Fred Faour: Looking for another reason to root for the Derby favorite to win you free furniture? Here’s a big one

Mar 31, 2018; Hallandale Beach, FL, USA; Trainer Todd Pletcher stands in the winners circle after a race during Florida Derby day at Gufstream Park. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Fred Faour: Looking for another reason to root for the Derby favorite to win you free furniture? Here’s a big one

Mattress Mack has an awesome promo where if the Kentucky Derby favorite wins you get your furniture free. Check out the flyer below then let’s look at one of the most important aspects of this race:

People tend to focus a lot on jockeys, but one of the most important aspects of winning the Derby is the trainer and how he prepares a horse.

The tainted Bob Baffert leads the modern era with six wins, but he is banned for another year. Tim Yakteen is essentially training his horses and has Practical Move.

So many trainers under-race or over-race their horses leading up to Kentucky. Baffert had it down to a science to get the best effort from his runners on Derby Day.

Steve Asmussen has the most wins in the history of North America, but his Derby failures are legendary. He has zero wins, although he came agonizingly close last year with Epicenter, who finished second to impossible long shot Rich Strike.

It was not that long ago that Todd Pletcher was the poster boy for Derby failure. But then Super Saver broke through in 2010, and Pletcher followed that up with Always Dreaming in 2017. He has two seconds and four thirds in addition.

Pletcher learned to get his horses prepared for Derby Day, and it paid off. Of course, he has had a lot of great horses over the years and owners with deep pockets, but so do a lot of these trainers.

In this Derby, Pletcher has three legitimate contenders – probable favorite and free furniture horse Forte, Tapit Trice, and Kingsbarns.

And you can not understate how important a great training job is leading up to a big race. Horses are fragile creatures and will constantly have setbacks. How you manage those means everything. Sometimes they will not make the race at all, so just getting them to the starting gate is a win.

Winning the race? Impossible if the horse is not at its best. That’s why trainers with a history of Derby success are important. It’s another feather in Forte’s cap that he has one of the best getting him ready to run his best on the first Saturday in May.

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