Several handicapping factors must be examined to determine the winner of today's 111th Kentucky Derby.
The most important involves medication: which horse is getting what medication. However, that information is not available, so we have to assume the trainers know what makes their charges run best and take it from there.
Spend A Buck, my choice to win, reportedly is a bleeder and might need Lasix to control the problem. Trainer Cam Gambolati had jockey Angel Cordero Jr. ride under control in the Garden State Stakes and he did beautifully. Gambolati had Cordero ride all out to the wire despite winning easily, thereby ensuring a fit horse for today's 1 1/4-mile race.
So fit, in fact, that I'll take Spend A Buck by two lengths.
Eternal Prince, my second pick, ran extremely well in the Gotham at Aqueduct, but went off form in his next start while beating Proud Truth and Rhoman Rule in the Wood Memorial. Butch Lenzini, his talented trainer, could have Eternal Prince ready to run the same race he ran in the Gotham, in which case he will be tough. However, I don't think he is an entirely sound horse and must settle for second.
Tank's Prospect was impressive while winning his last start at Oaklawn Park. The son of Mr. Prospector needs only to repeat that race to be formidable today.
Rhoman Rule is a talented colt undertrained by Angel Penna Jr. This colt came to Laurel last year half-fit and ran impressively in the Laurel Futurity. His light training, however, left him drained and he went right off form thereafter. Penna seems to be following the same path this year.