On May 7, twenty of the best three-year-old Thoroughbreds in the world will gather for a run at immortality. A win in the Kentucky Derby is truly a life-altering achievement. Who is going to win this 148th race for that of so coveted blanket of roses?… Here’s a hillbilly turf writer’s thoughts on each. Listed by post position and with the morning line let the ciphering begin. Back a horse and get paid !!!



1 MO DONEGAL (10-1)- Don’t like the post but love the horse and his tactical abilities. Todd Pletcher trained son of Uncle Mo is our top choice here.

2 HAPPY JACK (30-1)- If Jack can get there people with his ticket will be very Happy. A late runner trained by Doug O’Neill would be a huge surprise, but you never know, this is the DERBY.

3 EPICENTER (7-2)- Has looked like nothing but the favorite until the post draw. Steve Asmussen trainee has won four of last five starts and likes to be at or near the front.

4 SUMMER IS TOMORROW (30-1)-Dubai based runners have not fared especially well on the first Saturday in May. One win in four starts this year and a big longshot to get win two.

5 SMILE HAPPY (20-1)- There is a lot to like about this son of Runhappy, especially at these odds. Big win at Churchill and Downs top jock Corey Lanerie both positives here.

6 MESSIER (8-1)- This might be the wise guy horse that shakes’em up. Kinda forgotten about but has never been worse than second. Certainly should be on your ticket.

7 CROWN PRIDE (20-1)- UAE Derby winner is Japan-based and has won three of four career starts. Needs a Godzilla-like performance to get there on May 7.

8 CHARGE IT (20-1)-This son of Tapit has a win and two seconds in three career starts. Trained by Todd Pletcher, but not sure he has paid enough dues to be considered in this one.

9 TIZ THE BOMB (30-1)- Won two in a row but both were on synthetic surface. Has five career wins but only one on dirt. He’s one of those why not take a shot entries.

10 ZANDON (3-1)-Morning line favorite closed strongly in Bluegrass Stakes win. Chad Brown trainee has been in the money in all four starts but looks vulnerable here.

11 POWER OF MEDINA (30-1)-Todd Pletcher trained son of Pioneerof the Nile has yet to win a stakes race and this probably will not be his first.

12 TAIBA (12-1)-Unbeaten and very impressive in two lifetime starts. Jockey Mike Smith has more Kentucky Derby mounts than anyone. A wild card that could absolutely be there.

13 SIMPLIFICATION (20-1)-Impressive winner in Fountain of Youth Stakes but has always run at Gulfstream Park. Big challenge that will not be too simple.

14 BARBER ROAD (30-1)- This son of Race Day has been a bridesmaid with 3 seconds and a third in four starts this year. Not likely to break the string in this one.

15 WHITE ABARIO (10-1)-Wonderful looking son of Race Day that has two wins in two starts this year. Florida Derby win was impressive enough to give him a look here.

16CYBERKNIFE (20-1)- Arkansas Derby win told us this Brad Cox trained son of Gun Runner has a chance. Displayed the fight necessary to win on the big stage.

17 CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (30-1) Speed horse that could play a factor in the early pace scenario. Likely to fade as the race progresses but should make things hot early.

18 TAWNY PORT (30-1)- Lexington Stakes winner that is probably in over his head here. Trainer Brad Cox will have him ready, but will it be ready enough?

19 ZOZOS (30-1)– Did not race as a two year old and has only three races this year. A nice second in Louisiana Derby has landed him here.

20 ETHEREAL ROAD (30-1)- D Wayne Lukas trained son of Quality Road has no stakes wins and is a bit of a reach here. Water is awfully deep in this one.

Mo Donegal breaks from post 1