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Kentucky Derby 2013: Top Storylines Heading into First Leg of Triple Crown

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 26:  Vyjack, trained by Rudy Rodriguez, is riden during the morning excercise session in preparation for the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 26, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 27, 2013

The 2013 Triple Crown is fast approaching, as the139th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 4 marks the beginning of the month-long horse racing event.

Orb, Verrazano and Revolutionary are just three of the top contending thoroughbreds expected to dominate the one-and-one-fourth-mile dirt track race.

But if we remember last year, underdog I'll Have Another shocked the field in Louisville and again at the 2012 Preakness Stakes to create one of the more entertaining Triple Crown storylines in recent memory.

Below, we'll preview some of the top storylines heading into the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

 

Rosie Napravnik and Mylute Looking to Make History

The top storyline heading into this year's Kentucky Derby is that of female jockey Rosie Napravnik, who will attempt to make history at Churchill Downs atop Mylute, a horse that finished second in March's Louisiana Derby.

Like Danica Patrick on the NASCAR circuit and Ronda Rousey in the Octagon, Napravnik's success atop Mylute on the track this spring could help put horse racing back on the sports map.

Mylute, who is sure to be a fan favorite on Derby day given the circumstances, will be a long shot to win this May. But as I'll Have Another proved last season, anything is possible.

 

Kevin Krigger and Goldencents Pursuing History of Their Own

Kevin Krigger will be only the second black jockey to suit up in the Kentucky Derby since 1921, according to Men's Journal's Ryan Goldberg.

Krigger will sit atop Goldencents, a talented horse that will be a favorite to win this May, especially after his impressive performance at the Santa Anita Derby. Like Rosie Napravnik, Krigger's unique situation and pursuit of history will likely dominate the conversation on Derby day.

Another intriguing note about Goldencents: He is co-owned by Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino, who led the Cardinals to a national championship in 2013.

 

Verrazano Aiming to Remain Perfect

One of the early favorites at Churchill Downs, Verrazano has won all four of his career races, including the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial Stakes. He'll be looking to stay perfect by winning the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

Coming into the Derby, Verrazano is tied with Orb for the most Kentucky Derby points with 150.

Ridden by John Velazquez, who rode Animal Kingdom to victory at the 2011 Kentucky Derby, Verrazano looks poised for a strong finish in Louisville. The only question is whether the three-year-old stud will begin the Triple Crown with a win in the much-anticipated first leg.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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