Kentucky Derby 2011. Todd Pletcher came to Louisville with the assurance that you will not have to answer the foolish question of when going to win the Kentucky Derby. The unexpected victory of the Super Saver is responsible for giving the answer. Now, however, the coach has to deal with questions about Uncle Mo, one of their candidates for the race on Saturday.
The colt, the best dosañero in 2010, flowered in his first four races to win with a combined total of more than 27 bodies.
Everything seemed to assume that the issue would be 137 Derby mere formality to Uncle Mo, but a surprise defeat in the Wood Memorial on April 9, changed the script.
The first race of the Triple Crown has no clear favorite, so for this Derby bettors will make very happy to put a winner.
The reverse of Uncle Mo has also perplexed Pletcher.
"Winning the Derby is amazing phenomenon," he said. "Do not change life much. You have to keep paying your debts. Your wife thinks I work too much. And if you lose in the Wood Memorial, everyone wants to know why."
Perhaps it was the gastrointestinal infection that was diagnosed after the race. Uncle Mo lack dominated the last quarter mile, but it exceeded two horses and finished third, to a body.
Pletcher said the colt has gone well to treatment, but the owner Mike Repola estimated at "50-50" its presence in the Derby.
"As much as you want to be in the Kentucky Derby, even if you want to win the Kentucky Derby, never sacrifice the health of a horse for my ego," said Repola.
Pletcher knows what can happen prior to departure. Reached last year's Derby as the favorite Eskendereya, but the horse was removed six days before the race leg injury. Anyway, he could win Super Ever and broke the curse of 24 mounts without a victory in the crown jewel of U.S. horse racing.
In 2009, the favorite I Want Revenge withdrew on the morning of race day with a sprained ankle.
The poster for the Triple Crown is full of horses with injuries or who have done most things in the run Churchill Downs.
To Honor and Serve, Premier Jaycito Pegasus and stand out among the favorites that have been left out for various injuries. Soldat and Stay Thirsty, the other mounted Pletcher, disappointed in the Florida Derby. Stepped Santivan strong, but remained in ninth place in the Blue Grass. All, however, are among the top 20 on the money list.
Bob Baffert, won the Derby three times, Midnight Interlude saddle. He is considered the best option, after The Factor failed to seventh place in the Arkansas Derby and Jaycito retired with a blow to the forefoot.
It is speculated that Uncle Mo is in the right conditions for travel 1 mile and a quarter in a Derby always attracts the largest number of entries in the Triple Crown.
"Anything can happen with 20 horses," Baffert said.
Repola says he feels comfortable that the vet said Uncle Mo 'is the healthiest horse in the barn of Todd Pletcher. "
"And Todd has 140 horses. How I can not feel comfortable with that estimate?" He said.
But the defeat of Uncle Mo cleared from the aura of a favorite.
"I think we put on a pedestal too soon," said Graham Motion, trainer of Toby's Corner, Wood Memorial winner.
Remember that Secretariat lost the 1973 Wood Memorial and finished sweeping the Derby, Preakness and Belmont that year.
Toby's Corner was a candidate, but was dismissed on Tuesday with a sore back leg.
Dialed In, trained by two-time winner Nick Zito, is now the favorite by discarding. With their style of attack in the final, won the Florida Derby with a body ahead of Shackleford, albeit with a mediocre time.
"Frankly, I prefer to be the second, third or fourth. I, like everyone else, I worry a favorite," said owner Robert LaPenta.
"This ultimately will be defined, as always, the horse is in better shape that day and who has better luck," he said.
Back for another try is Calvin Borel, who will ride Twice the Appeal, the Sunland Derby winner. The rider has won three of the last four Derbys, the last with Super Saver.