The big story leading up to the Run For The Roses was the horses who weren’t competing in the Derby.
Two of the favorites—FORTE and PRACTICAL MOVE as well as LORD MILES, CONTINUAR and SKINNER—were all scratched for varying reasons.
FORTE was the prohibitive favorite at 3-1 but was removed from the race just hours before the start with a bruised right front foot.
It was a magical Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs for MAGE (ML 15-1) and his connections, as the lightly raced colt used an incredible push down the stretch to Win the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby.
MAGE who was runner-up to FORTE in the Florida Derby was able to take advantage of the FORTE scratch, albeit in a field that was still had three of the top five horses from qualifying (points earned) still competing.
Entering Saturday, MAGE had only three starts in his young racing career.
Trained by Gustavo Delgado and ridden by Javier Castellano MAGE overcame a bad start, as he was slow out of the gate and toward the back of the pack over the first two turns before making a strong move as the horses reached the top of the stretch.
From there, he still had plenty of work to do as he battled it out with TWO PHIL’S before ultimately pulling away for the Win.
The most exciting two minutes in sports lived up to its name in the stretch drive.
So not a bad effort for a horse running in just the fourth race of his career, competing against a decent field, and now, he’s one step closer to potentially taking home this year’s Triple Crown.
One of the bigger surprises in the Derby was the performance of TAPIT TRICE, who was one of the favorites at Post Time at 9-2.
Much like MAGE, TAPIT TRICE had a slow start out of the gate. But unlike MAGE he was never able to recover, finishing a disappointing 7th.
The Preakness Stakes is May 20th at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, where MAGE will look to continue his surprising run.