This year’s Kentucky Derby, Run for the Roses, held at Churchill Downs will be held on May 6th. The race is one and one quarter mile on a dirt track. When you think of the Kentucky Derby, you may think of ladies in fancy dresses and big hats, men in suits and a beautiful warm day with big fluffy clouds in the a blue sky. You can feel the excitement in the air. The noise and the smell of horses are all around you. As the time nears for the start of the race, bets have been placed on the expert predictions, everyone begins to find their seats and settle in. The shot is fired and they’re off!
So, who are these horses? These three-year-old thoroughbreds are some of the finest specimens of their kind. The horses are bred for speed and endurance. They come from a long line of Thoroughbreds. Now if you were going to place a bet on a horse these are some of the best bets for 2017. These horses are in the top four as the favorite to win: Classic Empire, Practical Joke, Three Rules and Looking at Lee, but remember when placing your bet, there is also always the long shot.
You just can’t sign up to race your horse at the Kentucky Derby. The horse has to earn his spot here. This is done by a tiered point system in selected races. The twenty horses with the highest points earns a spot at the starting gate. These horses will travel across the country and around the world to race. Points are only awarded to the first four finishers in each race.
Classic Empire is a bay colt with a star, strip and snip, along with one sock on the left leg. The colts’ sire is American Pharoah and dam is Sambuca Classica. American Pharoah is a Triple Crown Winner and Sambuca Classica has previously produced three winning foals. Classic Empire is known for high cruising speed, is extremely smart and tends to see things other horses don’t. On January 21, 2017 he was named American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse.
Practical Joke is a bay horse with only a star, no other white markings. He is the fifth foal by Into Mischief and the fourth of the stakes place mare Halo Humor. He finished third at the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile behind Classic Empire and Not This Time. Though Not This Time was a 2017 contender for the Kentucky Derby, he was retired because of an injury.
Three Rules is a dark bay horse. Was bred in Florida by Shade Tree Thoroughbreds Inc. He is bred from Gone Astray and Joy Rules. This is a horse that is improving with age. He has a beautiful stride. As a two-year old he won five races in a row.
Looking At Lee was bred in Kentucky by L and N Racing LLC. Looking At Lee’s sire is Lookin At Lucky and his Dam is Langara Lass. This is a powerful horse who starts off easy, gets it going , then takes off.
The race is over, the blanket of roses has been placed over the winner, but now what. The Kentucky Derby is only the first leg for the Triple Crown Winner. To become a Triple Crown Winner the horse must place first in: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and finally the Belmont Stakes. There have only been twelve horses to earn this title since 1919. The last horse to earn this title was American Pharoah-the Sire of Classic Empire.