Kentucky Derby: T Minus 23 Hours

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My picks for the 134th Kentucky Derby:

1. Pyro
2. Colonel John
3. Eight Belles

That's right: I'm drawing a line right through Pyro's abysmal showing on the Polytrack in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, and judging the horse on the fact that up until then he'd had me.

Colonel John's simply too purty not to like, and if I'm going to forgive Pyro for his Poly failing, I may as well go ahead and upgrade the Colonel, who has never raced on dirt.

Eight Belles has shown herself to be the class of the three-year-old distaff class and then some, and kudos to her connections for daring the Derby rather than racing her in the Oaks (though the decision was based on her abysmal post in the Oaks draw). Getting spotted five pounds won't hurt either.

For those of you who actually wager, I'll bet Pyro to win and place and key him up and down in exactas with the other two, and also use him over a few longer-odds horses in case the ever-elusive big score transpires....

Oh, and may they all come home safely.

-Tom Finkel

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