1. Big Brown (7)

- Many seasoned observers thought a lack of experience and the extreme outside post would hinder this colt in the Florida and Kentucky Derbies. Instead, he romped home first in both races and is now untested in four career victories by a combined margin of 333/4 lengths. Now that he has experience and a better post this afternoon, what's not to like except for the short odds? In addition, a lack of another true speed horse in this race could give jockey Kent Desormeaux the opportunity to control the race from the start as he did at Gulfstream Park. This field is likely weaker than the one he crushed in Louisville, Ky. His sternest test could be against the highly promising Casino Drive in the Belmont Stakes in three weeks.

2. Kentucky Bear (8)

- After his impressive debut at Gulfstream in January, he has been something of a disappointment in two starts since. He was third on Polytrack in the Blue Grass, but the winner of that once key Derby prep next trailed Big Brown on the first Saturday in May.

3. Macho Again (1)

- Earlier in the season it appeared El Gato Malo would carry Mount Laurel's West Point Thoroughbreds' colors in the Triple Crown. But Terry Finley and company sent "Gato" to win the Lone Star Derby after he disappointed at Santa Anita. Macho Again ran down the speedy Kodiak Kowboy last time and boasts two victories at Churchill Downs and one at the Fair Grounds.

4. Giant Moon (11)

- This New York-bred colt won his first four starts before racing poorly in the slop and fog of the Gotham. He then finished just two lengths behind in the Wood Memorial in possibly his best effort. He is reunited with Ramon Dominguez and likely will get a patient ride and good trip despite his outside post.

5. Gayego (12)

- It is difficult to overlook his 363/4-length thrashing in the Derby. But he showed dirt prowess winning the Arkansas Derby after ample synthetic success on the West Coast. He also will try blinkers for the first time, which often spurs significant improvement in young horses.

Donnelly's Wagers

$30 exacta


Big Brown (7) over Kentucky Bear (8).

$30 exacta -

Big Brown (7) over Macho Again (1).

$10 exacta -

Big Brown (7) over Giant Moon (11).

$2 trifecta -

Big Brown (7) over Kentucky Bear (8) and Macho Again (1).

$2 trifecta -

Big Brown (7) over Kentucky Bear (8) and Giant Moon (11).

$2 trifecta -

Big Brown (7) over Macho Again (1) and Kentucky Bear (8).

$2 trifecta -

Big Brown (7) over Macho Again (1) and Giant Moon (11).

Total bets -