,920
Trainer: Todd Pletcher.
Jockey: Javier Castellano.

6. GOOD MAGIC
 

Why he can win: The third start of his 2-year-old campaign was the Breeders’ Cup
Juvenile, which Good Magic won and parlayed into the Eclipse Award for top juvenile
male. The Derby will be his third start as a 3-year-old, and he looks to be on a similar
path.
Why he won’t: His Beyer Speed Figure numbers this year are a cut below the best in the
field. The Blue Grass victory was nice, but how strong was that field?
Morning-line odds: 12-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Won the Grade 2 Blue Grass by 1 ½ lengths over Flameaway on April 7 at Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Keeneland. 2018 2 1 0 1 $638,400
Running style: Has some early speed but generally a middle-of-the pack runner. 2017 3 1 2 0 $1,216,600
Owners: e Five Racing Thoroughbreds (Bob, Kristine, Cassidy, Riley and Delaney Career 5 2 2 1 $1,855,000
Edwards) and Stonestreet Stables (Barbara Banke).
Trainer: Chad Brown.
Jockey: Jose Ortiz.
7. JUSTIFY
Why he can win: He’s 3 for 3 and has won by a combined 19 lengths. His 107 Beyer Speed
Figure in the Santa Anita Derby is the highest of any horse in the Kentucky Derby field.
Why he won’t: He’s going against two longstanding Derby trends. Apollo in 1882 is the
only horse to win without racing as a 2-year-old. Regret (1915) and Big Brown (2008) are
the only horses to win the Derby with just three career starts entering the race.
Morning-line odds: 3-1.
Last time out: Won Santa Anita Derby by 3 lengths over Bolt d’Oro on April 7.
Running style: Likes to be up front early. Could be among the Derby pace-setters. CAREER RECORD
Owners: China Horse Club International (Ah Khing Teo), Head of Plains Partners (Sol Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Kumin), Starlight Racing (Jack Wolf) and WinStar Farm (Kenny Troutt). 2018 3 3 0 0 $666,000
Trainer: Bob Baffert. 2017 0 0 0 0 $0
Jockey: Mike Smith. Career 3 3 0 0 $666,000

8. LONE SAILOR
Why he can win: He’s coming off the best race of his career, finishing just a neck behind
Noble Indy in the Louisiana Derby and posting a solid Beyer Speed Figure of 95. He’ll be
a sentimental favorite as owner Gayle Benson is the widow of Tom Benson, the former
New Orleans Saints owner who died in March at the age of 90.
Why he won’t: He passed Noble Indy in the stretch of the Louisiana Derby and couldn’t
close the deal. Since breaking his maiden in September, he hasn’t won a race in six tries.
Morning-line odds: 50-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Second in the Louisiana Derby — a neck behind Noble Indy — on March 24 Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
at Fair Grounds. 2018 3 0 2 0 $210,600
Running style: Closer. 2017 5 1 1 1 $123,637
Owner: G M B Racing (Gayle Benson). Career 8 1 3 1 $334,237
Trainer: Tom Amoss.
Jockey: James Graham.

9. HOFBURG
Why he can win: With just three career starts, he seems to have plenty of room to improve
after his second-place showing in the Florida Derby. Trainer Bill Mott isn’t one to enter
the Kentucky Derby with a subpar contender.
Why he won’t: With just three career starts, does he have enough seasoning to compete
against 19 other horses. He seems to have reached “wise-guy” status, which usually is a
death knell.
Morning-line odds: 20-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Second place in Florida Derby — 3 lengths behind Audible — on March 31 at Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Gulfstream. 2018 2 1 1 0 $223,800
Running style: Hasn’t displayed much early speed in his three races. 2017 1 0 0 0 $4,150
Owner: Juddmonte Farms (Prince Khalid Abdullah). Career 3 1 1 0 $227,950
Trainer: Bill Mott.
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
10. MY BOY JACK
Why he can win: With 10 career races, he has more experience than any horse in the field.
He’s won at three different tracks (Santa Anita, Oaklawn and Keeneland) and figures to
get the fast early pace he needs to take advantage of his closing style.
Why he won’t: The Derby will be his third race in three states in seven weeks. While that
was the norm not too long ago, critics will wonder what My Boy Jack has left in the tank.
Morning-line odds: 30-1.
Last time out: Won the Lexington by a head over Telekinesis on April 14 at Keeneland.
Running style: Deep closer. CAREER RECORD
Owners: Don’t Tell My Wife Stables (Kirk Godbey and Rob Slack) and Monomoy Stables Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
(Sol Kumin). 2018 4 2 0 2 $532,000
Trainer: Keith Desormeaux. 2017 6 1 3 0 $113,145
Jockey: Kent Desormeaux. Career 10 3 3 2 $645,145

