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Derby 2017: 5 horses to watch in 143rd Kentucky Derby

Derby 2017: 5 horses to watch in 143rd Kentucky Derby

Gormley is only the third Derby starter in 14 years for Malibu Moon, most of whose best runners have been fillies.

Galloped 1 3/8 mile under exercise rider Fernando Rivera, his first time on the track since a timed work on Friday. We have to focus on this next one and see if he can stay focused himself.

"We've always taken the approach that this race is the reason why a lot of people are in the business", he said.

The stars of this paddock are the affectionately renamed George, a harness horse who raced as Broadway Straight, and two other standardbreds, DW's Regal and Rock DJ. The Eclipse Award-winning jockey has almost 2,400 wins with seven Breeders' Cup triumphs, including last year's Juvenile aboard Classic Empire.

Hence rallied from 10th to win the Sunland Derby, likely benefitting from the bias, but he did win.

That pose would eventually be immortalized in bronze in the paddock at Churchill Downs. He was up for back to back wins on him.

"I've never once counted him out".

"Julien seems to get more confidence (from Classic Empire)", trainer Mark Casse said. "I feel that abilitywise, he is the most talented horse out there right now". For whatever reason, the pride of those accomplishments runs not just through Oaklawn but also its fans.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Always Dreaming drew the No. 5 post, which has produced nine Derby winners, most recently California Chrome in 2014.

Along with providing plenty of second-guessing ammo if the colt doesn't win the Derby, the timing of the move raises serious questions.

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Mccracken and Always Dreaming are co-second choices at 5-1.

"We're able to get really targeted in terms of the message we're pushing out".

Pletcher's lone victory came in 2010 with Super Saver.

Sonneteer (winless but competitive in 10 career starts) was a maiden of honor in the points standings until trainer Todd Pletcher decided not to run two of his horses.

"Our biggest worry is can they stand up to the volume we're going to put through on Derby Day?" said Williams of Emarsys, adding that the AI platform has withstood significant user testing so far in preparation for this weekend. "We've had some horses overachieve on their way to getting there and in some cases, underachieve in the race itself".

Once Patch recovered, Pletcher wondered how he would respond. He said Saturday that Battalion Runner and Malagacy won't run. That trend suggests there was no bias in the Louisiana Derby that saw Girvin rally from fifth early, six lengths back.

The first of three "Derby Countdown" shows presented by Jimmy John's of Lexington, will kick off Tuesday, May 2 with interviews from numerous major players in the Oaks and Derby and up to the minute training reports. Some are concerned that Irish War Cry will wilt under pressure late in this race, but the most risky speed in this event belongs to Irish War Cry!

As usual, a full field of 20 is expected.

If you're located in Miami Beach and are craving some of the famed chef's signature cuisine with a Southern theme, head to the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel for Stripsteak by Michael Mina's special Kentucky Derby watch party.

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