Pletcher also trains Vino Rosso, attractive at 12-1, the Wood Memorial victor who can handle physical starts.
Naturally, Justify is a Baffert colt.
No horse who went unraced as a 2-year-old has won the Kentucky Derby since one named Apollo - in 1882.
"When you're there for the first time, it's not like anything you've seen before", Contreras said. This is a good horse. Trainer Bob Baffert, a four-time Derby victor, is high on the flashy chestnut with the white stripe down his face. In total, NBC Sports will deliver 14 hours of Kentucky Derby coverage Thursday through Saturday, including live coverage of 20 races across the three days.
Justify is undefeated and Magnum Moon is 4-0, neither having run as a 2-year-old. The riders have two wins each over Audible's last four starts, though Castellano will ride him in the Derby while Velazquez guides Vino Rosso for Pletcher.
"It's going to happen", Baffert said, referring to the curse being broken.
While the Curse of Apollo may be a worry for some, on the other side of the coin favorites have won the last five Kentucky Derbys and seven of the last 11.
So perhaps this is the year the curse ends.
"I think there's less pressure when you ride for a trainer like that", Contreras said.
My Boy Jack moved up to the 5-1 second choice in early wagering Friday. Hofburg; 2. Mendelssohn; 3. His No. 7 post position is an encouraging omen. "It was his first run on dirt, so that was huge for him, and it was his first time at this trip, so that was another question mark".
His horses are winning 30 percent of the time (the equivalent of a.400 hitter in baseball), his best ever strike rate, and they have already won $8 million.
Baffert turned 65 in January, making him eligible for Medicare and retirement at most other jobs.
"I work hard at it".
Sarash Solsvig said they're expecting about 40-50 guests and have had more than 100 guests at past parties. "I'm constantly meeting people". They definitely went up in my rankings since I arrived in Louisville. Predicting who will handle the classic distance of 1 1/4 miles for the first time is tricky by itself, but there are some clues as to which horses could excel on a wet rack, such as the Tomlinson figures in the Daily Racing Form's past performances.
After a successful run in the quarterhorse ranks, Baffert switched to thoroughbreds.
Firenze Fire won the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct in January over a muddy track by a half-length, setting his second-best career Beyer Speed Figure (86) in that race.
"I don't think you see too many horses, regardless of how much experience they have that can get passed by a neck or half a length and then reengage and fight back and be able to put his head back out front", Pletcher said. "He could be the next American Pharoah, that is the kind of buzz surrounding him", Eurton said. In 2012, Contreras - the first jockey to win all three Canadian Triple Crown races aboard different horses - finished 18th aboard Prospective.
One of the biggest challengers for Justify is Mendelssohn, who doubles as arguably the best story in the field.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Vino Rosso runs during a morning workout at Churchill Downs Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. "When they ship, they win, the Coolmore operation is like Alabama (in football)", said Baffert who compared O'Brien to Nick Saban. "I've been there with the best horses that God made, and I know what it's like".
The deep closer that has looked the part in the mornings here at Churchill Downs and has the stamina to stay the 10 furlongs is Hofburg (20-1). Audible has shown the ability to race in the middle of the pack, then pounce at the top of the stretch when the serious running begins.