Decadent and depraved, the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby is finally upon is. The hot-burning dreams of the 20 contenders who will line up Saturday are still flickering bright.
Two minutes after the gates open, 19 of those flames will be extinguished, their chance of gilt-gilded immortality gone forever.
Only one dream will remain alight.
And having proven himself the finest of his generation, the latest Derby hero will be garlanded with his own thorny crown.
So, let's cast an eye over my predictions for what might occur when the gates open at 6:24 p.m. ET Saturday, during the most thrilling two minutes in sports.