Heading into Derby Day at Churchill Downs, Arlington Park director of marketing and communications Howard Sudberry has his favorites. Dortumund (3-1), Carpe Diem (8-1) and American Pharoah (5-2) all stand a good chance at winning the 2015 Kentucky Derby, which will air Saturday on NBC at 3 p.m., but poor posting for one of the horses could be an issue.
"Those, to me, are the three most logical contenders," Sudberry said on SportsTalk Live. "Those are the ones I liked. And I was leaning a little bit toward Carpe Diem; we'll see if he can seize the day out of the two-hole, though, because that is a very difficult post position at Churchill Downs and the Derby with 20 horses in there."
The Derby has a little bit of local flavor this year, as Mubtaahij (20-1) did some of his training at Arlington Racetrack in Illinois. He'll enter the Derby with some solid momentum, as Sudberry points out.
"He won the Derby out in Dubai, the UAE Derby, and they say that he didn't run against anything over there but I bet somebody in that field could run a little bit, and he won by eight lengths," he said. "He's been training at Arlington, he looks terrific, he's well-bred. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he won the race."
And if you're planning on placing a wager on Saturday, Sudberry notes that there's always a little bit of luck involved with such a busy track.
"When there's a 20-horse field luck plays a big part in it. It could be 25, 30 percent in this race. If they break badly they're in trouble, when they go into the first turn if they get caught wide or they get bumped along the way, anything could happen," he said. "There could be a great horse get beat because of the trip or the route that he has to take."
Laurence Holmes, JJ Stankevitz and Mark Grote join Kap on the panel.
0:00 - The pressure continues to mount on Rob Manfred as the Astros scandal lingers. He apologized on Tuesday but should that be enough for him to keep his job?
17:00 - Drew Brees is heading back to New Orleans, so Teddy Bridgewater will be looking for a new home. The guys discuss if he'll be too expensive for the Bears. if he is, who could come to Chicago to join Mitch in the QB room at Halas Hall?
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In case you forgot, Jim Boylen once worked for Rudy Tomjanovich. In fact, the former Rockets coach gave Boylen his NBA start, hiring him as an assistant coach and video coordinator way back in 1992.
Boylen saw first-hand the coaching chops and commitment Tomjanovich displayed as the Rockets won back-to-back NBA titles while Michael Jordan was playing baseball in the mid-1990s. So it's beyond loyalty when Boylen says he believes, like many others, that Tomjanovich belongs in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The organization named Tomjanovich a finalist over All-Star weekend in Chicago.
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"He's deserving," Boylen said. "I don't know why he's not in there yet. It doesn't make sense to me. Two championships, a gold medal."
That's a reference to Tomjanovich coaching USA Basketball's gold-medal winning team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Tomjanovich is an occasional visitor to the Advocate Center to watch Boylen.
"What he did with those Rockets teams and his playoff games — sixth seed in '95 — nobody's duplicated that. To win it from the sixth seed, play on the road like we did," Boylen said. "He has an unbelievable record in elimination games, which I think is a true test of your coaching and being able to communicate your message. I think he's getting in."
Does Boylen possess inside information?
"No," Boylen said, smiling. "He's due."
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