(Dark bay or brown colt, by Mecke-Boots 'n Jackie, by Major Moran)
Owner: Bee Bee Stable and Jacaqueline Tortora
Trainer: Emanuel Tortora
Lifetime record: 15-2-7-3
Highlights: Second in the Fountain of Youth, fourth in the Florida Derby. This colt hasn't won a race since last Nov. 16, although he's usually close. Last time out, he was second in the Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream, caught after leading in the stretch, which does not speak well to his ability to get the 1 1/4-mile Derby distance.
Outlook: It's hard to see him playing a major role, though he could come running from mid-pack to make some noise in the stretch if a hot pace scenario develops.
Jockey: Rosemary Homeister Jr., only the fifth female jockey in Derby history. None has won the race.
(Dark bay or brown colt by Deputy Commander-Treize, by Alysheba)
Owner: Michael Tabor
Trainer: Patrick Biancone
Lifetime record: 7-1-2-3
Highlights: Scored his first victory in February at Santa Anita. Ran third behind Buddy Gil and Atswhatimtalkinbout in the San Felipe, then second behind Peace Rules in the Blue Grass.
Outlook: Needs to find a bit more oomph to improve on those last two races since he faces the same rivals again, plus some who are even tougher.
Jockey: Tony Farina
(Bay colt by Cherokee Run-La Cucina, by Last Tycoon)
Owner: Domino Stud of Lexington
Trainer: Michael Tomlinson
Lifetime record: 10-3-3-0
Highlights: This colt is at Churchill Downs on the basis of one race - his impressive, stretch-running victory in the Arkansas Derby on April 12. Before that, his 3-year-old campaign had reaped only modest success. He ran well to finish a close fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs last fall and experience over the quirky CD strip is important for a Derby contender.
Outlook: Seems to run best from well back in the field. So he will need racing luck. But if a fast pace develops, he is one of the few likely to still be running in the final furlong of the race. Live longshot, at least at the 15-1 morning-line odds.
Jockey: Terry Thompson
(Dark bay or brown colt by A.P. Indy-Lucinda K, by Red Ransom)
Owner: Hughs and Biscuit Stables
Trainer: Ron Ellis
Lifetime record: 5-2-1-1
Highlights: Has yet to win a stakes race but he did finish second to Buddy Gil, just a nose back, in the San Felipe. Then was fourth in the Santa Anita Derby after a bad start. His ownership team includes some Hollywood luminaries, including Steven Spielberg.
Outlook: Depends how you feel about the California horses this year. He ran impressively there and his sire is one of the few turning out legitimate mile-and-quarter runners in America these days. If you like Buddy Gil, you should like him, too.
Jockey: David Flores
(Chestnut colt by Jules-Hold to Fashion, by Hold Your Peace)
Owner: Edmund Gann
Trainer: Bobby Frankel
Lifetime record: 8-5-1-1
Highlights: Winner of four straight races, going back to last November, including the Louisiana Derby and the Blue Grass in his last two starts. Those are impressive achievements, yet he is only the third choice of oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. One reason is that he's been running right on the lead in most of his races and that's not usually a winning tactic in the Kentucky Derby -- despite the fact that War Emblem did it last year.
Outlook: If he could get a clear, uncontested lead on Saturday, he would be
a top pick. That's not likely to happen, so he's going to have to show some
real stamina and fortitude to be around in the final furlong.
Jockey: Edgar Prado.
(Chestnut gelding by Distorted Humor-Belle's Good Cide, by Slewacide)
Owner: Sackatoga Stable
Trainer: Barclay Tagg
Lifetime record: 6-3-2-0
Highlights: Third in the Louisiana Derby after leading, losing the lead and then was gaining again in deep stretch. Forced Empire Maker to try a little harder before losing to that Derby favorite in the Wood by a half length, again while gaining in the final sixteenth. Won his first three races against fellow New York-breds last year.
Outlook: Very interesting prospect because of his ability to make another run in deep stretch in his last two races. That bodes well for his chances in the longer stretch run on Saturday, again assuming a quick pace. And since he races near the lead, he won't be as dependent as others on favorable traffic patterns. Could be the one if the favorite falters. No gelding has won the
Derby since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.
Jockey: Jose Santos
(Dark bay or brown colt, by Wild Again-Alvear, by Seattle Slew)
Owner: Azaelea Stable
Trainer: T.V. Smith
Lifetime record: 6-2-1-1
Highlights: Won the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream at 27-1 odds in January. Then fourth in the Fountain of Youth and third in the Blue Grass without really threatening in either race. Breeding indicates the ability to get the added distance.
Outlook: Based on his recent efforts, he's not likely to hit the board on Saturday. His pedigree says he could improve with the added distance.
Jockey: Robby Albarado
(Bay gelding, by Eastern Echo-Really Rising, by For Really)
Owner: Desperado Stables, et al
Trainer: Jeff Mullins
Lifetime record: 9-5-1-1
Highlights: Won the Baldwin, the San Felipe and the Santa Anita Derby in his last three, clearly making himself the class of the West Coast contingent. His success began when he hooked up with jockey Gary Stevens. Consistently races from mid-pack.
Outlook: Again, this depends on how good the California competition was this winter and spring. If those horses are competitive with the Florida and Louisiana snowbird crowd, he could be right there. One caveat -- his only two bad races came on wet tracks, so if it rains, think twice. Also, a gelding.
Jockey: Gary Stevens
(Bay colt by Indian Charlie-Liba's Choice, by Halo)
Owner: Phil Chess
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Lifetime record: 4-2-1-0
Highlights: This Utah-bred colt made his first two starts in Panama, winning both. He then was fourth in the San Pedro at Santa Anita and second by a head to Buddy Gil in the Santa Anita Derby with a game effort in deep stretch. The owner founded and owned Chicago-based Chess Records, which recorded the likes of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters in the 1950s
and early 1960s.
