Kentucky Derby Contenders Update

The annual Run for the Roses is set for Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs – yes, it’s the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

This year’s Derby features an innovative new point system, which places extra emphasis on stakes races as we head closer and closer to May 4. As such, the field of competitors continues to evolve on a weekly basis – and with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the horses making news as we near the ’13 Derby.

Hornung’s Making Waves with Titletown Five

— NFL Hall of Famer Paul Hornung is getting pretty excited about the Derby – and letting the world know it.

The former Heisman winner at the University of Notre Dame and four-time NFL champion with the Green Bay Packers raised some eyebrows this past week when he said that winning the Kentucky Derby with his three-year-old colt, Titletown Five, would be the biggest accomplishment of his career.

“This would be the greatest day of my life, if I had the opportunity to walk out in that winner’s circle, and to thank the people of my hometown,” Hornung said on a national racing teleconference. “Just imagine, a hometown boy winning the Kentucky Derby.”

Hornung is a Louisville native (he played high school football at Flaget High) who brought in some major star power to back Titletown Five – specifically, fellow Packers great Willie Davis and one of the Packers’ current board members, Ed Martin.

As it stands right now, Titletown Five needs some solid prep race results to even qualify for the Derby. Pundits figure he’ll need to finish either first or second in the March 30 Louisiana Derby,  his first race after a four-month layoff due to a knee chip.

Will Take Charge and Oxbow Put on a Good Show

— Legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas had a solid performance this past weekend as his horses finished first and second in Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes.

Heading into the stretch, it seemed as though Oxbow would run away with the title but he was usurped along the final leg by Will Take Charge, who won by a head at the line.

With these two horses in tow, Lukas is going to be a major player come Derby time on May 4. While he lacks the sheer volume of challengers as, say, Bob Baffert, the 77-year-old Lukas has a decided edge when it comes to winning on the big stage.

Lukas has four Derby titles on his resume and given he’s three years shy of his 80th birthday, would be the oldest trainer to capture a Derby crown should he win the ’13 race.

Mac Might be your Man on Saturday

— Keep an eye on Mac the Man this weekend at Saturday’s Grade III Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes.

Trained by former Lukas employee Jeff Greenhill, Mac the Man whipped off back-to-back stakes wins at Turfway Park this past winter and is considered a real sleeper pick not just for this weekend’s race, but the Derby as well.

About Tennessee Leduc

Born in Summersville Kentucky, Tennessee is an impassioned fan of horse racing, women, civilized debauchery, and... mint juleps. He writes, he reads, he listens, but above all he experiences the world he lives in.

Post Navigation