LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Last year at this time, trainer Tom Amoss was preparing Mylute for the Kentucky Derby. This year, Mylute will be running on Oaks Day in the Alysheba Stakes, but his trainer will be a spectator for the Derby.
I was the only visitor to the Amoss barn on this morning. A few yards away, a throng of reporters was facing California Chrome trainer Art Sherman. And while he doesn't have a horse in the Derby this year, that doesn't mean Amoss isn't watching and closely.
“I've got my handicapping hat on this year. So I'm not involved in the race, I get to enjoy it from the Grandstand and be with friends and try to pick a winner like everybody else,” he said.
But this veteran horseman certainly has a better eye for a winner than the common handicapper.
He had just returned from walking to the track during the Derby-Oaks training time at 8:30. So, who does he like?
“I've been watching them all week, Gary, and the horse that has stood out to me, that's been here the longest, is a Pletcher horse. Danza's a horse that's really athletic on the race track, covers a lot of ground, has a pedigree to get the mile and a quarter,” Amoss said.
Is Danza at 10 to 1, the relative long shot that can take down a 5-2 favorite in California Chrome.
Amoss said he thinks Chrome will be one of the biggest favorites in the Derby since Big Brown. If he carries the form he showed in California, everybody else could all be running for second place, but....
“Let's remember it's a 20 horse field and you've got to have the right trip and every year there's four or five horses that have trouble with traffic. If California Chrome has trouble with traffic, they're gonna take him today,” he said.
That's analysis from a guy who's been there - it's California Chrome's race to win or lose but their will be 19 other 3-year-olds trying to deny him the roses.