Kentucky Derby in the homestretch

by MACKENZIE MATIKONIS Staff Writer

The anticipation for 139th Kentucky Derby, held on May 4, 2013 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, is high as the race is fast approaching.

Known as the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”, the Kentucky Derby is the most publicly watched race in the horse racing industry.

“I’m excited for the Kentucky Derby. I want to know who is going to win,” said sophomore Jennifer Rodriguez.

Held the first Saturday of May, the race features 20 three-year-old thoroughbred horses in a mile-and-a-quarter race.

The horses who race are normally colts. Fillies have their own race, the Kentucky Oaks, which is held on the Friday before the Kentucky Derby.

In order to be eligible to race in the derby, a horse must earn points from the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a point system based on key races leading up to the Run for the Roses.

Currently, there is a tie for first, point-wise. The two horses are Orb and Verrazano. They each have 150 points.

Orb is trained by Claude R. McGaughey III, and will be ridden by jockey Joel Rosario. He came in first in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby.

Verrazano, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velasquez, came first in the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial.

Goldencents is in third, with 129 points. He is to be ridden by Kevin Krigger, and was trained by Doug O’Neil, who trained last year’s derby winner, I’ll Have Another. Goldencents won first in the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes, the Sham, and the Santa Anita Derby. He came second in the Foxwoods Champagne and fourth in the San Felipe.

With 122 points, Java’s War is next. His trainer is Kenny McPeek, and his jockey is Julien Leparoux. He came third in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, second in the Tampa Bay Derby, and first in the Blue Grass.

Fifth and sixth have 110 points each. They are Overanalyze and Revolutionary, respectively.

Overanalyze was also trained by Pletcher, and will be ridden by Rafail Bejarano. He ran in the Remsen Stakes and Arkansas Derby, where he won first place.

Pletcher also trained Revolutionary, who will be ridden by Calvin Borel. Revolutionary received first in his two races as well, which were the Withers and the Louisiana Derby.

Lines of Battle is seventh, with 100 points. He was trained by Aiden O’Brian. His jockey is undetermined. In the one race he ran, the UAE Derby, he won first.

Vyjack, who has 70 points, is in eighth. Trained by Rudy Rodriquez and ridden by Garrett Gomez, Vyjack won the Gotham and came in third in the Wood Memorial.

Will Take Charge is right behind. His wins in the Smarty Jones and the Rebel gave him 60 points. His trainer is D. Wayne Lukas and his jockey will be Jon Court.

Next is Itsmyluckyday with 50 points, putting him in tenth. He was trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., and his jockey will be Elvis Trujillo. His races were the Holy Bull, where he won first, and the Florida Derby, where he won second.

The ten other horses who will be racing are Govenor Charlie, Black Onyx, Palace Malice, Normandy Invasion, Frac Daddy, Mylute, Oxbow, Falling Sky, Charming Kitten, and Winning Cause. Code West, Tiz A Minister, and Golden Soul are runner-ups.

“I hope there will be a Triple Crown Winner this year. There hasn’t been one in a while,” said sophomore Michelle Chow.

Speed is important in racing, and due to the length of this race, stamina is extremely important too. Only one horse will have what it takes to become a champion and have a chance at earning the elusive Triple Crown.

Who do you think will win the Derby?

#horseracing #KentuckyDerby #MackenzieMatikonis #racehorse

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