Favorite Justify wins Kentucky Derby

06 May, 2018, 03:46 | Author: Greg Lawrence
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Here's what has pointed to Kentucky Derby winners over the past five years or so: A colt that has won all his outings as a 3-year-old - as long as there weren't more than three of them. Always Dreaming won last year's Kentucky Derby, but he failed to capture the Triple Crown title after losing at the Preakness.

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Pletcher's Audible was the co-third choice at 6-1 with Mendelssohn on Friday.

Justify, the 5/2 favorite, rocketed out of the gate and was neck and neck with longshot Promises Fulfilled for the first half of the 1 1/4 mile race before veteran jockey Mike Smith pushed the Chestnut colt into gear down the stretch for a comfortable win.

No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without racing as a juvenile.

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The odds-on favorite. A physical specimen if there ever was one, he won the Santa Anita Derby by three lengths.

Arkansas Derby victor Magnum Moon is one of four horses to be saddled by Todd Pletcher, who won last year's Derby with Always Dreaming.

The contender with the next-best odds is Mendelssohn, who is 5/1 to win at Churchill Downs later this evening.

It's an impressive race record for a horse so fresh to the track. He remains undefeated and is the current subject of early Triple Crown hype after winning over what's been described as one of the strongest Derby fields in years. "I think that's what you need in a race like this - a horse that can adapt to different scenarios". He's placed in five of seven starts, though.

His jockey, Victor Espinoza, has won two of the past four Kentucky Derbys - and after coming so close to handing Justify his first loss, he could know just the right way to push his horse to maneuver to yet another victory. But he's also got the Apollo Curse to overcome. Flameaway and Firenze Fire are the only horses with more than one start in the mud.

He's got a winning trainer-jockey combo and a Wood Memorial win to his name, but his post position is less than ideal.

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