Is Justify the horse to lift the Kentucky Derby's 'curse of Apollo'?

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With a cacophony of snorts and whinnies and all imaginable equine onomatopoeia, the UAE Derby victor and the lone overseas entry made a loud first appearance Thursday morning on the track where he and 19 other colts will run Saturday in the 144th Kentucky Derby. It will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, making it the 144th Kentucky Derby held there.

Although Walden declined to offer details of the sponsorship agreement, Walden said the Audible horse ownership group was intrigued by Audible, Inc.'s concept for cross-promotion of the horse and its products, including a comprehensive social media campaign and television commercials that tie into horse racing, and the company's commitment to contribute to equine aftercare.

Yet, if handicappers believe the Curse of Apollo and the Curse of Storm Cat will endure Saturday, most will likely settle on either Good Magic, the champion 2-year-old champion of 2017 who won the Blue Grass last time out, or Bolt d'Oro, a multiple Grade 1 victor who finished second behind Justify in the Santa Anita Derby. Justify had an uncontested pace in that race, but that won't be the case in the Derby.

As for advantages of having plural entries, Baffert, 65, sees "absolutely none", then pauses before saying, "Unless you're Todd Pletcher". "I was relieved when I saw him in seven". Before the "Race For The Roses" starts, get the facts about this horse. Most analysts say Justify is the likely victor.

Justify is the plus-350 favorite, according to OddsShark, and he appears to be a strong competitor who has won all three of his starts.

Fan-favorite Audible, which has gotten backing by the audiobook company of the same name, took the fifth post, which historically has been extremely friendly to horses. Or will one horse separate and win by daylight? Current Saints' owner Gayle Benson will reportedly be in attendance to watch Lone Sailor between Pelicans playoff games.

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Justify cleared the biggest pre-Derby hurdle by drawing the No. 7 post. There are several reasons, and none of them have to do directly with the so-called Curse of Apollo. Third in the morning line at 6-1, Magnum Moon is the most highly rated of four horses that will be saddled for the Derby by Pletcher, who captured the 2017 Derby with Always Dreaming and who will also be represented by Florida Derby hero Audible, Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso and Louisiana Derby victor Noble Indy. Sassy Sienna will begin on the rail at 15-1 but could set the early pace in the 14-horse field that includes 5-2 second choice Midnight Bisou, victor of three in a row.

Laredo's Steve Asmussen is one of the world's best horse trainers.

Otherwise, Baffert said, "Everything's going quiet and smooth".

Post positions for Triple Crown race at Churchill. Per Christina Moore of America's Best Racing, it has produced six winners in 86 starts, with the last coming in 2007. No horse has prepared in Europe and won the Derby. Beyond that, Posts 18-20 have yielded just one victor, and nine in the money finishes between them.

All odds courtesy of kentuckyderby.com, as of May 1. At 13-1 odds, Audible has decent potential to build on that legacy. He is 5-1 second favourite. Ultimately, however, no amount of luck in the draw will top the horses with more stamina. Velasquez has Vino Rosso.

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