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20 in field for Kentucky Derby

BY BETH HARRIS Modified: April 30, 2009 at 6:34 am •  Published: April 30, 2009
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — I Want Revenge was made the early 3-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with Pioneerof the Nile and Dunkirk sharing second-favorite status Wednesday in the full field of 20 horses.

I Want Revenge is coming off eye-catching victories on dirt in the Gotham Stakes and Wood Memorial at New York’s Aqueduct after leaving California and the synthetic surfaces there.

"I Want Revenge should definitely go off as the favorite,” Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia said.

Trained by Jeff Mullins and ridden by 19-year-old jockey Joe Talamo, I Want Revenge drew the No. 13 post position.

"It ended up perfect,” Talamo said. "It’s just what we wanted — to be outside of the early speed. I think it worked out great.”

Pioneerof the Nile and Dunkirk were made the co-second favorites at 4-1. Santa Anita Derby winner Pioneerof the Nile drew the No. 16 post, while lightly raced Dunkirk will be next door in the No. 15 spot.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert carried his 4-year-old son, Bode, to the post position board, where the child named for Olympic skier Bode Miller hung Pioneerof the Nile’s silks.

"I was set on 10 or 16,” Baffert said.


→When: Approximately 5:04 p.m. Saturday

→Where: Chuchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.

→TV: KFOR 4 (Cox 3), coverage begins at 4 p.m.

→The story: The first leg of the Triple Crown, and I Want Revenge opens up as the favorite at 3-to-1 odds. Pioneerof the Nile and Dunkirk are tied for second at 4-to-1. Win Willy had to pull out because of injury a few hours before the post positions were announced and is the fourth horse to withdraw from the Derby. Win Willy would have been ridden by Jones resident Cliff Berry. Nowhere To Hide has taken Willy’s place and opened at 50-to-1. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.

BY ROBERT PRZYBYLO

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