140th Kentucky Derby | Luck will have it

May 3, 2014 

PHOTO FROM MILL RIDGE FARM IN LEXINGTON — Mark Cornelison | Staff

The humble horseshoe.

It’s a universal symbol for the Kentucky Derby’s most coveted commodity: Luck.

The varieties are vast.

Beginner’s luck. A stroke of luck. Just my luck. The luck of the draw. The quantity is limited. But everyone wants their share on Derby Day.

“It’s been a great career for me, so this would be a feather in my hat if I would get lucky.”

That’s what Art Sherman told the New York Daily News this week. Sherman is the trainer of the favorite, the regal California Chrome.

The great unknown about luck is how much any individual is allowed.

Has Sherman exhausted his simply by saddling his first Derby horse at age 77?

It’s difficult to get to the first Saturday in May, and it’s no easy task to stay here.

Only two trainers from last year’s Derby have returned in 2014.

The horses? They get just one shot at Derby glory — as only 3-year-olds are allowed to play.

So do you want to rely simply on being good, when you can be lucky?

Mine That Bird and Giacomo — 50-to-1! — might disagree.

They say the best horse doesn’t always win the Kentucky Derby.

But the luckiest almost certainly does.

At 6:24 p.m. Saturday, 19 horses will explode from the Churchill Downs starting gate, carrying the Kentucky Derby fantasies of millions.

And on what will those dreams be riding? Seventy-six horseshoes.

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