Revolutionary Becomes New Derby Favorite Print article Send a Tip from AP 4 May 2013 post a comment (AP) DERBY RUNNING: Bettors back Revolutionary; rain By The Associated Press LOUISVILLE, Ky. The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs will have a field of 19 horses breaking from the starting gates at 6:24 p.m. EDT on Saturday. Just over two minutes later, a winner will emerge and thoroughbred racing will have its newest contender for a Triple Crown. The Preakness follows in two weeks and the Belmont Stakes is June 8. The last horse to sweep all three races was Affirmed in 1978. Black Onyx was scratched from the race on Friday. NBC televises the 1 1/4-mile race from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Here's a running account of the event and everything going on around it, with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of everything surrounding the race. ___ ODDS WATCH Orb, who? The morning favorite is no longer the horse bettors at Churchill Downs like most. Just after noon, with $6.8 million wagered, Revolutionary has shot up to become the race's favorite at 5-1, with nearly $831,000 in bets, according to live odds on the Kentucky Derby's website ( http://bit.ly/17vLH9c). Goldencents is 6-1 while Orb and Normandy Invasion are at 7-1. _ Oskar Garcia _ http://twitter.com/oskargarcia ___ THE ESSENTIALS The liquor is flowing as much as the rain on the infield at Churchill Downs. Michael Frankenberger and Eryn Murphy, both from Sellersburg, Ind., are working the Cox's Smokers Outlet tent. Race goers didn't seem to mind lighting up in the rain, although the husband and wife expect sales to increase as the day goes on. As people wander the infield, booze and bites are prevalent, with mint juleps and grilled turkey legs appearing to be among the most popular items. Murphy said cigars and booze were part of the Kentucky Derby experience. "I think it's a matter of a cigar in one hand and a mint julep in the other to get a feel for the Derby," Murphy said. _ Brett Barrouquere _ http://twitter.com/BbarrouquereAP ___ ___ WHIMSICAL WAGERS For the casual racing fan interested in making a bet on the Kentucky Derby, here's a few whimsical wagers you might want to consider. Of course, any astute handicapper will laugh this off, but it's the Derby and anything goes when a large field of 3-year-olds run farther (1 1/4 -miles) than they have before or will again. Can you say 50-1 long shots Giacomo and Mine That Bird? With that in mind, here's a trifecta of exotic bets to consider: _ The O-my! $1 trifecta box _ Oxbow, Orb, Overanalyze. A $1 trifecta box on these horses, numbers 2-9-16, will cost $6. If the three come in first, second and third _ in any order _ you'll cash a fairly lucrative ticket. _ The golden $2 exacta box: A $4 bet on Golden Soul and Goldencents, numbers 4-8, pays off if the horses are the top two finishers. _ The War Horse $1 four-horse Superfecta box: Revolutionary, Normandy Invasion, Lines of Battle and Java's War, or the 3-5-11-19 combination. A $1 box sets you back $24, but the payoff will be in the many thousands of dollars if those horses are the top four finishers _ in any order. _ Richard Rosenblatt _ http://twitter.com/rosenblattap ___ PLASTIC IN The Kentucky Derby is known as much for hats and high fashion as it is for fast horses. But today, plastic wrap and boots are accenting many of the vibrant colors, dresses and suits. The rain started early, drizzling lightly with heavier downpours expected later. That hasn't stopped people from wearing leopard-print suits, short dresses and feather-laden hats with high heels. Many took the precaution of wearing ponchos or plastic bags over the fancy duds in a sometimes losing effort to protect their sartorial investments. But for those who didn't, well, rain's just a part of the experience. _ Brett Barrouquere _ http://twitter.com/BbarrouquereAP ___ QUICKQUOTE: ON THE RAIL "For the real troopers, Derby fans, you gotta stick it out. It ain't nothing but another day. I've got to work in the rain so it don't hurt my feelings none." _ Derby fan Lanny Westfall of Louisville, who arrived at 6 a.m. to claim a patch of grass to watch the race along the backside rail. His group's setup had about 20 camping chairs and a four-burner gas grill ready for burgers, bratwurst and pork loin. _ Josh Abner _ http://twitter.com/joshabner ___ ANTHEM BREAK Lines at the betting windows at Churchill Downs are filling up as people look to place wagers on the Run to the Roses as well as a slew of earlier races. The paddock area near the betting windows was a flurry of photos and chatter until the national anthem played over the public address system. Then, people turned toward an American flag flying over the historic racetrack as things grew silent and people stopped sipping beer, champagne and bourbon. A few race goers in bow ties, fancy hats and seersucker suites saluted. A round of applause broke out at the end of the anthem and a discussion of horses, drinks and dresses resumed. _ Brett Barrouquere _ http://twitter.com/BbarrouquereAP ___ PLETCHER LIGHT, BUT FOCUSED The mood around Todd Pletcher's Barn 34 has been light but focused as the trainer prepares to run a record-tying five horses. After watching his colts stretch their legs in the shedrow this morning, Pletcher sat in his barn office at 7:15 a.m. with father, J.J., and son, Payton. "All the Derby horses just walked and