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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