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Dialed In draws favourable post

Female jockey rosie Napravnik chases history in tomorrow's Kentucky Derby

Image Credit: Reuters
Trainer Nick Zito checks his horse Kentucky Derby early favourite Dialed In after an early morning workout at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky,yesterday. Dialed In has won 3 of 4 career races and is drawn in the favourable No. 8 post.
Gulf News

Louisville: Dialed In was made the early 4-1 favourite for the Kentucky Derby after drawing the favourable No. 8 post, with Uncle Mo as the second choice in a full field of 20 horses.

Trained by two-time Derby winner Nick Zito, Dialed In has won 3 of 4 career races. Owner Robert LaPenta let out a cheer when the post was drawn on Wednesday.

"It's a big thing, and he deserves it," Zito said, referring to his horse's status as the favourite.

Three times in the last seven runnings the favourite has worn the garland of roses, most recently Big Brown in 2008.

"So far, so good," Zito said. "If he has another couple of good days we'll be happy. Things are doing all right."

Things haven't been going so well for Uncle Mo, who drew the No. 18 post, three slots from the outside. The colt is being treated for a gastro-intestinal infection, which was blamed for his stunning first defeat in last month's Wood Memorial.

However, trainer Todd Pletcher said Uncle Mo might be able to win even if he's at less than his best.

"But we're committed to bringing him over there at 100 per cent, anything less than that, we won't accept," he said.

Strong conviction

"I've always said I think he's the best horse of his generation. We proved that last year and identified what we thought was the reason for the poor performance in the Wood. I think if he shows up and he's the Uncle Mo from the Breeders' Cup or the Champagne or even the Timely Writer, he's the horse to beat."

Uncle Mo would have to overcome a bit of history.

Only one horse since 1900 has come out of the No. 18 hole to win and that was Gato Del Sol in 1982.

Pletcher ended an 0-for-24 skid in the Derby last year when Super Saver won from the No. 4 post.

Nehro was the third choice at 6-1. The other 17 horses were listed at double-digit odds.

The dreaded No. 1 post along the inside rail — the last position revealed during the draw — went to Arkansas Derby winner Archarcharch. That spot did in last year's Derby favorite, Lookin At Lucky, who was blocked behind horses and finished sixth for trainer Bob Baffert.

Meanwhile, Rosie Napravnik is hoping to become the first female jockey to triumph in the Kentucky Derby if she and speedy Pants on Fire can repeat their rousing victory in the Louisiana Derby in their previous start.

Triple crown

It would be an enormous accomplishment since five other women could come no closer than 11th.

"I'm going to try to become the first woman to win the Triple Crown," she says. "That's what I said I was going to do at seven years old."

Napravnik, who will be the first woman to compete in the Run for the Roses since Rosemary Homeister Jr. in 2003, believes some of her predecessors lacked the physical abilities needed to win.

"What I lack in strength I can make up for in finesse," she says. "And that's not to say I'm not strong because I can throw around half the guys in the jockey's room."