Experience helps with all things in life; especially in the Kentucky
Derby. The trainers in the 2009 running of the Kentucky Derby have a
combined 9 victories, and MANY more that have finished on the board.
Trainers like Todd Pletcher and Bill Mott are among the best the
sport has ever seen but still haven�t been able to get that elusive
Kentucky Derby win. Both hold a strong hand this time around. Let�s
take a look at some of the trainers who have been here a time or
D. Wayne Lukas- This guy reminds me of Bob Knight. He
absolutely loves to win and has done a lot of it in his career. He
has won the Kentucky Derby on four separate occasions with Winning
Colors, Thunder Gulch, Grindstone, and Charismatic. He even swept
the 1995 Triple Crown, but with two different horses. His last win
came in 1999 and his barn seems to be a shadow of what it used to
be. Despite that he is still a veteran who has forgot more about
horse racing than most of these guys know. He will be up against it
with Flying Private, but if anyone can do it is him.
Bob Baffert- I think just about everyone, horse
racing fan or not, knows who Bob Baffert is. That is for a reason!
Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times with Silver Charm,
Real Quiet, and War Emblem. He missed taking a fourth Derby by just
a nose. This man knows more than just about anyone when it comes to
winning the biggest races that the sport has to offer. He comes with
one of the top choices in this year�s event; Pioneerof The Nile. The
closer seems to be getting better as time goes on, and has been
taking well to the dirt surface at Churchill Downs. It�s been a
while since Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby but the drought may
be over this year.
Nick Zito- Some may laugh at the horses Zito enters to
these Classic races. I say to those people, were you laughing when
he won the Belmont Stakes last year with Da� Tara, who was the
longest shot on the board? Nick Zito has won the Kentucky Derby two
times with Strike The Gold and Go For Gin. This old salt definitely
knows what he is doing. This year he brings long shot Nowheretohide.
The colt broke his maiden at Calder Race Course and has run fourth
in a pair of Grade 3�s and a Grade 2 since then. It would be a
shocker if he won, but Nick Zito does this stuff often.
Todd Pletcher- This man has won more eclipse awards
for best trainer than I can remember. He has won several Breeders
Cup races, and has won the Belmont Stakes; but he is 0 for 21 in the
Run for the Roses. Pletcher has had several horses that were
regarded as having a high chance of winning including Circular Quay
in 2007 and Monba in 2008. He holds perhaps his strongest hand yet
this year with the late closing Dunkirk. The colt is royally bred
and has shown heaps of ability after having just three races. This
could finally be his year.
Larry Jones- He hasn�t won it yet, but he has finished
second the past two years with Hard Spun and Eight Belles. I loved
his chances with Hard Spun and I thought he had it won at the top of
stretch but it just wasn�t meant to be. Jones will be retiring at
the end of this year. I�d love to see him ride off into the sunset
with a victory in the Kentucky Derby. He has a great shot with
Friesan Fire. The son of A.P. Indy is getting better and has an
excellent post position. He loves the slop and jockey Gabriel Saez
will make sure he gets a great trip. I�ll be rooting for him.
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