Talk Derby To Me:The 145th Run For The Roses

Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo


LOUISVILLE-– There is no rest for the weary especially this time of year in Kentucky. The bourbon is flowing the hats are the size of Texas and beyond. So while your rocking those wayfarers, nursing that hangover with a bloody trying to get your head back in the game to put a little money on the ponies that would be my cue for a little Derby talk.

I was hoping I was going to be writing this column from Churchill Downs sipping on that Bookers seeing all my Kentucky family. However, the sports gods decided that I be on NBA Playoff duty. Let see if the Rockets can come back in their playoff series against the Golden State at home in Houston. I sure as hell hope so. Anyway back to the topic at hand…my picks for the 145th Run for the Roses.

The million dollar question each year that plays a huge factor in the race, of course, is the weather. As of now, the rain has let up but it still brewing and it could very well come back in time for this afternoons race. There are so many factors aside from the mathematical calculations that go into the perfect pick. We all know how I feel about odds and stats so perhaps that is why I tend to do fairly good on a race day.

Without further adieu here is the 145th  Kentucky Derby storyline and my picks.

Track Talk

145th Kentucky Derby

Saturday, May 4th

Post: 6:50 PM ET

Churchill Downs: Louisville, KY

Network: NBC: Live Stream @ NBCSPORTS.COM


It doesn’t seem it’s going to a bright sunny day in the Ville for this edition of the Kentucky Derby so if you’re looking for a sure bet that’s probably your best bet. Will the rain hold off or will it be another mudder budder finish like the last one? Whatever the case may be the early favorite Omaha Beach had taken the bench on Wednesday due to breathing issues. Then, of course, Omaha Beach post partner Haikal was scratched due to an abscess on his hoof. Now good ole Bobby Baffert is back to see if one of his three ( Improbable, Game Winner and Roadster) can easy into that winner’s circle today at Churchill.

Here are the Post Positions & Odds

*Bodexpress replaces Omaha Beach and since there is no other alternate their will be 19 horses running from post 2-20


  2. War of Will (18/1)
  3. 3 Tax (38/1)
  4. By My Standards (14/1)
  5. Gray Magician (29/1)
  6. Improbable (6/1)
  7. Vekoma (22/1)
  8. Maximum Security (9/2)
  9. Tacitus (5/1)
  10. Plus Que Parfait (50/1)
  11.  Cutting Humor (21/1)Code of Honor (13/1)
  12. Win Win Win (15/1)
  13. Master Fencer (50/1)
  14. Game Winner (6/1)
  15. Roadster (9/1)
  16. Long Range Toddy (44/1)
  17. Spinoff (54/1)
  18. Country House (70/1)   
  19. Bodexpress (99/1)

Here are my Picks

1.Maximum Security: Jockey: Luis Saez: I like the unconventional training that Jason Servis has done with this horse. He got the speed and the running style to brace the elements. He has definitely built a strong footing to get here. Hell like many of the great contenders Maximum Security wasn’t much of the talk of the town this time last season. Seeming like a late bloomer that appeared to not be showing much he definitely seems to be proving the critics wrong. I think he was built for this kind of race setting. 

2.Improbable: Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr. I can’t go a Derby, especially under these circumstances without picking one of Bobbby Baffert’s horses. It just wouldn’t be Kentucky of me not to. Yes I know the mans had a slump we all do. But the last two seasons he’s set the stage for a much awaited come back. This year he has three chances to make it happen. While Roadster seems to be the favorite of Bobby’s triple threat.  Improbable finished a close second in his last race to early favorite Omaha Beach before he was scratched from the race on Wed.

3.War of Will: Jockey:Tyler Gaffalione: I got to go with a dark horse. Something about this horse and my gut tell me he will be coming from behind on the backstretch. Believe it or not, War of Will was one of the early Derby favorites before he got himself in a bit of sticky situation stumbling out of the gate with a 9th place finish at the Lousiana Derby. But however, trainer Mark Casse seems to believe if there is a will then there just might be a way for War of Will to continue to be a top contender in the Derby. He may be able to climb into the winner circle if Maximum Security and Improbable stumble for a minute.

We are just a few short hours away to see who can make the cut in this year 145th Kentucky Derby all the way to the Winners Circle and be adorned with that garland of roses.  You can be sure I will be raising my glass in spirit as I sing one song for the Old Kentucky Home this afternoon! 

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Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo is a Senior Editor and writer for Main Event Sports. She is a veteran SEC sports journalist, NFL Network content writer, and Brown University, graduate. She loves good cigars, good games and a smooth glass of bourbon — not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at Follow her  on Twitter @ Misskyus2011

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