No easy task
The most difficult question in racing: So, who do you like in the Derby?It is a question that will be posed countless times this week in various languages from Caribou, Maine, to San Diego; Hong Kong to Liverpool. It has always been America's race, but now, in the age of international simulcasting, the Kentucky Derby belongs to the world. An answer is easy, the product of sound if fragile logic or flight of fancy; superior speed or pace figures, genetic suitability to 10 furlongs in May, a pretty or catchy name. The correct answer, however, is elusive. The best horse is always in a precarious position on the first Saturday of May. The right horse is often far from obvious until the race is decided and has become more difficult to isolate with the passage of time.
The modern-day thoroughbred itself, bred for speed rather than stamina, requires what amounts to a guess in the evaluation of a 3-year-old's potential to stay 10 furlongs.
Boiling this race down to a half-dozen may well not be enough, but based upon his two races this year, Union Rags appears to stand firm as the horse to beat.
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