Joe Torre

Mendelssohn is no mystery, rivals say, but a serious Kentucky Derby contender

Mendelssohn is no mystery, rivals say, but a serious Kentucky Derby contender

At precisely 7:46 a.m. Thursday, the last embodiment of mystique at the 144th Kentucky Derby emerged from his screened-off barn and made his way, finally, to the track.

Since he arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday night, this would-be European conqueror had been defined mostly by his absence. No one could lay eyes on him because he was confined to the quarantine barn. None of his connections showed up to speak for him at Tuesday’s post-position draw.

But the name Mendelssohn has nonetheless bubbled on the lips of fans and rival trainers alike. In lieu of appraising his physical form, they’ve spoken in awe of his globetrotting victories in California, Dubai and his home base...

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