Calvin Borel is the winningest jockey in recent Kentucky Derby history, and the first to win three in the span of four years, having conquered the Run for the Roses three times since 2007.
On Saturday, the 46-year-old jockey will sit atop Revolutionary in post No. 3, right alongside the rail he navigates so well at Churchill Downs. That said, Borel and the Grade II Louisiana Derby winner are in the best position of any of the 19 horses on Saturday.
So, with favorites like Orb, Verrazano and Goldencents all looking strong, why is Revolutionary suddenly gaining so much love?
First it was the solid draw on Wednesday. Then, on Friday, news that Black Onyx was scratched from post No. 1.
Black Onyx was 29-1 at time of scratch. Good news for Revolutionary (5-1) and Calvin Borel? One fewer horse to get past from 3 hole to rail.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) May 3, 2013
One less horse for Borel and Revolutionary to contend with, and more importantly, one less horse separating the duo from the rail. They don't call him Calvin Bo"rail" for nothing.
All three of Borel's Derby victories have looked remarkably similar. Clearly, he has the formula for success at the 1 1/4-mile dirt track down pat.
As for Saturday's forecast, which is calling for steady rain showers, Borel won't be one bit fazed by it.
I asked Calvin Borel about riding in the slop at Churchill Downs. ``When it rains,'' he said. ``This track gets frickin' awesome.''— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) May 4, 2013
In 2010, when Borel last won the Derby atop Super Saver, the track was wet and sloppy after rain showers came through, but it was hardly a problem as Borel's usual game plan of getting to the rail and saving ground paid off for the third time in four years.
With only long-shot Oxbow separating Borel and Revolutionary from the rail on Saturday evening, it shouldn't take the jockey long at all to work the his colt into a winning groove.
After all, it was exactly three years ago that Borel won a rain-soaked Derby on a Todd Pletcher-trained horse with similar odds to win from a post just off the rail. The pieces are clearly falling into the right places for Revolutionary this weekend.
Not to mention, recent history at this event suggests that the big favorites won't get it done. It's been five years since the betting favorite delivered at Churchill Downs; Big Brown won with 2-1 odds in 2008.
The past four Kentucky Derby races have seen a 15-1, 20-1, 8-1 and 50-1 odds winner. At 9-1 according to OddsShark.com, Revolutionary and Calvin Borel are shaping up to be the best bet this weekend.
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