Handicapping the Derby: Are You Feeling "Lucky?"

With Eskendereya out, there's only one choice

By Bruce Beck
|  Saturday, May 1, 2010  |  Updated 12:45 PM EDT
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Exercise rider Dana Barnes rides Lookin at Lucky during a morning workout at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Are you ready for the greatest two minutes in sports? You better be! The 136th Kentucky Derby is here.  That's right -- that amazing cavalry charge down the racing strip known as Churchill Downs.

This is always the most difficult race of the year to handicap. After all, how do you sift through all the tidbits associated with 20 horses who are still in their infancy. Remember, some of these three year-olds have raced only five times in their career.

In past years, I have handicapped this race from every conceivable angle. I have given you the exacta, trifecta and everything else. I admit, I have not always won. Heck, no one wins all the time. But this year, I have decided just to give you the "cold winner.

And the answer is: Lookin At Lucky.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Beck is picking the favorite. How lame is that. But have you looked a how often the favorite wins this race ? Thank you.

And I must admit, I liked this horse before the real favorite, Eskendereya, bowed out with an injury.

Lookin At Lucky is trained by Bob Baffert, who has won this race three times before.

The white-haired professor has in the past guided Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem to the winner's circle in the Run for the Roses!  And the bay colt has never been off the board. He's eight for eight lifetime -- and that includes six victories.  And he has excuses for his only two losses.

Plus, he's the only multiple Grade 1 stakes winner in the field -- and he has the capable Garrett Gomez in the irons. Let's face it, he's a battle tested horse who is ready for a mile and a quarter.

Yes, no horse has won from the rail since Ferdinand in 1986, but that doesn't bother me. It's better to be on the inside, than all the way in the middle of the second starting gate.

If you like the girls, I am sure you are rooting for the filly Devil May Care.  If you are a fan of trainer Todd Pletcher, you can cheer for four different horses and hope that the nine-time Eclipse Award winning trainer, finally wins the Kentucky Derby.

If you revere Joe Torre then I'm sure you will rally behind Homeboykris, who is a 50-1 long shot. Torre, the former Yankees skipper, is the co-owner of that colt. 

And if you think a 20-year-old kid can pilot a horse to victory -- go with jockey Joe Talamo and the talented chestnut colt, Sidney's Candy.

But the pick here is Lookin At Lucky. And if you get "lucky," you might get odds of 4 to 1. He's simply the best horse in the field! So sip a mint julep, put on a derby hat -- and root for the number one horse. 

And don't worry if it rains -- his grandsire, Mr. Prospector was a monster in the mud.

Got to run, I'm heading to the windows!

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