One factor handicappers look for when it rains is a horse who has run in the mud and won. It’s been raining in Kentucky throughout the day and it could still be raining when the Derby goes off around 6:50 p.m.
If you’re looking for horses who have won in muddy or off-track conditions, there are six, according to their racing histories and race reports. Look no further than the favorite in the morning line and the current favorite, Justify.
Although Justify has raced just three times, all at Santa Anita in California, he won his second race in the mud. One of the knocks against Justify is that he’s been lightly raced.
Firenze Fire, who is starting in the No. 1 post position, won his first race in the mud at Aqueduct. He hasn’t won in three races since then.
Flameaway, a 30-1 long-shot in the morning-line, might move up some bettors’ boards because of his history in the mud. He’s won two races in sloppy conditions.
Lone Sailor, whose morning-line odds were set at 50-1, won his debut on a muddy track at Saratoga, but hasn’t finished first since.
The buzz around the track today and on social media was for My Boy Jack, who odds went from 30-1 to 5-1 this morning. It just so happens he loves off tracks.
One of his owners, Sol Kumin, said this morning that he was pleased when he saw the gray skies.
Like Lone Sailor, Enticed broke his maiden on a muddy track at Saratoga. He hasn’t won since, either.
If you want to look beyond the record of the horses in the field and look to the parents, Hofburg’s parents had success in the mud. Hofburg, not so much.