Let’s Discuss: Derby Picks

Are you planning to watch the Derby tomorrow? Betting or not, who do you like? I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a Derby field (though I may say that every year…). This is a stellar crop of 3-year-olds, and truly–the thing about racing–anything could happen.

Good lookin’ Union Rags probably has the best story; I can almost envision owner-breeder Phyllis Wyeth and trainer Michael Matz in the winners circle, tearful, elated. Plus his winning performance in the Fountain of Youth just seems to have stuck with me… [Watch “Union Rags: An American Love Story” here]

Last week I had the pleasure of shaking Garrett Gomez’s hand at Keeneland; he graciously signed my copy of his soon-to-be-released autobiography (review forthcoming!) on his way through the paddock, and I was more than a little star-stuck (“How are you?” he asked. “Uhh, Good?” my ridiculous answer). Last night I stayed up waaay past my bedtime to watch the insiring “118 Days,” an HRTV documentary tracing Gomez’s recovery from a paddock accident in January through to his acquisition of a Derby mount. All the outlets are calling Daddy Nose Best the “wise guy” bet, and I know how much Gomez wants the Derby…

But at the end of the day, there’s nothing I’d love more than to see hometown hero Sheldon Russell pilot Done Talking home first. Sheldon can really ride, and the horse isn’t afraid of a weave-through attack (see their victory in the Illinois Derby). They’re at 50-1–either bad odds or a hefty payout.

Who are you rooting for? And if you’re not sure, you can take Yahoo!’s advice to choose a horse based on your lucky number or favorite color–stranger things have happened.


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