It’s time for the Derby!

Fat Guy Corner

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

Jeff Day — Sports Columnist

The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday on NBC with the post time roughly around 6:34 p.m. The Fat Guy, for those of you who don’t know, loves his horse racing. I have correctly picked the last three Kentucky Derby winners. When thinking back in 2014 it was California Chrome and in 2015 it was American Pharoah. Pharoah is also who I picked to win the Triple Crown in 2015 and he did not let me down and did it. The 2016 winner was Nyquist, who is named after the Detroit Red Wing Gustav Nyquist.

I am really struggling to come up with a winner in this year’s Kentucky Derby, as are the professional handicappers. I haven’t seen the Kentucky Derby this wide open in a long time. If you love long shots and a chance to make some serious cabbage (money) this is the year to bet the Derby. I believe the exacta and trifecta will be large pay outs. Heck, I doubt if the favorite will be lower than 4 to 1 odds when they release the gate.

Let’s start to look at this year’s Kentucky Derby field. I really wish I knew the post positions, however, the draw is on Wednesday after we went to press. Just how important is the draw? I want you to absorb these trends for a minute. The one hole has not had a winner in over 30 years and the two hole, it’s even worse being over 40 years. A horse from the 17-hole? How about has never won the Derby!

Here is a look at some of the field. I will start with some of the top choices first. The two horses drawing the early odds as favorites are Classic Empire and Always Dreaming. Classic Empire won the Arkansas Derby and was third in the Holy Bull Stakes. Classic Empire has only two starts here in 2017. I would say he has been lightly raced and should be considered dangerous in this race. The horse Always Dreaming is trained by Todd Pletcher and has been working real good in his morning work outs at Churchill Downs. Todd Pletcher won the Derby in 2010 with a horse named Super Saver. I like this horse Always Dreaming I think he has a legitimate chance to win on Saturday.

The next two horses in the eyes of the horse handicappers are Irish War Cry and McCracken. Irish War Cry is trained by Graham Motion, who won with Animal Kingdom back in 2011.

Irish War Cry was sired by Curlin, who was two-time Horse of the Year, and also placed third in the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Irish War Cry won The Wood Memorial here in 2017. How about McCracken’s three wins as a two-year old came at Churchill Downs? You have to like the fact he loves the racing surface at Churchill.

I want to look at a horse that will come running late if there is a speed duel this Saturday. The horse is Gunnevera. He loves to come running late. If you love the horse Girvin, he is fighting a right front hoof crack, so be careful with that pick.

I think the sentimental choice has to be Patch, the horse with one eye. I am sure the story will be a Kentucky Derbyfeatured story on Saturday. However, Patch will be one of the longest shots on the betting board.

The time has come for the Fat Guy’s fearless Derby prediction. I am going with McCraken and getting up for second will be Gunnevera. Can I make it four straight Kentucky Derby winners? We shall find out after the greatest two minutes of sports is over on Saturday.

Instant replay on the draft

The NFL Draft is history and Myles Garrett went No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns. The No. 2 pick shocked the NFL, as the Chicago Bears traded up for quarterback Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina. I think the Bears whiffed on this pick, but only time will tell. I know the city of Chicago did not approve, as he was booed loudly at the Chicago Bulls playoff game. I felt bad for him, to be honest!

What about our Detroit Lions 2017 draft? The No. 1 pick from Florida, linebacker Jarrad Davis, at pick 21, is a winning selection! Detroit needed a linebacker like I said last week and they got a good one. The second round produced cornerback Teez Tabor, also from Florida. I know people are concerned with his speed and it’s became a huge topic of debate among Lions fans. I like the kid; he is a football player and we are playing football, not running track. I like the tight-end pick, Michael Roberts from Toledo, too.

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