2018 Kentucky Derby: Todd Pletcher's Got Another Loaded Hand

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D.S. Williamson

April 23rd, 2018

Todd Pletcher took home his second Kentucky Derby last year with Always Dreaming. This year, he's got a great shot to take home his third Kentucky Derby. Pletcher has no less than 4 contenders for the Run for the Roses on May 5. Of those 4 contenders, 1, Magnum Moon, is the second choice in the future books.

His other 3 contenders aren't without a shot, either. All told, Todd Pletcher won 4 of the 6 biggest Derby Preps this year:  Louisiana Derby with Noble Indy, Wood Memorial with Vino Rosso, Florida Derby with Audible, and the Arkansas Derby with Magnum Moon.

Keep reading for a more in depth look at each one of Todd Pletcher's 2018 Derby contenders.

2018 Kentucky Derby:  Todd Pletcher's Got Another Loaded Hand

Magnum Moon

The Arkansas Derby winner is undefeated. Not only that, but he's gotten better with every race. Some believe the fact he was so green in the Arkansas Derby means that he isn't ready for the Derby. I'm not one of those horseplayers. He was green because he tried to so hard in the lane. I think if he ran a straight path, his speed ratings winning the Arkansas Derby would have been just as impressive as Justify's winning the Santa Anita Derby.


Right now, he's probably Todd's horse that I feel has the best shot of winning the Kentucky Derby. I love when horses are tractable enough to come from the clouds and run close to the lead. Audible closed brilliantly over Gulfstream Park's dirt to win the Florida Derby. Closing at Gulfstream Park isn't always easy. Audible made it look like it was his preferred running style. I don't believe we've seen his best.

Vino Rosso

There was a lot of bumping going on between Vino Rosso and Enticed. Vino Rosso had every right to throw in the towel after the bumping. He didn't. He kept his mind on racing. He was a much different colt than the one that ran in the Tampa Bay Derby. I believe he's finally putting it all together. It definitely helps that Johnny V. prefers Vino Rosso over Audible.

Noble Indy

Noble Indy fought tooth and nail to hold off Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. The Louisiana Derby doesn't often produce the Kentucky Derby winner. Before writing that this guy has no shot, though, it's important to note that he was a part of a ridiculously fast pace. When he made his move, he got some separation, but, then, he had to fight to hold off the closers.

If Noble Indy improves, and I believe he does, he could be the surprise horse on Derby Day. Like all of Todd Pletcher's Derby contenders this year, Noble Indy hasn't run his best race. Could he be the Todd Pletcher trained equine to give the trainer his third Derby win? We shall see!