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Kentucky Derby Week Is Here

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Get your May on, people. For us folks here in Kentucky, you can't talk May without talking horses (and more specifically) the Derby. It's a day all about fashion (hats!), mixed drinks, and pretending you have some kind of birth-righted insight into the running potential of some four-legged, three-year-old horse critters.

And the great thing about it is you get to do it all over again two weeks later for the Preakness. Not quite as hard and heavy (and definitely not as locally) but still ... thereĀ“s that hope that maybe some day there will be another triple crown horse.

Or better yet, you'll hit a Trifecta! (Ugh, sorry. Had to. It's a contractual obligation.)

So how do you decide about your horse? Color? Do you check its paddock dance right before the race? First-time Lasix? The post position draw is later today, which will be one of the final pre-race puzzle pieces for those hoping to handicap an unhandicappable race. But if you insist on trying, keep an eye on these horses:

International Star - doesn't mind biding his time, which is a strength in the Derby. The problem with coming off the pace can be traffic, so a clean run will be essential. Dortmund - fast horse that always wins. If another horse doesn't burn him out early, he may pull a wire-to-wire run. Carpe Diem - won the Bluegrass at Keeneland, which is usually the kiss of death for a Derby contender; however, this horse has a suitable Derby running style, plus a seasoned jockey in John Velazquez. American Pharoah - Dusted the Arkansas Derby field and has the speed and discipline to be near the pace without having to be out front. Upstart - Worth keeping in your exotics. This horse has plenty of speed and the fight to stay on the money board. Here is a great page to help you figure out your favorites: