Kentucky Derby May be a Mudder

It's time for the most exciting two minutes in sports. Tony is ready with his Derby day weather and winner predictions.

Kentucky Derby Weather: Watch the Mudders

It is time for the eyes of the sporting world to be cast upon Churchill Downs for the 135th run for the Roses on Saturday. Queens and princes, paupers and pirates will converge on Louisville this weekend hoping for a warm and sunny day and a lightning fast track. Trust me they will get neither!

The action began a week ago in Louisville with a Regatta and outdoor festival. Then on Thursday, the Pegasus Parade thru the streets of Louisville entertained some 150 thousand revelers.

Friday got down to business with the Kentucky Oaks. “The Fillies run for the Lillies” said Oaks veteran Chris Bailey. “The Oaks is the second most attended horse race in the world, second only to the Derby”, Chris added.

The Oaks is the 10th of eleven races on Friday’s card at Churchill. Morning showers were long gone by Oaks post time as afternoon highs managed the 70s with a hazy sun and fast track. Only the ladies can run in this race as the fillies relived the thrill of the first Oaks run back in 1875!

And run the winner did as Rachel Alexandra blew away the field with a record setting 20 length win. Shades of Secretariat at the Belmont in 1973 no doubt crossed the minds of horse race fans as she crossed the finish line.

Now it’s time for my Saturday update. Light rain fell this morning at Churchill Downs though the rain has shifted east and south of Louisville for this afternoon. That leaves a cloudy sky with only a sprinkle behind for the 12 race card. So while it is likely the track will be off for the playing of My Old Kentucky Home and the trumpeter’s call to the post, visions of an old fashioned quagmire are gone.

Track superintendent Butch Lehr is legendary for making the Churchill surface PLAYABLE so don't be surprised if the Downs surface is not a big factor when Tom Durkin says "they're off in the Kentucky Derby" at 6:04 on WSAZ. I like my horse starting in the 3 hole as long as he can break fast enough to avoid the crowd by the clubhouse turn.

There are several horses with weather related names this year including Atomic Rain, Desert Party and my Derby choice here at work Mr. Hot Stuff.

Since Mr. Hot Stuff is a West Coast equine who comes off the pace to challenge, I prefer a slower race in the first half mile. A muddy track would have assured that. That would put Mr. Hot Stuff in the mix as they make the turn down the stretch.

So if the track is off, I am putting my 2 dollars on the nose of Mr. Hot Stuff!
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