Published: Sat, May 06, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

5 things to know about Kentucky Derby favorite Classic Empire

5 things to know about Kentucky Derby favorite Classic Empire

Always Dreaming (5-1) ran away with the Florida Derby and should be in front of the other favorites early.

Todd Pletcher was born into horse racing, working as a child with his father Jake, a trainer in the southwest.

Classic Empire restored Casse's confidence in him by delivering a half-length victory in the Arkansas Derby in mid-April.

So which horses do you take? "But, every year, it's just as exciting, and the nerves are just as great because you never know what you're going to get, and that's what's so special about this event to me".

Post time for the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for 5:34 p.m. CDT Saturday. That isn't unusual. Old race result charts (which are like box scores) show that since 1970, when Diane Crump became the first woman to start the Derby, only five other women have passed through the starting gate - alongside 301 men. Not only did he finish second in the Florida Derby, he was also second in the Tampa Bay Derby.

"We have the ability to zoom anywhere at any place on the track", says Hyland. Tapwrit; 3. Classic Empire. It's the longest such streak since the 1970s.

This year, Pletcher has three in the Derby - Florida Derby victor Always Dreaming, Tampa Bay Derby victor Tapwrit and the appropriately named, one-eyed Patch. Blue Grass Stakes victor McCraken will break from the No. 15 hole.

American Pharoah won the previous year and went on to win the Triple Crown. In both 2007 and 2013, he saddled five horses for the race.

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Isabella de Tomaso's Irish War Cry is the fourth choice on the morning line at 6-1. "I don't think it means it's a bad group of horses". That reign won't last long, mind you, but it will be a memorable moment and a throwback to a bygone area.

But when there are 20 horses in the field, the race rarely unfolds without pitfalls and problems for the favorites.

Asmussen has three shots at that elusive goal with Hence (15-1 odds), Lookin At Lee (20-1) and Untrapped (30-1). He was the 6-1 favorite that year but was pinched at the start and got banged against the rail before finishing sixth. But the Louisiana Derby victor has a crack in his right front hoof that has compromised his training in the last week. He won't be able to see the rest of the field to his left.

"It was all about thinking about peaking on this day", Pletcher said.

Fast and Accurate may be neither if you listen to oddsmakers. He's exceptionally bred for the turf, seems to race his best at this one-mile distance and has done well enough through the stakes ranks to warrant my top honors. "I would much rather be in this position than to come in with a horse not feeling good or hanging his head".

Doug O'Neill, who trained last year's victor Nyquist, is back with Irap.

A total of 22 horses were entered on Wednesday morning, two more than the maximum. He's Venezuelan, same as me, he's never won the Kentucky Derby and I've never run a horse in the Kentucky Derby.

The two colts were on the "also eligible" list for horses that could run if there were defections from the race by the 9 a.m. Friday deadline. It would be the second-richest purse in the race's 143-year history, behind the $2,399,600 awarded in 2005. The trainer for Gunnevera (15-1), the Holy Bull victor, was kidnapped in his native Venezuela in July of 2009.

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