I am a guy that asks the question 11 months out of the year, but for most casual sports fans, they are just now beginning to wonder. Who is going to win the Kentucky Derby?

While I’m sitting here listening to Jesus Just left Chicago by the best little band from Texas (ZZ Top for those of you scoring at home), I am perplexed by some pony pondering. And then as you will have the next YouTube spin is “I Gotsta Get Paid” also by ZZ. Hmmmmm. The omens of horse racing. You see, there is a force that surrounds this wonderful sport we cannot explain. The parallels between four-legged athletes performing for all the right reasons and the life we know can be uncanny, if you believe.

As the greatest two minutes in sports draws ever closer things are still a bit fuzzy. The final prep races have muddied things up a bit and it looks as if the normal scenario will be in place. Pace will make the race. Can the front end speed hold up, or just set it up for the closers? Well, like the song says “muddy water turned to wine, moving out to California through the forest and the pines”.

Wait a minute…there you have it! I believe the power in the three-year-old division resides out West again this year. Nyquist will be the morning line favorite and this California-based colt has every right to be. Unbeaten and battle tested, he came East and won the Florida Derby in jaw-dropping fashion. He still has his naysayers of course, but his training has been great and conditioner Doug O’Neill likes the mindset of his runner. I think he has what it takes to get the mile and a quarter and the versatility to stalk what should be a very hot pace.

Now don’t think I have not thought about some of the other possibilities the race presents. A case can be made for all 20 of the entrants. If they were not good, they wouldn’t be here. Getting back to my ZZ Top, does that mean pick a longer shot to try a make bank? As I was looking at the muddy Churchill track on opening night and dreaming of wine and Derby glory, a good friend’s words rang through my ears and solidified my selection…” a short price is better than a long face”.

Nyquist will win the Kentucky Derby. Complete your trifecta with two other California-based colts, Mor Spirit and Exaggerator. A pair of long shots to go across the board are Whitmore and Mo Tom.