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Pace makes the race; any race. The Kentucky Derby is no exception. Having the ability to stay in touch with the early leader(s) is an important quality for success in the Run for the Roses. All types of horses have won and can win the Derby, but those near the front sometimes give the biggest thrill for bettors.
Here is a look at the horses that figure to be prominent after the first quarter mile of Kentucky Derby 2013.
The Pennsylvania bred Falling Sky has the best chance to be on the lead in the early stages of the Kentucky Derby. He is by 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart and out of Sea Dragoness who is by 1993 Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero. Winner of the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, he will enter this race after a fourth place finish in the Arkansas Derby. He could be an intriguing option to get a piece for superfecta players if allowed to dole out leisurely fractions. Falling Sky is trained by John Terranova and will likely be ridden by Luis Saez.
The lightly raced Govenor Charlie will be in the thick of things early on. Govenor Charlie is by two-time Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute and out of the Storm Cat mare Silverbulletway. Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times with Real Quiet, Silver Charm and War Emblem. He was second last year with Bodemeister. Jockey Martin Garcia guided this colt to a track record breaking Grade 3 Sunland Derby win when last seen. With just three races under his belt, he is an unknown commodity.
The likely 2013 Kentucky Derby favorite, Verrazano, has flashed early speed in all of his races. By More Than Ready and out of the Giant's Causeway mare Enchanted Rock, he is a half-brother to 2012 Risen Star Stakes winner El Padrino. Verrazano has a very high cruising speed and has shown an abundance of class in his four race career. Both trainer and jockey are already Kentucky Derby winners. Todd Pletcher saddled Super Saver to victory in 2010 and John Velazquez piloted Animal Kingdom the following year.
Goldencents will be on the engine in Kentucky Derby 2013. He has a solid two-year-old foundation as he won the Delta Jackpot and finished second in the Champagne Stakes. His last start was a win in the Santa Anita Derby. Trainer Doug O'Neill conditioned last year's Derby champ, I'll Have Another. Jockey Kevin Krigger will have this son of Into Mischief in the best spot to win the race.
Flying under the radar with the early speed, stamina and class to get the job done is Oxbow. He is a son of Awesome Again and out of the Cee's Tizzy dam Tizamazing. He posted a scintillating win in the Lectome Stakes to start his three-year-old campaign. After that, he was fourth by just a half-length in the Grade 3 Risen Star Stakes and second beaten a head in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. Trainer D Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens won the Kentucky Derby together in 1995 with Thunder Gulch. Neither has won since, but they find themselves with an improving horse in 2013.
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