The 2009 Kentucky Derby is on the horizon at that old Kentucky home. Derby day is five days away, and Churchill Downs is already getting ready for the festivities. Over the course of the week, the storylines of the 2009 Kentucky Derby will spread through the nation. Those who don’t follow horse racing much after the Triple Crown will be introduced to the favorites and participants at the Kentucky Derby for the first time.
However, they will not have to get to know one of the favorites, who has been scratched from the race already. Quality Road, who was hyped as a possible contender after winning the Florida Derby, is out of the Kentucky Derby with cracks in his feet, after missing his final workout.
Another favorite is not out of the race, but is surrounded by some controversy. I Want Revenge has been pegged as the early favorite on the odds, but will have to run the race with extra scrutiny around trainer Jeff Mullins. Earlier this month, Mullins received a suspension for giving cough medicine to one of his horses at the Bay Shore Stakes.
Mullins’ suspension will take effect on May 3, two days after the Kentucky Derby. With Mullins allowed to look after I Want Revenge, extra attention will be placed on his preparations for the race.
Additional favorites in the early going are Dunkirk, who was upset by Quality Road at the Florida Derby, Pioneer of the Nile, and Friesan Fire.
The real game of placing bets and odds really doesn’t get under way until Wednesday, when the 2009 post positions are announced. After that, the next 72 hours will be filled with an overload of Derby speculation and predictions.
The 2009 Kentucky Derby doesn’t have any big superhorses that are overwhelming favorites this year. But since favorites are more likely than not to lose the famed race, perhaps that’s not a drawback.
Last year, the Kentucky Derby was supposed to kick off winner Big Brown’s run to the Triple Crown. But Big Brown’s last place finish at the Belmont makes this year the 30th straight season without a Triple Crown. This added pressure will be put on the winner moments after the race.
The 135th Kentucky Derby is five days away from being run at Churchills Downs, on NBC late in the afternoon.
Kentucky Derby 135- www.kentuckyderby.com/2009/
The Sports Network- “Quality Road won’t run Kentucky Derby” www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/tsnform.aspx
Online Sports Handicappers- “2009 Kentucky Derby Odds Favorite Trainer Suspended” onlinesportshandicappers.com/news/horses/i-want-revenge-2009-kentucky-derby-odds-favorite-trainer-suspended-042609.html