Those who listen to The Red Zone regularly are well aware that I’m not exactly a horse racing expect. With that said, like most Louisvillians, I always do a little Derby week homework and act like I know what I’m talking about.
Favorite Underdog - Patch
Patch has never been a favorite for this year’s Kentucky Derby, but 30-1 adds aren’t exactly terrible. Landing post position No. 20 will make things tougher than they already are for Patch. Not only does he draw a post that hasn’t produced a winner in 29 years, he also has just one eye. I’m not confident Patch will win, but he’s definitely my favorite underdog. Again, the horse has just one eye. Regardless of odds or post position, a horse with one eye is damn sure an underdog.
Favorite Story - Gunnevera
Gunnevera is trained by Venezuelan trainer Antonio Sano who has an interesting background to say the least. Sano was a highly successful trainer in his home country, but basically had to start over. In 2009 he was kidnapped for 36 days and his family had to pay a ransom of $320,000. Sano left behind 162 horses, distributing them to several trainers. He later relocated to Weston, Florida, and basically started all over. Eight years later Sano is now training one of the Kentucky Derby favorites. Jason Franks of the Courier-Journal has the full story here.
Bold Prediction - J Boys Echo Finishes In The Top Three
I won’t even attempt to have any logical reasoning for this prediction. I simply like the name J Boys Echo and he was the first horse I heard about leading up to this year’s Derby. Also, with 33-1 odds J Boys Echo isn’t exactly a favorite so you may be able to win some money if you wager on him.
Close Connection - Classic Empire
Classic Empire is trained by the Casse Racing team, who I have somewhat of a connection with. Assistant trainer Norman Casse is a fellow North Bullitt alum and I went to school with his younger brother Joel. Seeing the Casse Racing team’s success over the last few years has been absolutely awesome.
My Derby Bets
Exact Box: Classic Empire & Gunnevera
Across The Board: J Boys Echo
Disclaimer: Don’t enter the betting windows on Saturday expecting to win much money.
Photo: Getty Images