Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has run a record 42 horses in the Kentucky Derby and produced four winners. He doesn't have one in this year's race, making him an objective observer.
He thinks six or seven horses are contenders, but two stand out: Street Sense and the unbeaten Curlin.
"Street Sense is the definitive horse, the way he is training over this racetrack," Lukas said Tuesday.
Former assistant Todd Pletcher has five runners - Circular Quay, Sam P, Scat Daddy, Cowtown Cat and Any Given Saturday - and Lukas is not high on them.
"I think Todd will be all over the board, but I don't know if he can win it," Lukas said. "I think those other two horses may be a little more than he can handle."
Lukas lost his shot at the Derby when Flying First Class ran sixth in the Arkansas Derby. The colt rebounded to win the Derby Trial last Saturday at Churchill Downs.
"I couldn't get lucky in Arkansas," Lukas said. "He would be a factor in the Derby, but I don't know if he'd win it. He got knocked around out of the gate and bumped around in the stretch. It was one of those bad trips that didn't work out."
LINEUP CHANGES: Cobalt Blue and Xchanger dropped out of Kentucky Derby consideration Tuesday, opening the door for Teuflesberg and Imawildandcrazyguy to run Saturday.
The field is limited to the 20 horses with the highest earnings in major stakes races. Teuflesberg ($122,942) and Imawildandcrazyguy ($104,000) were ranked 21st and 22nd.
Entertainer Merv Griffin decided to take his colt out of the running, citing Cobalt Blue's seventh-place finish in the Illinois Derby and a recent subpar workout at Keeneland.
O'Neill still has two Derby horses: Great Hunter and Liquidity.
"He has a great career in front of him," Griffin said.
Griffin had a similar disappointment last year when Stevie Wonderboy missed the Derby with a small fracture in his right front leg.
Trainer Mark Shuman told Churchill Downs officials that Xchanger was out of the race. Their places are taken by two inexpensive horses.
Teuflesberg, a $9,000 yearling purchase, most recently was fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes after setting the pace. Trainer and co-owner Jamie Sanders got a welcome call from O'Neill.
"He said, `Jamie, you're in."' Sanders said.
Imawildandcrazyguy, a $17,000 yearling purchase, gives trainer William Kaplan two Derby horses. He'll also send out Storm In May, who is blind in one eye and cost a modest $16,000 at the yearling sales.
"For me, I never thought I'd have one in the Derby, let alone two," he said.
Entries close Wednesday morning, with post positions chosen that evening.
BOREL SEEKING NO. 1: Winning is everything for Calvin Borel. The jockey has his best shot to win a Kentucky Derby aboard Street Sense, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November.
"This is what I've worked for," he said. "The money is good, but the money is not everything. I love to win. It doesn't matter if it's a $5,000 horse or a million-dollar horse. If you don't win, you haven't accomplished anything. Everybody knows who wins, but not who came second. This is my dream, to win it."
The 40-year-old rider has had four Derby mounts. His best finish was eighth on Ten Cents A Shine in 2003.
Street Sense had his final Derby workout Tuesday, going five furlongs in 1:01 with Borel aboard.
"He went awesome," the jockey said.
Borel plans to marry in December. He and Lisa Funk were scheduled to wed last year, but the ceremony was postponed when Borel broke his wrist.
They first met when Borel rode to her rescue. Funk was galloping horses at Churchill Downs and wound up on a runaway.
"I was having a little bit of trouble," Funk said. "I zoomed past Calvin as the horse ran off with me."
Borel helped get the horse and rider safely back to the barn. They have been together six years.