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Enticed has pedigree for success in vintage Kentucky Derby

J A McGrath

Louisville came alive late Thursday night when ‘Run for the Roses’ fever overwhelmed the town preparing for the 144th running of America’s most famous horse race, the G1 Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs.

Days of observing and analysing the finely tuned three-year-olds, who have been shipped in from all corners of the country, as well as one from across the Atlantic, suddenly start to verge on reality.

At last, the verdict on whether 2018 truly is a vintage year for the Classic generation is about to be delivered.

Can the Bob Baffert-trained Justify overcome the ‘curse of Apollo’ and become the first since 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without having raced as a two-year-old?

Is it possible for Mendelssohn to become the first UAE Derby winner, and the first trained overseas, to triumph in the big one at Churchill Downs?

All the winners of the established prep races have assembled, so it now basically comes down to the way the race unfolds, and Godolphin trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who saddles Enticed (Medaglia D’Oro), knows it can be rough in a field of 20 starters.

“The good thing is Enticed can take a little bumping around in a race.,” McLaughlin pointed out.

“He’s such a classy horse. He’s very good mentally and physically. He has no issues. He does everything right, and we think he’s ready to produce his best effort in the Derby. We’ve been planning for this all year,” he added.

McLaughlin is adamant that a young horse’s bloodlines can be a pointer to success, or otherwise, in the Derby. Enticed is by Medaglia D’Oro out of multiple stakes winner It’s Tricky, and the trainer is confident the Godolphin colt will be suited by the Derby trip.

“It’s Tricky was second to Royal Delta here in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, over nine furlongs, and I think the distance is going to be a plus for him,” he pointed out.

“Another factor in his favour is that he has won at the track,” he added.

This Kentucky Derby is shaping up as a vintage edition of the historic race that was first run in 1875. Those gripped by Derby anticipation should not be disappointed.