While all of the contenders at the Kentucky Derby have had various levels of success to this point, one horse is about to become a household name.
The first leg of the Triple Crown is the most popular event in the sport, with both serious horse racing fans and casual observers all tuning in to see who wins. Whether the victor can go on to win the Triple Crown remains to be seen, but either way, we are certain to see a great race with a number of elite competitors.
For everyone who can't get to Churchill Downs, here is a look at the television coverage as well as predictions for the top finishers in this race.
What: 2015 Kentucky Derby
When: Saturday, May 2
TV Schedule: NBC Sports (12 p.m. - 4 p.m. ET), NBC (4 p.m. - 7 p.m. ET)
Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET
|2015 Kentucky Derby Post Positions|
|1||Ocho Ocho Ocho||Elvis Trujillo||Jim Cassidy||50-1|
|2||Carpe Diem||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||8-1|
|3||Materiality||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||12-1|
|4||Tencendur||Manny Franco||George Weaver||30-1|
|5||Danzig Moon||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse||30-1|
|6||Mubtaahij||Christophe Soumillon||Mike de Kock||20-1|
|7||El Kabeir||Calvin Borel||John Terranova II||30-1|
|8||Dortmund||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||3-1|
|9||Bolo||Rafael Bejarano||Carla Gaines||30-1|
|10||Firing Line||Gary Stevens||Simon Callaghan||12-1|
|11||Stanford||Florent Geroux||Todd Pletcher||30-1|
|12||International Star||Miguel Mena||Mike Maker||20-1|
|13||Itsaknockout||Luis Saez||Todd Pletcher||30-1|
|14||Keen Ice||Kent Desormeaux||Dale Romans||50-1|
|15||Frosted||Joel Rosario||Kiaran McLaughlin||15-1|
|16||War Story||Joe Talamo||Tom Amoss||50-1|
|17||Mr. Z||Ramon Vazquez||D. Wayne Lukas||50-1|
|18||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert||5-2|
|19||Upstart||Jose Ortiz||Rick Violette Jr.||15-1|
|20||Far Right||Mike Smith||Ron Moquett||30-1|
|Source: NBC Sports|
Show: American Pharoah
Some dominant performances leading into the Kentucky Derby helped American Pharoah become the consensus favorite. An eight-length win at the Arkansas Derby was likely what helped convince people the most, as the thoroughbred easily pulled away from tough competition.
The question now is whether American Pharoah can replicate this performance on a much bigger stage.
One major issue is the post position, which landed the horse at the No. 18 post. On the plus side, the ownership is pleased about the starting spot.
"I'm extremely happy. I love 18. Not like, love," owner Ahmed Zayat said, per The Associated Press, via ESPN.com. "He's outside in the clear. He can do whatever he wants. He can sit and watch. The jock has so many options. That's the best post."
There have been plenty of recent winners starting from outside posts, but this still creates a much longer run than anyone would like. In a competitive race with plenty of other fast challengers, it will be tougher to catch up.
The favorite should still finish in the money but will have a hard time earning a win.
Although Frosted has just two wins in seven career starts, he seems to be peaking at the right time. The horse won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at the beginning of April, saving the best performance for the toughest competition.
The Wood Memorial also represented the first start with jockey Joel Rosario, one of the top riders in the sport. Rosario won the 2013 Kentucky Derby on Orb and has earned over $15 million in each of the past five years, according to Equibase.
He has won at least $20 million in each of the past two years.
ESPN's Kenny Mayne believes this could help Frosted finish among the top three:
With plenty of experience in high-level races and a knowledgeable team of supporters, Frosted can surprise people with a high finish at Churchill Downs.
While technically the second favorite in this race, there will be a lot of backers behind Dortmund by post time Saturday.
Dortmund is currently undefeated in six starts, including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. In that race, he started on the rail and ended up leading wire-to-wire for the impressive victory.
In case he wasn't already a top contender, the post drawing was even more beneficial, according to Brian Monzo of WFAN:
Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form also liked what he saw in the thoroughbred during warm-ups:
With a good post position, experience and plenty of pure speed, Dortmund should be able to take home the title.
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