The first Saturday in May is quickly approaching, which means that everyone is starting to think about who they like among this year’s Kentucky Derby Contenders. What better way to show the horse you like than with a custom Facebook cover image of your pick? Find your favorite, right click the image and save it to your computer or handheld device, and then make it your cover photo!
He’s quite the looker, this guy. With a steel gray coat and a striking white blaze, he stands out in a field of horses. But, it’s not his looks that have brought him to Churchill Downs. This son of Tapit can really run. While he will enter the starting gate off a big loss, we still think he’s one you can’t count out. So tap him into your superfectas, because he’s tap, tap, Tapwrit.
This guy has been the most talked about horse on the Kentucky Derby trail, and with good reason. He’s never run a bad race in his life. A son of mighty Ghostzapper, he’s already won numerous stakes races, and will head to Churchill Downs as one of the top betting choices. He’s highly respected for a reason– and we can’t help but McLove him. He is McCraken.
He’s lost only once. This son of Tale of Ekati, trained by Joe Sharp, arrives to Churchill Downs on two consecutive stakes wins— the G2 Risen Star, and most recently, the G2 Louisiana Derby. Those two victories have catapulted him to the absolute top of the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. With Hall-of-Famer Mike Smith in the irons, this determined grinder has everything going for him, ahead of the first Saturday in May. He’s gritty, he’s gutsy… He’s “Iceman” Girvin.
He’s a G1 winner, brought to you by the same team that assembled behind legendary Zenyatta. Though he carries the same pink and green silks, he’s far from the amazon his famous predecessor was. He’s quick, compact, and calculated, and he never backs down from a fight. Jockey Victor Espinoza knows a thing or two about getting to the winners circle on Kentucky Derby Day, and this little guy may be the one to give him his 4th victory in the run for the roses. He’s game and gutsy as all get-out… He’s Gormley.
He’s an underdog, and he’s totally cool with it. Underestimate him, if you dare. He’s trained by two-time Derby-winning conditioner, Doug O’Neill, who won last year’s run for the roses with Nyquist. A horse so cool, he decided to wait to break his maiden, until it really mattered— in the G2 Bluegrass stakes, this guy’s arriving to the Derby trail right on time. He marches to the beat of his own drum, and we hear he even raps… He’s Irap.
Irish War Cry
He’s the epitome of what a racehorse should look like. The spitting image of his sire, this son of Curlin is as imposing as they come. Trained by Graham Motion, and ridden by Rajiv Maragh, he’s stacked up a couple of nice stakes wins as a 3yo, and he’s got his sights set on the big dance. He may have had you fooled with a 7th place finish in the G2 Fountain of Youth, but this guy has rebounded just in time to head to Churchill Downs, as one of the top choices to win. He’s as hard-trying as he is handsome — he’s the comeback kid, ridden by the comeback kid… He’s Irish War Cry.
A few months ago, you had no clue who he was. A son of Bodemeister, this horse is putting it all together when it matters most. You most recently saw him romp home in his stakes debut, the G1 Florida Derby, and something tells us that won’t be the only G1 race this guy takes down. We’ve got to admit he’s getting better— he’s getting better all the time. He’s number one on several Derby lists, and he’s got the speed and agility to back it up. He’s got his hooves on the ground and his head in the clouds… He’s Always Dreaming.
He’s the $16,000 horse, who’s already earned well over $1,000,000. A son of Dialed In, this leggy chestnut looks like he may have a career in basketball, if racing doesn’t work out. Ridden by Javier Castellano, it’s safe to say his pilot will be focused and aggressive, come the first Saturday in May. Trainer Antonio Sano looks for the win of a lifetime, with his horse of a lifetime, in the run for the roses. Coming off a 3rd place finish as the heavy favorite in the G1 Florida Derby, it seems many have abandoned this guy’s ship. But, don’t kid yourselves— he will be ready for another crack at the big time, at Churchill Downs. He’s got a cool temperament and a lightning-fast closing kick… He’s guns-blazing Gunnevera.
He’s the new kid in town. He’s mysterious and he’s got a foreign accent so thick, you can’t understand a word he says. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, this guy enters the Kentucky Derby starting gate as one of the biggest question marks we’ve seen all year. If you’re into taking a leap of faith, then he may just be the one for you. He’s a lot more go, than whoa… Hailing from Dubai, he’s Thunder Snow.
He’s a determined horse, and he’s not playing around. A son of Into Mischief, this guy runs his race, every time. Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz, he has a big win coming his way, and it just may be on Derby day. He’s big and strong, and he has a heart the size of Kentucky, itself. His name may be all fun and games, but he’s a serious racehorse… No joke, guys. He’s Practical Joke.
He’s already a champion, and he looks to be better than ever before. This son of Pioneerof the Nile is known as Horse Racing’s bad boy, but let’s be honest, we all love a bad boy now and again. He may be coming out of a slight layoff, but we have a feeling trainer Mark Casse will have him ready to fire when the gates spring open on May 6th. In a year when it seems all bets are off, he may be the one to bet on. He’s a rugged rebel, in a classic suit. He’s Classic Empire.
This guy heads a loaded roster of potential superstars, hailing from the barn of Todd Pletcher. Sure, the Toddster doesn’t have the greatest run for the roses record, but he seems to hold the majority of aces in the Derby deck, this year. First deemed a sprinter, this horse silenced all critics with a commanding win in the Rebel Stakes, proving distance was no issue. He’s one to watch and wager on. He’s mighty, money-making Malagacy.