Rogers issues his "Top Five" list of Derby contenders - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Rogers issues his "Top Five" list of Derby contenders

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --For only a few months during the year, Churchill Downs sits empty.

The world-renowned track is empty of spectators, the wagering windows are vacant of people placing bets and the tracks are not filled with racehorses.

It almost makes people forget all of those first Saturdays in May, and about the thoroughbreds that transform into stars in just two minutes. All the excitement and history is just weeks away. The big question is who's going to be in the race?

That question is what the experts at Churchill Downs have been mulling over in the course of the past few weeks. To sort it all out, and in the spirit of that basketball tournament everyone's talking about, Darren Rogers has put together a bracket of his own. Instead of UK and U of L, horses fill his.

"It could be interesting," Rogers said.

Here's his "Fab Five:"

#5-- Upstart  
        Trainer: Rick Violette Jr.

"He seems to be moving forward; looks to be the strongest from the Florida division," Rogers said.

#4-- Carpe Diem  
        Trainer: Todd Pletcher

"He had his first off the bench in Tampa Bay. The competition is a little bit suspect, but the way he rolled signifies that belongs in the mix," Rogers explained.

#3-- Firing Line  
        Trainer: Simon Callaghan

"I have him higher than most and the reason is, he's competed twice with Dortmund," Rogers said.

#2-- Dortmund  
        Trainer: Bob Baffert

"He's done nothing wrong. He's been perfect for Bob Baffert," Rogers told WDRB.

#1-- American Pharaoh 
        Trainer: Bob Baffert

"He had a foot problem that prevented him from running in the Breeder's Cup juvenile. Despite that, he was still crowned 2-year-old champion," explained Rogers.

And, he just won the Rebel Stakes upon his return to racing.

Rogers' list gives Baffert a solid chance at a one, two punch. But as we all know, the race could go a lot of ways.

When the call to the post is played once again and the track refills with people and horses, long shots could take home the garland of roses; the favorite could too.

That kind of unpredictability is what makes people love the Kentucky Derby.

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