Saturday, April 29, 2017

One Week to the 2017 Kentucky Derby (w/ correction)

Boulder, Colorado is in the midst of a Spring snow storm while I write this - we've had six inches of snow since last night, and it's still falling steadily.  Low temperature for tonight is forecast as 27 degrees (F), so we're looking at a hard freeze, too.  The roads will be treacherous in the morning.
   In the meantime, elsewhere, it's a week away from the Kentucky Derby, being run, as always, at Churchill Downs Race Track outside of Louisville, Kentucky.  The race is for three-year-olds only, the horses are usually nominated to the race as foals, but can also be supplemented at an additional fee.  The race takes place on the main, dirt track and covers the distance of 1 and 1/4 miles, or 10 furlongs.  It is the first race in the Triple Crown series.  Horses who race in the Kentucky Derby do not have to participate in the following two parts of the Triple Crown; nor do horses who participate in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes have to race in the Kentucky Derby.  All colts carry a uniform 126 pounds; if a filly runs, she carries 123.
    In the past, the cachet of owning a "Derby horse" was such that people would enter horses that should never have stepped foot onto the Churchill Downs track.  There were groups that started in two tiers for race that is generally over in about 2 minutes.  (I can understand the large numbers of entrants in the Grand National Steeplechase - that covers 4 and 1/2 miles - but not for the Derby.)  The number of starters in the Kentucky Derby is now limited to the 20 horses with the most qualifying points from approved races.  Thunder Snow was supplemented yesterday by Godolphin Stables.
   Since horses, while large, are really delicate creatures, there is normally a list of the top twenty-five qualifiers available for the race.  Today, my informant only listed the top 21 horses, so there might be one or three more possibilities.  The actual entries and post positions will be drawn on Wednesday, 3 May.  At the moment the only horse that is known to be a questionable starter is Girvin, who has a quarter-crack in a hoof.  (Personally, I wouldn't run a horse with a quarter-crack in any race, but I am neither the owner nor trainer of said colt.)
   So, here is a listing of the top 21 entries for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby.  They are listed by today's predicted odds, shortest betting odds first, with horse coat color and place of nativity, also.
1     Classic Empire    (bay, Kentucky)   5 to 1
2     Always Dreaming    (bay, Kentucky)    5 to 1
3     Irish War Cry     (chestnut, New Jersey)    13 to 2
4     McCraken     (bay, Kentucky)     9 to 1
5     Gunnevera     (chestnut, Kentucky)     12 to 1
6     Gormley     (bay, Kentucky)     14 to 1
7     Practical Joke     (bay, Kentucky)    14 to 1
8     Battalion Runner     (gray, Kentucky)    16 to 1
9     Thunder Snow     (bay, Ireland)    16 to 1
10   Girvin     (bay, Kentucky)     16 to 1
11   Irap     (bay, Kentucky)     20 to 1
12   Malagacy     (chestnut, Kentucky)    22 to 1
13   Hence     (chestnut, Kentucky)     22 to 1
14   Tapwrit     (gray, Kentucky)     25 to 1
15   Lookin At Lee     (bay, Kentucky)    28 to 1
16   Battle of Midway     (bay, Kentucky)    28 to 1
17   J Boys Echo     (bay, Kentucky)     33 to 1
18   Patch     (bay, Kentucky)     40 to 1
19   State of Honor     (bay, Ontario)     40 to 1
20   Untrapped     (bay, Kentucky)     50 to 1
21   Fast and Accurate     (gray, Pennsylvania)     66 to 1

Of the 21 horses listed, 17 were born in Kentucky, 1 in Ireland, 1 in New Jersey, and 1 in Pennsylvania.   Fourteen of the colts are bay, brown, or dark brown; four are chestnut; and three are gray/roans.  Patch, has only one eye, lost to an infection; he is by Union Rags.  And Girvin has a quarter-crack, and is the grandson of Sunday Silence...   That's all for now.

As of 6 pm, EST,  Battalion Runner and Malagacy will not be competing in the Kentucky Derby.  That opens up the field to Sonneteer and Royal Mo.....

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