How to bet (legally) on the Kentucky Derby

A sloppy track can make it hard to predict how the 3-year-old colts will handle the 1 1/4-mile distance. "There are some nice, solid horses", he said. "But really, you really wouldn't know it and you don't really have to do anything special with him either from a rider standpoint on the track or around the barn".

"And I'm expecting Classic Empire's odds to tighten at some point, but a lot of things could change between now and the race".

The first is that the serious preparations for the Oaks and Derby contenders are completed, and the weather wasn't a factor Thursday morning, with most of the Derby horses out for routine maintenance gallops.

Classic Empire's sire, Pioneerof the Nile, finished second in the 2009 Derby.

"If we can follow in Chrome's footsteps", said Taylor.

Recent history is on Classic Empire's side, too.

Gunnevera (15-1): Won Fountain of Youth, 2nd in Holy Bull, 3rd in Florida Derby; six of nine career starts at Gulfstream. It's the longest such streak since the 1970s. Two horses, Always Dreaming and McCraken, are the co-second choices at 5-1.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has cooked up a victor on Kentucky Derby day.

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However, the horses won't be running in the historic devil's red and blue silks that the jockeys of their previous eight Derby winners wore. Pollard's Vision had sight in only one eye when Pletcher purchased him as a 2-year-old. What is post time for the horses and where can you watch one of the most famous horse races in the world when the gates open for the 2017 derby? Trainer Graham Motion won the Derby with Animal Kingdom in 2011; jockey Rajiv Maragh has never won it. I will also be trying to separate the horses on the improve as opposed to those who have peaked in the preps and are coming off.

■ Irish War Cry is sired by Curlin, one of the best, but he's technically a New Jersey-bred, and J-breds are less likely to win the Derby than even the much-maligned California-breds.

Rajiv Maragh: The 31-year-old former Miramar resident will be aboard No. 17 Irish War Cry. Just a month shy of his 50th birthday, Pletcher's horses have already won a record $336 million. That reign won't last long, mind you, but it will be a memorable moment and a throwback to a bygone area. At 4-to-1 odds to win, a $2 bet will win you $8.

- "On the far turn at the 1:10 or 1:12 mark, you'll have a good handle on if your horse has a shot or not, based on the type of runner it is".

Lookin at Lee (20-1) drew the rail. Had he run better in the Fountain of Youth, he'd be the clear favorite on Saturday, yet with that blemish on his otherwise ideal record his backers could get a generous 5-to-1 odds on him in the win pool.

Tampa Bay Derby victor Tapwrit and one-eyed Patch don't need special equipment.

"We weren't winning the battle, so we sent him to a clinic in Saratoga and they continued to try and medicate it and do whatever they could for another week, and eventually, unfortunately, we couldn't save the eye", Pletcher said.