GarbageTalk: Another Trifecta of Events – Predicting the 2016 Kentucky Derby

By John Kirkland

Twitter: @FBGarbageTalk

This Saturday, May 7, starts the first leg of the Triple Crown – the Kentucky Derby.  As you’ll recall, last year I correctly predicted American Pharoah would win and would go on to complete a Triple Crown.  Now that you believe I’m a credible source for horse racing information, I’m here to give you a winning Trifecta and Superfecta for this Saturday’s race.

But first, let’s talk about the trifecta-in-life that’s at work here.  First, Thursday is Cinco de Mayo (which is NOT Mexico’s independence day people, but the date celebrating a Mexican army win over the French at the Battle of Puebla).

JJ Watt Cinco de Mayo

Second, Saturday, is first leg of the Triple Crown, the running of the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby - Patriots

And third, Sunday-Funday is Mother’s day!

Eli Apple Mom

[Welcome to the NY Giants, Eli Apple and Eli Apple’s Mom, whose Twitter handle is @survivinAmerica!]

So, the burning question I know you all are asking yourselves is: “how do I make it from Thursday through Saturday so that I’m not a total zombie on Sunday?”

That’s a good one folks.  The switch from tequila to bourbon to vodka/champagne can be very tricky.  So, to guide you in horse racing and life generally, here is my life-coping-recipe for making it to and through this weekend!

1. Buy Mother’s day present now, so you don’t forget and get jammed on Friday or Saturday.

2. Plan your Saturday now.  Where are you hanging out?  When does the party start?

3. On Thursday, work out and take Vitamin D3 (hang-over helper) – don’t start partying until happy hour … unlike these guys:

The Day Ahead

4. Also, don’t drink crappy tequila.  But more importantly, do the body right and don’t drink crappy cheap imitation margaritas!  Finally, finish Thursday night off with Corona Lights (to rehydrate obviously).

5. On Friday, DON’T party like its 1999 (RIP Prince).

6. On Saturday AM, take a Vitamin D3 pill (1000IU or less) in the AM.  Hydrate.  Work out (make sure to break a sweat).  Derby parties are likely to start in the afternoon … plan to get there around 3ish.  Derby start time is late (6:34PM EDT), but obvi you want to get there a few hours before to enjoy some cocktails.  Drink mint julips, but if at a house party, try to sub in Splenda or some other fake sugar for real sugar (less calories, less sugar and hence, less-bad hangover).  Boom!  Make it an early evening on Saturday.  After all, it’s not like last year when we had the ho-hum Mayweather-Pacquiao fight after the Derby.  That was a doozy!

7. Congrats; you’ve made it to Sunday!  Hair of the dog.  Either bring bloody mary mix wherever you’re going, or have one before you leave.  I’d stay away from the mimosa’s.  Too much bubbly acidic stuff going on for your belly.  And don’t be the a—hole who forgot mom’s or wife’s Mothers’ Day Gift!

Whew.  Now that you’ve got your weekend all planned out, let’s move on to which horse is going to win the Derby!

So, as you may know, I look at a number of different factors in putting together my horse-racing picks.  It ain’t all about the horse, though obviously that matters.  The jockey is real important too.  For example, we know that Mo Tom isn’t going to win this year.  His jockey, in the last two races has made bad decisions, stymieing Mo Tom’s races.  And to the disappointment of Mo Tom fans, Corey Lanerie will again be atop Mo Tom for the Derby.

Horse - Kentucky Derby

Trainer is also important.  You think it was an accident that American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown?  No.  He was a great horse, but also had Bob Baffert – you can’t miss him with his uber-white hair – training him.


Finally, weather can effe it all up.  A wet track will even the racing field to an extent.  Seriously, how do the jockeys see anything through all that mud?


But, not to worry about weather this year — looks like the weather is going to be just dandy come Derby day.  Which will be good for Mor Spirit, who sucks on a wet track.

And while this year, we don’t see a lot of speed, we do see a lot of horses, in my opinion, with a late kick, which I think will make for a fascinating photo finish.  Maybe closer than the 2012 Derby that saw Winning Colors over Forty Niner by a neck.

Finish Line

So, without further ado, here is my prediction for a trifecta based on my own ad hoc analysis that loosely considers a number of factors, including the following: horse birth order (that’s a thing) / trainer / jockey / odds / prior race wins and pedigree.

  • Gun Runner (8-1 odds), ridden by Florent (“Flo”) Geroux (a jockey on the way to the top);
  • Mor Spirit (12-1 odds), ridden by Gary Stevens (veteran rider who also finished second last year with Firing Line);
  • Nyquist (3-1 odds), ridden by Mario Gutierrez.

And if you’re going for the Superfecta, add:

  • Mohaymen (12-1 odds), ridden by Junior Alvarado.

While odds-on favorite is Nyquist, I think the odds are against Nyquist taking it, in part, because he’s unbeaten. I know, sounds ridiculous, but of 24 horses that started the Kentucky Derby undefeated, only seven (7) remained unbeaten after the race. The last was Big Brown in 2008. On the other hand, I believe the odds are in Nyquist’s favor to place somewhere in the top 4.

Now, if the track conditions are wet, I fully expect Exaggerator to be in the mix while Mor Spirit and Mohaymen will have issues.  Perhaps that clears the way for Nyquist too.  I guess we’ll see.  If we see any relevant scratches, I will update my picks!

Until then America, stay hydrated in anticipation of a boozy fun-filled weekend!


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