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The Louisiana Derby winner has the same owner-trainer-jockey team as 2010 Kentucky Derby champ Super Saver: WinStar Farm, Todd Pletcher and Calvin Borel, 46, the Cajun who also won roses in '07 (Street Sense) and in '09 (Mine That Bird).
The Points System
The Derby field is capped at 20 horses. After years of choosing runners based on graded stakes earnings, Churchill Downs implemented a system this year in which horses were instead awarded points for performances in important prep races. This method would have helped eliminate pretenders such as Trinniberg, who earned a place in the 2012 Derby by winning lucrative short sprint races but nothing over seven furlongs. (The colt finished 17th.) This year's field is certain to be the best-credentialed in years, though there will still be horses racing out of their class.
Old Horse, Old Trick
D. Wayne Lukas, 77, has saddled 45 Derby starters, more than any other trainer in history. He has won four times, the last with Charismatic in 1999 (his third Derby winner in five years). But his 10 entrants since '99 have an average finish of 12th; he didn't have a starter in 2011 and just 11th-place Optimizer in '12. His Derby days seemed finished.
Instead, Lukas will send two colts to the starting gate on Saturday, one-two Rebel Stakes finishers Will Take Charge and Oxbow. He has a chance to become the oldest winning trainer in Derby history, surpassing Charlie Whittingham, who was 76 with when he and the ageless Bill Shoemaker won with Ferdinand in 1986.
Pletcher Power Rankings
Since 2000, he's run 31 horses in the Derby with only one victory. Pletcher will have five starters on Saturday—and may even have a record six if he enters late qualifier Winning Cause, who triumphed in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes on April 20 at Keeneland, where he is undefeated in three starts.
Verrazano Unbeaten in four lifetime starts
Revolutionary Coming off three straight wins