11. BOLT D’ORO


Why he can win: There’s little question he’s one of the most talented 3-year-olds in the
country, and he already has two Grade 1 victories and a Grade 2 win. He’s a battle-test
colt who has been through the wars.
Why he won’t: What does he have left after a pair of grueling battles at Santa Anita during
the prep season? He was placed first after McKinzie was disqualified in the San Felipe,
which may have been the most exciting prep race of the year. And as hard as he tried, he
couldn’t catch Justify in the Santa Anita. CAREER RECORD
Morning-line odds: 8-1. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Last time out: Second place — 3 lengths behind Justify — in Santa Anita Derby on April 7. 2018 2 1 1 0 $440,000
Running style: Likes to be near the front early, though not on the lead. A stalker. 2017 4 3 0 1 $576,000
Owner: Mick Ruis. Career 6 4 1 1 $1,016,000
Trainer: Mick Ruis.
Jockey: Victor Espinoza.

12. ENTICED
Why he can win: He already owns a graded-stakes victory at Churchill Downs, capturing
the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club last November. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is one of
the nice guys in the business, and perhaps the “racing gods” are ready to smile on him.
Why he won’t: He’s owned by a Godolphin group that has enjoyed no luck in the Derby,
finishing outside the money in all 10 attempts. The best finish was by Frosted in 2015
(fourth), and Thunder Snow barely got out of the gate last year before being pulled up.
Morning-line odds: 30-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Second place — 3 lengths behind Vino Rosso — in Wood Memorial on April Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
7 at Aqueduct. 2018 3 1 1 0 $381,800
Running style: Usually near the front early, pressing the pace. 2017 3 2 0 1 $213,880
Owner: Godolphin (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum). Career 6 3 1 1 $595,680
Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin. Seven Derby starters.
Jockey: Junior Alvarado.
13. BRAVAZO
Why he can win: Maybe he can regain the magic from the Risen Star, when he beat
Snapper Sinclair by a nose at 21-1 odds, earning enough points to qualify for the
Kentucky Derby. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won four of these.
Why he won’t: He was a dismal eighth in the Louisiana Derby, and Lukas has admitted
Bravazo will have to take major steps forward to be a contender Saturday.
Morning-line odds: 50-1.
Last time out: Finished eighth — 21 lengths behind winner Noble Indy — in the Louisiana
Derby on March 24 at Fair Grounds. CAREER RECORD
Running style: A stalker, near the front early. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Owner: Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley). 2018 3 2 0 0 $295,600
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas. 2017 5 1 1 1 $140,928
Jockey: Luis Contreras. Career 8 3 1 1 $436,528

14. MENDELSSOHN
Why he can win: Perhaps no horse was more impressive in his final prep race than
Mendelssohn, who won the UAE Derby by a whopping 18 1/2 lengths. He was purchased
for $3 million for a reason, and trainer Aidan O’Brien is regarded as one of the world’s
best.
Why he won’t: UAE Derby winners have an awful history in the Kentucky Derby, going 0
for 9 since 2002. The best finish was by China Visit in 2000 (sixth). How will he handle the
quarantine at Churchill Downs after his long trip from overseas? CAREER RECORD
Morning-line odds: 5-1. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Last time out: Won UAE Derby by 18 lengths over Rayya on March 31 at Meydan. 2018 2 2 0 0 $1,254,485
Running style: Presses the pace. 2017 5 2 1 0 $706,652
Owners: Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor. Career 7 4 1 0 $1,961,137
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien.
Jockey: Ryan Moore.

