Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

  • December 22Shannon's Jets ornament is STILL at the back of her Christmas tree...
  • December 8Follow us on Instagram! @whsvikingtimes
  • December 5Interested in joining the Newspaper Club? See Ms. Irvine or Mr. Donnelly for more information!
Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

The 150th Kentucky Derby

Courtesy of: Britannica

This Saturday marks the historic 150th Kentucky Derby.  It’s tradition for many Derby-goers and viewers alike to don their finest hats and fascinators, place bets on the horse they think will win, and secure a mint julep in hand (I am not encouraging alcohol consumption or gambling – I am not old enough for this).  And for this year, maybe a Lightsaber in the other, considering that the Kentucky Derby falls on May 4th; Star Wars Day.

Let’s start with one of the biggest headlines this year: Bob Baffert has been banned for the third Kentucky Derby race in a row.  The legendary, and cheating, trainer has been a household name in the Triple Crown races for over three decades.  Due to Medina Spirit’s failed post-race drug test in the 2021 Derby, Baffert was banned for two years and his horse was stripped of his first-place title (Medina Spirit died before his title was stripped, making this all the more controversial).  This would’ve meant that Baffert could return this year, but he managed to add another year to his suspension.  In an article by AP News, the trainer filed lawsuits and pressed charges, demanding that Medina Spirit be named the Kentucky Derby’s winner.  Churchill Downs Incorporated tacked on another year to his suspension as a result, and the charges were dropped.  Baffert’s ban does not prohibit him from training and entering horses in this year’s Preakness, May 17-18, and the Belmont Stakes, June 8.   This year, the Belmont Stakes will be held at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.  Normally held in Elmont, New York, Belmont Park is being renovated.  The New York Racing Association plans for construction to be done by the fall of 2026, hoping to make Belmont Park a year-round racing facility complete with new tracks.

The weather is always a major factor during the Derby: the texture of the dirt on the ground is heavily dependent on the weather and how the horses will run.  If it rains, how much mud will there be?  Will it be the cakey, sludgy mud, or the sopping mud that gets the jockeys and horses covered?  Or, will it be beautiful blue skies with the sun shining over Churchill Downs?  On Saturday in Louisville, it is predicted to be partly cloudy with a high of 81 degrees.

Below is a roster of all the horses and their odds that are planned to compete this Saturday.  One horse has been scratched already (listed below).  This is the full roster as of press time:

  1. Sierra Leone: 3-1
  2. Mystik Dan: 20-1
  3. Catching Freedom: 8-1
  4. Catalytic: 30-1
  5. Just Steel: 20-1
  6. Honor Marie: 20-1
  7. Just a Touch: 10-1
  8. Encino: 20-1 (STRACHED DUE TO INJURY)
  9. T O Password (Japan): 30-1
  10. Forever Young (Japan): 10-1
  11. Track Phantom: 20-1
  12. West Saratoga: 50-1
  13. Endlessly: 30-1
  14. Domestic Product: 30-1
  15. Grand Mo the First: 50-1
  16. Fierceness: 5-2
  17. Stronghold: 20-1
  18. Resilience: 20-1
  19. Society Man: 50-1
  20. Epic Ride: 30-1 (REPLACED ENICO)

(Reference: CBS Sports)

John Velazquez after his 650th win in 2011 at Saratoga Springs.

This year’s favorite is Fierceness with impressive odds of 5-2.  The horse’s jockey will be three-time Kentucky Derby winner John Velazquez.  The Puerto Rican jockey won the Kentucky Derby in 2011 with horse Animal Kingdom, in 2017 with Always Dreaming, and his latest Derby win in 2020 with Authentic.  According to Equibase, the Racing Hall of Fame jockey has over 6,500 wins, amassing nearly $480 million in earnings.  Equibase puts Velazquez at the top of the “Top 200 Jockeys by Earnings” list, surpassing second-place Javier Castellano by $80 million!  If you know me from last year, you’ll know that I like placing my money (figuratively) on a horse with good odds and a cool name.  Fierceness is the horse that has it all!  However, Sierra Leone is quickly catching up to Fierceness for the favorite to win.  Nevertheless, I’m putting my faith in Fierceness.  Feel free to comment on what your predictions are!

The Run for the Roses will begin this Saturday at 6:57 P.M. sharp, but not before the classic rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home” and the ever-famous trumpet fanfare, “Horse Race Call To Post” performed just before the lionized race starts.  The winner will be crowned with the Garland of Roses in the Winner’s Circle as the 150th Kentucky Derby winner.

Rider’s up!


(And May the Fourth be with you!)

View Comments (4)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Shannon Raneri, Writer
Hello!  My name is Shannon Raneri and I am a junior at Winthrop High School.  I am an avid writer and I am very happy to contribute my writing to The Viking Times, our Winthrop community, and beyond.  I write a variety of topics from current events, to sports, and entertainment.   On the rare occasion when I am not writing, you can find me reading, playing with my dogs, or watching "Friends" for the umpteenth time. Thank you for reading The Viking Times!

Comments (4)

All The Viking Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    Theresa McCarronMay 3, 2024 at 9:26 am

    Now I have to check the color of the jockeys’ silks and look for any Irish indication. Not the best way to pick a winner ( usually not) but it’s fun.

    • S

      Shannon RaneriMay 3, 2024 at 9:55 am

      Whatever floats your boat! Society Man’s silks have green, white, and gold!

  • C

    Chele BernerMay 3, 2024 at 9:18 am

    Another great article!!! I’m going with Catching Freedom (yes, just because I like the name!)

    May the 4th Be With You!!!

    • S

      Shannon RaneriMay 3, 2024 at 9:21 am

      Catching Freedom is quite a name!