Picking the Kentucky Derby winner may have just gotten a lot more difficult. Rain began to cover the race track at Churchill Downs about 5 p.m. Eastern then subsided. USA Today reported there is a 90 percent chance of rain at 6 p.m. Eastern which would be right before the race is slated to start at 6:34 p.m. Eastern.
If it does rain, Exaggerator would turn into the Derby favorite. The horse ran great in the mud at the Santa Anita Derby just a few weeks ago. Here’s a replay where you can see Exaggerator pull away from the field:
According to the AP, Jockey Kent Desormeaux spoke after the race about his horse’s performance in less than ideal conditions. “He was the fourth horse that I rode in the mud and the others felt like they had ice skates on. Exaggerator felt like he had track shoes on. He really liked the going and that was part of his incredible effort. He enjoyed the mud,” Desormeaux told the AP.
The favorite, Nyquist, did well in less than ideal conditions at the Florida Derby. While it did not rain during the race, it had been raining off and on throughout the day making for a slicker track. Here’s a look at Nyquist’s performance in the Florida Derby:
Mohaymen performed poorly in the Florida Derby and finished a disappointing fourth. The trainer has attributed the poor performance to a number of factors including their post position. If the track remains slick at Churchill Downs, it would not favor Mohaymen.
Overall, Exaggerator has proved he can do well in poor weather and would become the favorite if there is a rainy Derby. Nyquist would also remain near the top given his strong Florida Derby performance.