Black Onyx scratched from Kentucky Derby


There is a late scratch from Kentucky Derby 139. #1 Black Onyx has been scratched from Saturday's 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Stewards have decided that the #1 slot in the starting gate will be left open in the Kentucky Derby starting gate and the remaining 19 horses in the Derby field will start from the post positions they drew in Wednesday's post draw.

The Derby is Saturday at Churchill Downs and that means the annual Kentucky Oaks is Friday.

The race features top fillies competing for a $1 million purse. The favorite is 3-1 Dreaming of Julia, which is one of four entrees being trained by Todd Pletcher. He has five three-year olds in tomorrow's Derby field.

Over the next two days, more than 100,000 people will visit Churchill Downs to watch the oldest continuously contested sporting event in history.

This year's "run for the roses" is no different than the previous 138, except for the horses that will compete.

One trainer says it's tough to predict a winner.

"There are so many horses that look good all week training to me, it's almost an impossible race to handicap at this point. I'd say about half the contenders in the race at this point really have a strong shot to win. So, I don't have any one horse that's singled out yet," said Chad Brown, trainer, Normandy Invasion.

As the lineup changed for the Kentucky Derby in the last few days, so did the jockey assignments. Jose Espinoza retains the mount on Giant Finish, the third-place finisher in the Spiral Stakes who joined the field late Tuesday. Edgar Prado will ride Charming Kitten, while Robby Albarado will be aboard Golden Soul.

The forecast for Saturday calls for occasional rain. It looks like a 50-percent chance of showers in the Louisville area.

Orb has been made the early 7-2 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with undefeated Verrazano the second choice in a full field of 20 horses. Post time is 6:24 p.m. EDT.

Kentucky Derby