Published: Sat, May 05, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Can Magnum Moon, Justify end Kentucky Derby curse?

Can Magnum Moon, Justify end Kentucky Derby curse?

A horse like Justify, who is the morning-line favorite at 3-1, looks to be the most complete horse in the field, but has run against average field sizes of just six horses. In other years it may have been a heavy favorite to win this race.

GY: California, in a rare instance, got blanked in the Triple Crown past year.

Baffert echoed Smith's comments and has no concerns about the crowd or the environment that Justify will face for the first time with only three races under his belt.

Justify is one of the greenest colts Baffert has brought to Churchill Downs. All five of these horses ran in at least one of these preps; Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby. "He's amusing, he screamed all the way around there", said Baffert after watching Mendelssohn's first gallop over the track. But the horse that finished 2nd in that race, Rayya broke poorly and didn't run a step in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday.

"It's probably the most competitive Derby I've seen in years", said Baffert, a Derby regular since 1996.

Despite all of the above written about 2-year-olds and the curse, Justify was one of the best last year and has all of the tools not only to win the Kentucky Derby but also to capture the Triple Crown. But that is not the reason I am targeting him as my key horse. "Todd's going to have his ready, and Baffert is going to have his". Let's hope that in 2019 we'll be saying it hasn't happened in 137 years. Horsemen call it the "curse of Apollo", the last Derby victor without a start at age 2.

As sports curses go, Apollo doesn't rank with "The Curse of the Bambino" which plagued the Boston Red Sox for 86 years or "The Curse of the Goat" that doomed the Chicago Cubs for 71 years or even whatever curse has made the NFL's Arizona Cardinals franchise mostly stink for decades.

"When McKinzie got hurt, I wanted to throw up", he said. Bodemeister finished second to I'll Have Another.

Our selections: 1. Mendelssohn, 2.

Drawing the No. 7 post Tuesday was helpful too.

Bolt d'Oro is sent to post by trainer Mick Ruiz, who has the horse of a lifetime. "He's here fresh, rather than (having been) hard on him, if you know what I mean". "It's a celebration, but it's also one of America's oldest sporting events that has so much to it beyond just the sport". "I'm constantly meeting people. Usually those horses, if things go right, they have a big shot", O'Brien said. When placing a bet with a live teller at a racetrack or at an off-track betting facility, you need to use the track name, race number, type and amount of the bet, and the program number (s) for the horse (s) you are playing.

After a successful run in the quarterhorse ranks, Baffert switched to thoroughbreds.

Hofburg is a horse that Thomas said he likes, describing him as "one of the real talents here".

"It's the constant tweaking of a plan that I'm pretty proud of", he continues, "but, every year, I try to start with a new plan". I think a big part of it is that the sample set is so small.

None was bigger than American Pharoah in 2015.

Meanwhile Audible is shaping up to be another top contender, with Bleacher Report even highlighting similar trends between the horse and 2017 Derby victor Always Dreaming, which won at Holy Bull and in the Florida Derby. He will be joined up front by Flameaway, Justify, Magnum Moon, Noble Indy, and Mendelssohn. It will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, making it the 144th Kentucky Derby held there.

"Obviously the next time it's going to be a far tougher question, there's no doubt about that, but we're very happy with what he's done and I still feel he will get better", Moore said last month in Dubai.

And finally, Enticed won his first race at seven furlongs in the mud at Saratoga in September.

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