Trying to find a winner in this year’s 148th running of the Kentucky Derby is about as easy as getting through the week here without wet weather. The angles are as plentiful as the unrelenting optimism of the 14 trainers representing the 20 horses in the starting field.
There are the two horses moved from the Bob Baffert barn to trainer Tim Yakteen, one of whom will run the Derby in his third lifetime start. There’s all-time winning trainer Steve Asmussen trying to break an 0 of 23 streak with perhaps the favorite. There is noted turf trainer Chad Brown with another favorite trying to win his first Kentucky Derby.
And don’t forget veteran trainer Todd Pletcher with three horses and two wins in 59 previous starts. There is also Brad Cox, who won last year’s Derby by disqualification, with three horses hoping he actually gets to celebrate a win the same day the race was held.
“This is one of the deepest, most competitive Derbies in recent years,” said racing historian Jon White, who also makes the morning line at Santa Anita and Del Mar. “From a speed figure standpoint, this is a wide-open race. It’s a group with togetherness as far as their figures are concerned.