LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Classic Empire was Mike Battaglia’s pick as the morning line favorite for Kentucky Derby 143 at Churchill Downs Saturday. He is not the pick of the collection of track analysts, trainers, national writers, coaches and athletes that I have polled for their top three Derby finishers.

That honor (or burden) goes to Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry. Classic Empire isn't even the second pick.

With a 20-horse field, I collected 1-2-3 finishes from 21 people. Six horses were picked to win the race, with 14 earning at least a third-place finish.

I scored the results this way: Five points for first, three for second and one for third.

Here are the top four: 1. Irish War Cry (52 points, seven firsts); 2. McCraken (40, four firsts); 3. Classic Empire (38, five firsts); 4. Always Dreaming (20, three firsts).

Here are the individual selections:

Mike Battaglia, NBC: 1. Classic Empire; 2. Lookin At Lee; 3. State of Honor.

Andy Beyer, Daily Racing Form: 1. Irish War Cry; 2. Gunnevera; 3. Hence.

Joe Drape, New York Times: 1. Tapwrit; 2. Irish War Cry; 3. Always Dreaming.

Kenny McPeek, trainer: 1. Thunder Snow; 2. Practical Joke; 3. Irish War Cry.

Pat Byrne, trainer: 1. Classic Empire; 2. McCraken; 3. Thunder Snow.

Jeff Walz, U of L women’s basketball: 1. Always Dreaming; 2. Classic Empire; 3. McCraken.

Scott Davenport, Bellarmine basketball: 1. McCraken; 2. Irish War Cry; 3. Thunder Snow.

Dan Issel, UK basketball: 1. McCraken; 2. Irish War Cry; 3. Tapwrit.

Rex Chapman, UK basketball: 1. Irish War Cry; 2. Classic Empire; 3. Girvin.

Dick Vitale, ESPN: 1. Always Dreaming; 2. Irish War Cry; 3. Patch.

Jerry Eaves, Eaves Sports Radio: 1. Always Dreaming; 2. McCraken; 3. Lookin At Lee.

Chris Redman, U of L football: 1. McCraken; 2. Gormley; 3. Patch.

Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports: 1. Classic Empire; 2. Irish War Cry; 3. Hence.

John Clay, Lexington Herald-Leader: 1. Classic Empire; 2. Always Dreaming; 3. Irish War Cry.

Scott Padgett, Samford basketball: 1. Irish War Cry; 2. Classic Empire; 3. Girvin.

Dan Dakich, ESPN: 1. Classic Empire; 2. McCraken; 3. Gunnevera.

Jason Anderson, ESPN680: 1. Irish War Cry; 2. Gunnevera; McCraken

John Asher, Churchill Downs: 1. McCraken; 2. Classic Empire; 3. Lookin At Lee.

Lane Gold, Churchill Downs: 1. Irish War Cry; 2. McCraken; 3. Tapwrit.

Dana O’Neil, national media: 1. Irish War Cry; 2. McCraken; 3. Classic Empire.

Dick Jerardi, Philly.com: 1. Irish War Cry; 2. McCraken; 3. Always Dreaming.

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