15. INSTILLED REGARD


Why he can win: Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was close to the upset last year when 40-1
shot Battle of Midway finished third in the Kentucky Derby. Maybe he can pull off some
more magic this year.
Why he won’t: Back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the Risen Star and Santa Anita Derby
do not inspire confidence.
Morning-line odds: 50-1.
Last time out: Fourth in Santa Anita Derby — 10 lengths behind Justify — on April 7. CAREER RECORD
Running style: Stalker who is usually near the front early. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Owner: Oxo Equine (Lawrence Best). 2018 3 1 0 0 $186,000
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer. 2017 4 1 2 1 $108,000
Jockey: Joel Rosario. Career 7 2 2 1 $294,000
16. MAGNUM MOON
Why he can win: He’s perfect in four career starts and has a trainer in Todd Pletcher who
knows how to win this. His drifting issues down the stretch aside, the Arkansas Derby
performance was impressive.
Why he won’t: He must overcome the “Curse of Apollo.” Magnum Moon did not race as a
2-year-old, and Apollo (in 1882) is the only horse to win the Derby after not racing at 2.
Morning-line odds: 6-1.
Last time out: Won the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby by 4 lengths over Quip on April 14 at
Oaklawn Park. CAREER RECORD
Running style: Won the Arkansas Derby on the lead but more of a press-the-pace type. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Owners: Lawana and Robert Low. 2018 4 4 0 0 $1,177,800
Trainer: Todd Pletcher. 2017 0 0 0 0 $0
Jockey: Luis Saez. Career 4 4 0 0 $1,177,800

17. SOLOMINI
Why he can win: He’s never finished out of the money in six career races, and he has
stellar connections in trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zayat Stables. He beat the highly
regarded McKinzie last December before being disqualified to third after a bump.
Why he won’t: Baffert has said Solomini possesses just one speed, and that hasn’t been
fast enough to compete with the best in this field.
Morning-line odds: 30-1.
Last time out: Third in the Arkansas Derby — 4 ¼ lengths behind Magnum Moon — on CAREER RECORD
April 14 at Oaklawn. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Running style: Has displayed different styles but generally comes from off the pace. 2018 2 0 1 1 $280,000
Owner: Zayat Stables (Ahmed Zayat), Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick 2017 4 1 2 1 $472,000
Smith. Career 6 1 3 2 $752,000
Trainer: Bob Baffert.
Jockey: Flavien Prat.

18. VINO ROSSO


Why he can win: Coming off the best race of his life when he won the Wood Memorial by
3 lengths. Ace jockey John Velazquez had his pick of Todd Pletcher’s four hopefuls, and
Vino Rosso was the pick. Pletcher is confident he will relish the added distance.
Why he won’t: After going 2 for 2 as a 2-year-old, he was disappointing at Tampa Bay
Downs earlier this year with a third-place finish in the Sam Davis and a fourth-place in
the Tampa Bay Derby. Is the Wood Memorial victory enough to win back your trust?
Morning-line odds: 12-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Won the Grade 2 Wood Memorial by 3 lengths over Enticed on April 7 at Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Aqueduct. 2018 3 1 0 1 $572,500
Running style: Pressed the pace early in his career, now seems comfortable as a closer. 2017 2 2 0 0 $48,000
Owners: Repole Stable (Mike Repole) and St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola). Career 5 3 0 1 $620,500
Trainer: Todd Pletcher.
Jockey: John Velazquez.
19. NOBLE INDY
Why he can win: He’ll probably have the highest odds of Todd Pletcher’s foursome, and
sometimes the overlooked horse can be the best. Example: Real Quiet winning at 8-1
odds for trainer Bob Baffert in 1998 when his Indian Charlie was the favorite.
Why he won’t: How much rust has he accumulated during the six-week layoff since the
Louisiana Derby? Since Needles won in 1956, Animal Kingdom (2011) is the only horse to
win the Kentucky Derby after a six-week layoff.
Morning-line odds: 30-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Won the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby by a neck over Lone Sailor on March 24 at Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Fair Grounds. 2018 3 2 0 1 $666,400
Running style: Likes to be near the front early. 2017 1 1 0 0 $25,200
Owners: WinStar Farm (Kenny Troutt) and Repole Stable (Mike Repole). Career 4 3 0 1 $691,600
Trainer: Todd Pletcher.
Jockey: Florent Geroux.

20. COMBATANT
Why he can win: He has a career record of 1-3-1 in seven starts and never has finished
worse than fourth. Maybe he’ll finally get a favorable post position in the Derby, as he’s
drawn on the outside in his past three prep races at Oaklawn Park. His only career win
came last October at Churchill.
Why he won’t: He’s the quintessential “close but no cigar” horse. Since winning at
Churchill, he’s finished second, second, second, third and fourth.
Morning-line odds: 50-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Fourth in Arkansas Derby — 4 ¼ lengths behind Magnum Moon — on April Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
14 at Oaklawn Park. 2018 4 0 2 1 $270,000
Running style: Closer. 2017 3 1 1 0 $118,550
Owners: Winchell Thoroughbreds (Ron Winchell) and Willis Horton Racing. Career 7 1 3 1 $388,550
Trainer: Steve Asmussen.
Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.