Picking the Derby 5 1/2 minutes before post time is often an exercise in futility, so trying to figure out the outcome 5 1/2 months out is sheer insanity. Nonetheless, here goes:
1. Normandy Invasion: Chad Brown is more than the flavor of the month. He has emerged this year as one of the sport's most talented trainers. The one thing he has yet to do is campaign a serious Kentucky Derby contender, but that should change next year thanks to Normandy Invasion.
2. He's Had Enough: The team of Doug O'Neill, J. Paul Reddam and Mario Guiterriez will try to do it again after the 2012 win with I'll Have Another.
3. Bern Identity: Another who may have lost a big race because of a troubled trip.
4. Shanghai Bobby: He's No. 1 this year, but what will he be in 2013?
5. Power Broker: Like all of Baffert's horses, he simply didn't show up in the Breeders' Cup. But there's every reason to believe he'll run back to his explosive win in the Grade 1 Frontrunner.
6. Overanalyze: He seems to run well every other race and when he shows up he's good.
7. Goldencents: Doug O'Neill … Delta Jackpot win … second in the Champagne … what's not to like?
8. Beholder (f): Trainer Richard Mandella is old school and not likely to take chances, which means Beholder is likely Oaks, and not Derby, bound.
9. Uncaptured: The winner of Saturday's Kentucky Jockey Club, he is 2-for-2 on the dirt and 2-for-2 at Churchill.
10. Frac Daddy: Almost as good as Uncaptured. In the Ken McPeek barn, he's in good hands.
11. Little Distorted: Has run only once, and at that in a six-furlong maiden. But he won in 1:09 3/5 and earned a 101 Beyer figure.
12. Gulfport: A $775,000 yearling purchase, the son of Unbridled's Song-Dream Supreme has come to life after showing little in his first three starts