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The 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs is just one day away.
The Run for the Roses marks the official start of the Triple Crown watch. The winner of this race will look to pull off the trifecta by taking victory in the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in the weeks to follow. American Pharoah (2015) is the only horse in the last 40 years to join the exclusive club.
2018 Kentucky Derby Info
Date: Saturday, May 5
Post Time: 6:50 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
This year’s field features plenty of intrigue.
According to OddsShark, Justify (+350) enters as the favorite, with Mendelssohn (+400), Audible (+550) and Magnum Moon (+700) following closely behind.
Justify solidified himself as the favorite by winning the Santa Anita Derby last month. The son of Scat Daddy outlasted rival Bolt d’Oro in the nine-furlong race to keep his undefeated record intact:
Trainer Bob Baffert’s impressive resume already boasts four Derby victories, with his last coming three years ago during American Pharoah’s Triple Crown run. In Justify, he sees serious potential.
“He’s always been a superior animal,” Baffert told reporters. “When they’re that big and beautiful and then they can run and the way he’s bred, all the ingredients are there. Now we just need some racing luck.”
Meanwhile, Mendelssohn is looking to become Europe’s first Kentucky Derby winner.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is looking to win the roses for the second straight year. Last year, Always Dreaming wound up in the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs, and Magnum Moon offers Pletcher a strong chance of repeating.
Get your hats ready—this figures to be another classic.