Charlie Buttrey

April 30, 2021

Every year this blog affords me to embarrass myself publicly as I announce, in advance, who will win the Kentucky Derby.

As always, there are a couple of interesting storylines among the 20 3-year-old colts who will spring from the gate at 6:57 pm EDT today. For one, the probable favorite, undefeated Essential Quality, is owned by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, of whom a British court ruled that, on the balance of probabilities, he had his two daughters abducted (one of whom has not been heard from in 20 years). The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission received a complaint this week asking that he be banned from Churchill Downs. Don’t bet on that.

While Black jockeys won 15 of the first 28 races, Jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who will be riding longshot Bourbonic from the outside post, is the first Black jockey to compete in the Derby since 2013.

And Brooklyn Strong sold at auction for a piddling $5,000.  He has since earned $225,000 and could add handsomely to that total tomorrow. He won’t, but he could.

Which brings us to the question you’re waiting for me to answer: Who will win the 147th Run for the Roses?

That’s always a toughie in any year, since three-year-olds are still developing at varying rates, a field of 20 means that racing luck plays an exaggerated role in the outcome, and I never pick the favorite, which has had an enormous adverse inpact on my win percentage; when Justify won the race in 2019, he was the sixth successive favorite to win the race. Moreover, this year’s crop of three-year-olds is a relatively uninspiring bunch.

That said, I’ve been able to narrow it down to seven. So, if O Besos (the #6 horse), Mandaloun (#7), Hot Rod Charlie (#9), Midnight Bourbon (#10), Dynamic One (#11) or Essential Quality (#14) win, you can say that your favorite blogger had the horse on his radar.

And if Medina Spirit (#8) wins, you can say that you heard it here first.

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