Tim's Take: Derby horse has one eye

As is tradition, the Triple Crown will be held at Churchill Downs in Louiseville, Kentucky.

Unlike the Blue Grass where Wild Shot set the pace, jockey Corey Lanerie kept the colt in second this time as Uncontested set the pace for the race in the undercard of the Kentucky Derby. This annual event runs for the two weeks preceding the actual races.

Florent Geroux guided her over the mile in 1:37.53 on a rain-softened turf course. Two years ago, when American Pharaoh began his triple-crown run, the Derby averaged 16 million viewers, and the 2016 race, won by Nyquist, averaged 15.5 million.

They will be followed by stalkers Gormley, Girvin, Classic Empire, Practical Joke, McCraken, and Patch. But many added that the wet surface would be a wild card for a field full of inexperienced starters.

His name is Patch, a horse with one eye, and he'll be running in the Kentucky Derby. No New Jersey-bred horse has won the Derby since Cavalcade in 1934, and none has run in the race since Dance Floor took third in 1992. That isn't unusual. Old race result charts (which are like box scores) show that since 1970, when Diane Crump became the first woman to start the Derby, only five other women have passed through the starting gate - alongside 301 men.

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There should be one clear favorite for the Kentucky Derby, no matter what the odds say.

Always Dreaming, also trained by Pletcher, drew the No. 5 post, which should suit an inexperienced runner who was impressive in winning the Florida Derby on April 1. He rebounded to win the Arkansas Derby, however, to earn Derby oddsmaker Mike Battaglia's seal of approval as the morning line favorite.

It's time to dust off that fancy hat and mix a mint julep because the Kentucky Derby is nearly here. In a 20-horse field, is a speed horse stuck in the 1-hole or a closer in post position No. 20?

So what gives? As we embark on tonight's 143rd running of the world's greatest horse race (6:46 p.m. post time, NBC), with Arkansas Derby victor Classic Empire the 4-1 morning-line favorite, why have recent runnings favored the favorites?

TV Channel: NBC is airing the Kentucky Derby and their extended coverage spans from 2:30 p.m. - 7:30 pm.

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Exercise rider Isabelle Bourez puts Kentucky Derby hopeful Patch through his morning workout at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, May 2, 2017.

It should be noted that Patch isn't the only one-eyed horse to race in the Kentucky Derby. The scramble was on to offer odds on the horses if they do indeed need to race on a muddy track. If not, the horses have experience running off-track as well, covering up for the sloppy track. So will the track be a muddy mess or will it be in good condition by post time?

Rain is in the forecast, with an estimated 60 percent chance on Friday night and a 40 percent chance of showers on Saturday. Post time for the race is 6:34 p.m. ET. I will also be trying to separate the horses on the improve as opposed to those who have peaked in the preps and are coming off.

Editor's Note: Horse racing guru Jody Demling is on a ridiculous streak entering Saturday's Kentucky Derby: He's won eight straight Kentucky Oaks-Derby doubles, picking the winners of both races on his betting ticket. They are the following.

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