Aidan O'Brien is considered perhaps the best trainer on the planet right now, and he has a horse that is fighting significant history since no European horse has ever won the Derby. The end of his career doesn't appear to be coming any time soon as the trainer in the wide-brimmed cowboy hat seems determined to remain a Derby fixture.
Proceeds from the party benefit Missoula County Public Schools. He would be the first Derby victor to not race at two since Apollo in 1882.
The event starts at 2 PM.
Leading up to the Kentucky Derby, everybody remotely interested in the race is trying to figure out the victor.
Post positions for Triple Crown race at Churchill.
One of the main opposition also has to overcome similar statistics with Bob Baffert's Justify (drawn seven) bidding to reverse an ancient trend of being the first victor not to race as a two-year-old since Apollo 136 years ago.
Tickets to the Missoula Kentucky Derby party are $45 each or $80 for a couple.
While this horse was no match for the Derby favorite Justify in their most recent head-to-head outing, Bolt d'Oro has the sheer ability to contend for the win as another intriguing sleeper option. Justify appears to possess enough speed to take control of the race, but I think it's more likely that Baffert and jockey Mike Smith will opt to rate him just off the other front-runners drawn to his inside - Promises Fulfilled and Flameaway.
"We need Wayne", said fellow Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, whom Lukas calls a good friend.
Lukas is also motivated to give Calumet Farm its record ninth Derby victor and first since Forward Pass was awarded the win 50 years ago after Dancer's Image was disqualified for a failed postrace drug test. "I don't know is the honest answer, and not for one moment do we think this is going to be straightforward, though that is stating the obvious".
Both Justify and Magnum Moon appear to have an excellent chance of finding the winner's circle on Saturday and breaking the 136-year-old Curse of Apollo. Like Justify, Magnum Moon did not race at two either. This is the same length as numerous prep races for the Derby (such as the Santa Anita and Arkansas Derbies) but still the longest race most of these fillies have run so far in their lives.
All the guesses and handicapping using various angles can be ignored as the gates open on Saturday, when more than 150,000 fans are in full throat and 20 horses barrel down the front straightaway at Churchill Downs just hoping to survive the crush that heads into that first turn.
He also stopped by to see the updated film on the Derby that runs each hour. "I'm very happy. No problems".
"Justify, what a wonderful-looking, lovely horse he is", said Bolt d'Oro owner/trainer Mick Ruis. So that moved Combatant up to get in at number 20. Bolt d'Oro was a sharp second behind Justify in the Santa Anita Derby and could make Mick Ruis, his owner and trainer, a Derby victor in his first try.
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