The site will be the same and the setting could be similar for Easy Goer today.
Trainer Shug McGaughey sure hopes the result will be different when the colt takes on 15 other 3-year-olds in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.On a damp, dark Nov. 5, Easy Goer went off as the 3-10 favorite in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at the Downs. At the end of the 1 1-16 miles on a muddy track, he was 11/4 lengths behind Is It True.
A cloudy, damp day was forecast for today, with a temperature of 50 degrees at race time, which is scheduled for 3:33 p.m. MDT.
It would be the coldest Derby Day since Iron Liege won in 47-degreee weather in 1957. It also was 47 when Omaha won in 1935.
Since the loss Nov. 5, Easy Goer has been dazzling in winning his three starts as a 3-year-old on fast tracks and dry days. Also unbeaten in three starts this year is Sunday Silence, considered to be Easy Goer's main challenger.
Two-tenths of an inch of rain fell on Breeders' Cup Day when the high temperature was 54 degrees and the low was 38.
It rained Thursday night and there was a thunderstorm late Friday afternoon. Though only light pockets of rain were forecast for Saturday morning, it was not likely the track would be fast for the Derby.
Easy Goer worked five-eighths of a mile last Saturday on a sloppy track, and McGaughey said, "if it comes up sloppy Derby Day and it's like that, I'm not going to worry about it."
McGaughey, a native of Lexington, Ky., who used to train regularly at Churchill Downs, said the track on Breeders' Cup Day was different than he had ever seen it.
Jockey Pat Day, who has ridden Easy Goer in all of his races and will again today, said it was like Easy Goer was running in peanut butter in the Breeders' Cup race.
Some horsemen feel that Sunday Silence has an edge because Easy Goer hasn't been tested.
"He got enough out of his races to move him forward after every one," McGaughey said.
Easy Goer will run as McGaughey-trained entry with Awe Inspiring. The entry figured to be the odds-on favorite, with Sunday Silence a solid second choice.
The last odds-on Derby favorite was Spectacular Bid, who was 3-5 in 1979, and he was the last favorite to win.
If all 16 3-year-olds start, the 115th Derby will be worth $759,200, with $584,200 to the winner. Each starter will carry 126 pounds.
ABC will televise from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. MDT.