Derby: Top contenders in action

The road to the Kentucky Derby is tough. The mile-and-a-quarter
journey to its finish line can be rougher.

Take a look at some of the top contenders for this year’s Run
for the Roses.

The hometown horse comes off a victory in the Santa Anita Derby.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino looks to catch the back half of an
NCAA tournament-Kentucky Derby exacta with Goldencents.

Goldencents was 6-1 in the Santa Anita win and he could be sent
off at odds that are just as tempting in what has become a clunky,
20-horse field.

There is no odds-on favorite, but the horse that figures to be
close to that role is Verrazano, a Todd Pletcher-trainee coming off
a solid victory in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

The horse closing for second in the Wood is Normandy Invasion,
which figures to make a late run in Louisville and could be a live
play in exotic bets.

Jockey John Velazquez rode Verrazano to victory in the Wood, and
also had the primary call on Orb. Before breaking his wrist in a
fall at Aqueduct, Velazquez opted for Verrazano. Orb, the Florida
Derby winner, will be ridden by Joel Rosario.

Another horse coming into the race off a strong effort is
Revolutionary after capturing the Louisiana Derby.

Overanalyze put in a strong late run and shook free in the
stretch of the Arkansas Derby.

Will it be any of the top contenders finding its way to the
winner’s circle on May 4, or will be it a long shot? Either way,
the first leg of the Triple Crown will be sure to provide its
annual excitement.

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