The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby is three days away, and the whole thoroughbred racing world will stand still as they watch the race unfold.
A full field of 20 horses is expected to make the starting gate and, for the first time in Derby history, there will be an Almost Eligible (AE) list of up to four more horses.
On Tuesday, there was one defection. Mark Valeski was withdrawn from consideration for the Kentucky Derby, meaning that Hall of Fame trainer D.Wayne Lukas' trainee Optimizer is officially in the Top 20.
With Optimizer now on the field, a total of nine of the 13 horses that ran the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year on this very same track, will go for round two on Saturday.
If there is a trainer that knows what it takes to win the Derby is Lukas. Optimizer will become the 45th Derby starter for him. He has won the race four times, finished second once, and third five times.
My Adonis is now the official bubble horse as he moves to the 21st spot in the graded earnings list. Now it would take one more defection for him to make it to the gate on Saturday.
All Derby horses have to be on the grounds today. That is why My Adonis was put on a van yesterday so that the horse could be in Churchill Downs in time for today's inscriptions deadline.
El Padrino, Gemologist, and Take Charge Indy arrived Tuesday from Florida, and Daddy Long Legs from Ireland. Hansen was scheduled to van to Churchill Downs this morning.
Rousing Sermon was the only Derby horse to work on Tuesday. He looked very good as he worked five furlongs stopping the clock in 1:00.13. Seems like he will be among the entries today.
Betting is not open for the race in Churchill Downs and odds maker Mike Battaglia will not set the morning line odds for the race until after the post draw later today.
But if you want to get a head start, VegasInsider.com shows Bodemeister and Union Rags in a virtual tie at 9/2 odds. Their odds are as follows:
According to WeatherUnderground.com, the extended forecast for Saturday calls for Chance of thunderstorms with a 20-percent chance of precipitation.
In case you are wondering, the Derby has never been cancelled due to weather in its 137-year history. So make sure you are not doing anything else at post time.
Race Post Time
Set your calendars and alarms. The post time for the Kentucky Derby will be on Saturday May 5 at 6:24 p.m. ET from Churchill Downs.