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Derby draw installs Dialed In as favorite


What: The 137th running
of the Kentucky Derby,
the first leg of the Triple Crown

When: 5:24 p.m. post time Saturday

Where: Churchill Downs,
Louisville, Ky.

Length: 1¼ miles (10 furlongs)

TV: Ch. 5

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dialed In drew post position No. 8 and was made the 4-1 favorite Wednesday evening for Saturday’s 137th Kentucky Derby.

The Florida Derby winner could give trainer Nick Zito his third victory in the Kentucky Derby and the first for Churchill Downs-based jockey Julien Leparoux.

Uncle Mo, last year’s unbeaten 2-year-old champion who is coming off his first career defeat, is the 9-2 second choice and will start outside from post 18 in the field of 20.

Uncle Mo still is not a certain starter in the Derby after being treated for what has been described as a gastrointestinal tract inflammation after his third-place finish in the April 9 Wood Memorial.

John Velazquez has the mount for trainer Todd Pletcher, who sent out the 2010 winner, Super Saver.

“I think he ought to be able to relax and track the main speed,” Pletcher said before the draw.

Asked whether Uncle Mo is healthy, he said: “He’s doing well.”

Afterward, regarding post 18, Pletcher said, “I was OK with that.”

Churchill Downs odds-maker Mike Battaglia had anguished over several choices and landed on Nehro as his 6-1 third choice. He also got an outside position at No. 19.

It is the eighth straight year that the Derby has attracted the capacity 20 entrants. In fact, two other horses — Sway Away and Ruler On Ice — also were entered but excluded based on the fewest earnings in graded-stakes races, which are those determined as being the best events in the racing world.

If all 20 horses start, the purse will total $2,196,800, with $1,436,800 to the winner. Owners of horses in the Derby pay $50,000 apiece to enter and start in America’s greatest race.

Entries were drawn on the second-floor clubhouse at Churchill under the time-honored method, with entry sheets shuffled and matched to numbered pills pulled from a bottle. The convoluted style whereby horsemen selected their post positions was abandoned after the 2009 running.

In all, 22 were entered, with Sway Away and Ruler On Ice excluded. There is no also-eligibles list for the Derby.

The record Derby purse, which depends on the number of starters and nomination fees, is the $2,399,600 in 2005.

Wagering on the Derby begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Kentucky Oaks Day. Among the bets offered is the Oaks-Derby double, where fans try to pick the winner of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks and the Derby.

Contributing: Sun-Times wires

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