Outlook: With only four starts, he lacks seasoning and there is the suspicion that Baffert really wanted a starter for the Derby. And, as a likely factor in the early pace scenario, he will be hard-pressed to stick around for the full mile and a quarter. But the Santa Anita Derby effort was impressive.
Jockey: Tyler Baze, a northern California-based rider making his first Derby start.
Lone Star Sky
(Bay colt by Conquistador Cielo-Ministrada, by Deputy Minister)
Owner: Walter New
Trainer: Thomas Amoss
Lifetime record: 10-3-3-1
Highlights: Last win was the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes at River Downs (that's near Cincinnati) last September. Hasn't been close to a victory since then and was under consideration for the Lone Star Derby next week at Lone Star Park. Even there, he might not have been the favorite.
Outlook: Not so hot, as 50-1 morning-line odds reflect.
Jockey: Shane Sellers
(Chestnut colt by Unbridled's Song-Majestical Moment, by Magesterial)
Owner: David Bienstock and Charles Winner
Trainer: Paddy Gallagher
Lifetime record: 10-2-2-2
Highlights: This horse was actually taken off the Derby trail after finishing third in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland last month. But then he was sold and his new owners told Gallagher they wanted to run in the Kentucky Derby, so here he is. Earlier, he ran fifth in the San Felipe and the Santa Anita Derby. His best race was a victory in the Santa Catalina on Jan. 18.
Outlook: While his record is uninspiring and it appears he's entered here only to stoke owners' egos, he does indeed have a Kentucky Derby pedigree and stranger things have happened in this race than him turning in a good performance Saturday. A not-impossible play for those who like loooong odds.
Jockey: Alex Solis
(By Unbridled-Toussaud, by El Gran Senor)
Owner: Juddmonte Farms
Trainer: Bobby Frankel
Lifetime record: 5-3-1-1
Highlights: Ran well enough in California, then took a big step forward in the Florida Derby, winning by 9 3/4 lengths -- admittedly over horses that now are running elsewhere. Then he got an easy race in the Wood Memorial, although jockey Jerry Bailey had to keep him interested when Funny Cide made a late run in the stretch. Has never been worse than third, won at four
tracks and on a muddy surface and runs from comfortably off the pace.
Outlook: Deserves to be the favorite and has sufficient pedigree to last the Derby distance. Bailey is as good as they get. But it's hard to understand 6-5 morning-line odds when he really has had only one dominating victory. May be worth trying to beat at the windows.
Jockey: Jerry Bailey
Eye of the Tiger
(Bay colt by American Chance-Dial a Trick, by Phone Trick)
Owner: John D. Gunther
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-2
Highlights: Hmmm. That's a good record, but compiled mostly in minor races against lesser competition. He is here because of a second-place finish in the Lexington behind Scrimshaw -- also a nice accomplishment, but still ...
Outlook: Deserves his 50-1 odds in Mike Battaglia's morning line. Some are taking him in the "last-place" pools.
Jockey: Eibar Coa
Ten Cents a Shine
(Dark Bay or Brown colt, by Devil His Due-Aunt Mottz, by Honey Jay)
Owner: Kenn and Sarah Ramsey
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Lifetime Record: 6-2-1-0
Highlights: Ran second in the Kentucky Jockey Club as a 2-year-old, then won an allowance race in his first start this year. After that, he was sixth, beaten 24 lengths, in the Fountain of Youth; eighth, beaten 13 lengths, in the San Felipe; and eighth, beaten 43 1/4 lengths (that's right - more than 43 lengths) in the Blue Grass.
Outlook: Would require an amazing reversal of form to have any impact on Saturday.
Jockey: Calvin Borel
(Chestnut colt by Dehere-Just Out, by Forty Niner)
Owner: William Currin and Al Eisman
Trainer: William Currin
Lifetime record: 8-2-2-2
Highlights: Won the Delta Downs Jackpot in his last start as a 2-year-old. His only race this year was a fourth-place finish in the UAE Derby in Dubai.
Outlook: He's probably not a bad colt but with only limited experience, one race this year, an international trip under his belt and a relatively long layoff, the odds are he won't be able to show how good he is -- or isn't -- on Saturday.
Jockey: Kent Desormeaux, who rode him in Dubai.
Ten Most Wanted
(Dark bay or brown colt, by Deputy Commander-Wanted Again, by Criminal Type)
Owner: Chisholm, Jarvis and Horizon Stable
Trainer: Wally Dollase
Lifetime record: 5-2-1-1
Highlights: Improving colt jumped up to win the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course on April 3 despite some traffic problems and with an impressive run down the stretch over a tiring track. Earlier, he was third in the El Camino Real at Golden Gate, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths.
Outlook: Second-favorite behind Empire Maker, based both on his finish in the Illinois race and the way he did it. Horses making up ground in the stretch in their final Kentucky Derby prep race often go to the head of the class on Derby Day.
Jockey: Pat Day
(Dark bay or brown colt, by Gulch-Rogue Girl, by Sham)
Owner: Bob and Beverly Lewis
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Lifetime record: 5-3
Highlights: Won his first two last year, then struggled in his first two starts as a 3-year-old. Then, just in time for his Derby-fixture trainer, he jumped up to win the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 19 despite bobbling at the start, being bumped around and finally having to go four-wide into the turn.
Outlook: Probably would have to take another step forward to win against this field. But certainly is another playable horse for those who like longshots.
Jockey: Cornelio Velasaquez