As promised, here is Bob (Railbird) Roberts’ pick for today’s Kentucky Derby. Bob covered almost every Triple Crown race from the 1970s until the turn of the millenium. Take it away, Railbird.
1st — UNION RAGS . . . I was at Saratoga last August when he won the Spa Special Stakes and I was at Gulfstream this winter when he won the Fountain of Youth. Union Rags looks to be the real deal. His near-miss in the Florida Derby after being boxed in on the backstretch should make him a better horse Saturday afternoon, good enough to wear the roses.
2nd — I’LL HAVE ANOTHER . . . The Derby’s Rodney Dangerfield. He gets very little mutuel respect. Won the Bob Lewis at odds of 43-1 and the Santa Anita at more than 4-1. Has yet to be favored in any of his six career starts but has won half of them. Could upset with a stalk-and-strike.
3rd — BODEMEISTER . . . The last time the Derby was won by a horse who didn’t race the previous year as a two-year was Apollo . . . in 1882! Bodemeister didn’t run last year as a juvenile. He has won two of his four starts this year at age three, including the Arkansas Derby, but I’m not bucking the trend.