everybody seems to be in good order," he said. A win from one of his five _ Revolutionary (No. 3), Overanalyze (No. 9), Palace Malice (No. 10), Verrazano (No. 14) and Charming Kitten (No. 15) _ would give the 45-year-old conditioner the first sweep of the Derby and the Kentucky Oaks since 1952. Princess of Sylmar, one of four Pletcher fillies in the race, took the Oaks by a half-length on Friday, paying a whopping $79.60. The celebration was low key at the hotel. "We all met in kind of a conference room there and had some pizza, just friends and family," Pletcher said. "Same thing we do every year, win, lose or draw." Back at the track early as always, Pletcher started his busy Derby day with a ham and Swiss sandwich, topped with a packet of mustard, for breakfast. "It's what they delivered so it's what I'm going to eat," he said. _ Josh Abner _ http://twitter.com/joshabner ___ THE SETUP Orb, the Florida Derby winner, is the 7-2 morning-line favorite, with unbeaten Verrazano next at 4-1. Santa Anita Derby winner Goldencents is the third choice at 5-1, and is trained by Doug O'Neill, who won the Derby last year with I'll Have Another. Trainer Todd Pletcher has a record-tying five horses in the race _ Verrazano, Revolutionary, Overanalyze, Palace Malice and Charming Kitten. D. Wayne Lukas, at 77, could become the oldest trainer to win the race. The four-time Derby winner has two chances in long shots Oxbow and Will Take Charge. There could be some jockey history, too: Kevin Krigger, who rides Goldencents, would be the first black jockey to win the Derby since 1902; and Rosie Napravnik, aboard Mylute, would be the first female to win. The forecast around race time calls for temperatures in the low-60s and calls for temperatures in the mid-60s and a 80 percent chance of rain. A crowd of about 160,000 is expected. The purse is $2,199,800, with $1,439,800 to the winner. _ Richard Rosenblatt _ http://twitter.com/rosenblattap ___ UNDER NO UMBRELLAS AP's Louisville correspondent Janet Cappiello says it began raining at Churchill Downs before she arrived at the track, so people are trickling in when normally they'd be streaming in. The track doesn't allow umbrellas so people are using the next best thing _ ponchos. _ Janet Cappiello _ http://twitter.com/APLouJanet ___ WHAT WILL TODD DO? Let's say Todd Pletcher wins the Kentucky Derby with one of his record-tying five horses. His Derby winner then has the only chance at a Triple Crown. Would the trainer bring any of his Derby winner's stablemates to run in the Preakness and risk having one of them defeat his Derby winner? Or would he bring any of his 3-year-old colts who did not run in the Derby to the second leg of the Triple Crown? The decision seems like a no-brainer: Why jeopardize your chance to saddle the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 by giving one of your other horses a chance to knock of your Derby winner? These decisions, however, usually rest with the owner of the horse. In 2010, after Pletcher won his only Derby with Super Saver, the trainer also sent out a second horse in the Preakness for another owner. No harm, though. Super Saver ran eighth in the Preakness and Aikenite was 10th. Odds are if Pletcher wins the Derby, none of the owners of his other four in the race would want to bring their horse back on short notice _ two weeks is a very quick turnaround between races _ for the Preakness. Then again, Pletcher's stable is so formidable, he's got at least three horses back in the barn who could run in the Preakness with a realistic shot of winning. If he wins, this could get interesting. _ Richard Rosenblatt _ http://twitter.com/rosenblattap ___ PICKING YOUR SPOTS Parking for the 139th Kentucky Derby can cost a pretty penny. Or, in some cases, a lot of pretty pennies. In the mix of homes and small businesses that surround Churchill Downs in Louisville, residents were renting out driveways, lawns and curbs in front of homes, while businesses that weren't blocking off their parking lots making spaces available and trying to squeeze in as many cars as possible. Prices for parking spots two blocks from the track were going for $15, while closer to the track were being sold for up to $20 or even more. And, there was no shortage of takers _ cars and could be seen on lawns and lined up on driveways throughout the neighborhood. In a few cases, drivers could be heard haggling with home owners or negotiating a particular spot to keep from being blocked in. By the time the winner claims the Run to the Roses, much of the surrounding neighborhood will look like a used car lot. _ Brett Barrouquere _ http://twitter.com/BbarrouquereAP ___ TALK DERBY (HISTORY) TO ME: All kinds of history is made once we know who wins the Kentucky Derby. Here are a few what ifs: _ If Mylute wins, Rosie Napravnik becomes the first female jockey to finish first. _ If either Oxbow or Will Take Charge finish first, D. Wayne Lukas would become the oldest trainer to win . _ If Goldencents wins, Kevin Krigger would become the first black jockey to win since Jimmy Winkfield in 1902. _ If Goldencents wins, Doug O'Neill would become the first trainer since Bob Baffert in 1997-98 to win twice in a row. _ If Verrazano wins, he would become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to do so without racing as a 2-year-old. _ If Orb wins, he would become the first horse with a three-letter name to win since Zev in 1923.