And ... they're off! Well, almost. The 138th Kentucky Derby is tomorrow, so mix up those mint juleps and get your racing form ready! What's that you say? You can't place your bets because you don't know anything about the horses this year?
Don't worry -- we can help you out with that one. Well, as much as anybody can help anybody out with gambling, which is, you know, unpredictable. That's why they call it gambling.
Anyway, as far as we can tell, these are the top 3 horses to watch in the 2012 Run for the Roses:
1. Union Rags First of all, his trainer is the renowned Michael Matz -- the man behind 2006 Derby winner Barbaro. Matz called Barbaro the "horse of a lifetime," and rumor has it Union Rags could turn out to be the SECOND "horse of a lifetime" to pass through Matz's barn. Jockey Julien Leparoux is a pro, and Union Rags was lucky enough to get a decent post position (4).
2. Bodemeister The early favorite, odds on this horse are currently 4-1. He's known for super speed, but jockey Mike Smith has the challenge of keeping Bodemeister's pace steady so he doesn't burn out before finish line. Another interesting factoid: Bodemeister didn't race last year at all, which is unusual, but apparently so far this year he's not showing any signs of inexperience.
3. Hansen As a front-running winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, last year, this horse seems poised for success -- especially with the help of jockey Ramon Dominguez -- but some think Hansen is all hype. Why? Partly because of his all-white coat. Get this: The Kentucky Derby has never been won by a white horse. Never.
There, now you're all set. Go find a crazy hat to wear while you watch the race ... and may the "odds" be ever in your favor!
Who are you betting on in this year's Kentucky Derby?