Derby time. We’ve analyzed the form, deciphered the breezes, studied the form. We know who is going to win.
Here are nine winners who would offer the best stories.
California Chrome. His trainer galloped Swaps. His owners have kept their money on the table. Need anything else?
Samraat. Love him or hate him, trainer Rick Violette speaks his mind and devotes his time and energy to the sport. Winning a Derby would make it all worth it.
Uncle Sigh. Owner Chip McEwen renamed his stable Wounded Warrior Stable and gives a percentage of his earnings to the Wounded Warrior Project, after seeing a veteran coming home, broken. Perspective.
Danza. Jersey Joe Bravo needs a Derby trophy.
Wildcat Red. Trainer Jose Garoffalo emigrated from Venezuela to become a horse trainer. He makes his Derby debut. Venezuela could use some good news.
Medal Count. Love him or hate him, Dale Romans is a product of Churchill Downs. He’s come close before, he started to cry when I had him on the radio, moments after Dullahan ran well to hit the board. “You just don’t know how many chances you’re going to get at it,” he said, wiping away tears and walking back to his barn.
Commanding Curve. Just to see the West Point crew dance on the Derby stage.
Ride On Curlin. Anybody named “Bronco Billy” Gowan should win the Derby.
Wicked Strong. Jimmy Jerkens has lived his life in the shadow of his dad, Allen Jerkens, plying his trade his own way. He calls his dad, “Chief,” like the rest of the racing world. Imagine the Chief watching from home as Wicked Strong spins off the turn, picking off tiring horses with ease. As a bonus, the horse runs for the Boston Marathon victims.