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    Cover Photo: Adam Mescan

    Our absolutely brilliant predictions.

    Josh Moss, Editor: Gunnevera
    “Antonio Sano, Venezuela’s all-time leading trainer, survived two kidnappings in his native country before eventually making it to America. The second kidnapping was in 2009, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, Sano spent more than a month mostly shackled to the wall in a windowless room. His wife cobbled together the ransom. Now Sano has his first Derby horse, Gunnevera, and a jockey who’s due to win the roses — Javier Castellano, also a Venezuela native. Can’t think of a better storyline for the first Saturday in May of Trump’s presidency. My favorite bet is a six-horse exacta box. Two of the non-favorites I like: Thunder Snow and Hence.”

    Mary Chellis Austin, Deputy editor: Gormley
    “My money’s on Gormley, who was foaled on March 20, my husband’s birthday. Plus, Espinoza’s riding.”

    Lindsay Flint, Advertising production coordinator: Patch
    “I haven’t paid any attention to any of the horses — I am not into the Derby at all — but I will pick Patch just because it is a one-eyed horse and I will always root for the underdog. ”

    Ginny Lutes, Senior account executive: Always Dreaming/State of Honor
    “For the Derby race, I will be boxing the 5-6 horses since it’s my dad’s birthday — his 83rd!”

    Emily Douglas, Account executive: Always Dreaming | McCracken | Classic Empire
    “Win: Always Dreaming. Place: McCracken. Show: Classic Empire. I totally got these picks from my husband. If I win, great. If I lose, blame him.”

    Suki Anderson, Art director: Patch
    “Patch is number one because I love an underdog. Horse has one eye.”

    Anne Marshall, Senior writer: Battle of Midway | Fast and Accurate | Irish War Cry
    “I don't bet on horses. Just not my thing. So with closed eyes and an index finger randomly landing on contenders my three picks follow. (And if this actually ends up being the trifecta you can bet I'll cry and curse my stubborn anti-gambling stance.) One: Battle of Midway. Two: Fast and Accurate. Three: Irish War Cry.”

    Dylon Jones, Web editor: Patch
    “I’m rooting for Patch. Not because he’s an underdog, but because I really want a Derby winner who could double as a metaphor in an Annie Proulx story.”

    Mandy Wood, Account executive: Patch
    “I’ll go with Patch because who doesn’t love an underdog?!?”

    Dan Crutcher, Publisher: Irish War Cry
    “Irish War Cry. Just like the name: Fierce but lyrical.”

    Stacey Hallahan, Advertising director: Untrapped | Irap | Patch
    “First place: Untrapped, because a stranger in Dillard’s told me to bet the 4 horse. By the way, this was unsolicited. I don’t go around asking strangers for their Derby picks. Second place: Irap, because rap is my favorite music genre. Third place: Patch, because who doesn’t love a one-eyed horse?”

    Julie Crutcher, Business director: Gunnevera | Irish War Cry | Thunder Snow
    “Gunnevera (back story). Irish War Cry (name). Thunder Snow (IRE). Patch — oh come ON. The horse only has one eye. He’s in the 20 hole. And we hope the good eye is facing in. Underdog status.”

    Alexandra Winters, Editorial assistant: Girvin | Classic Empire/Always Dreaming | Gunnevera
    “After poring over racing forms for an indefensible amount of time, I’m going to go with Girvin in the top spot; though he’s only had four starts, his only loss (second place) was on turf, and he consistently displays stamina with his come-from-behind finishes. To place, I can’t decide between Classic Empire and Always Dreaming — there’s a reason the former has been getting so much press, and the latter’s 2017 track record is flawless. And to show: Gunnevera — this big chestnut has the staying power to hang on for at least third place. (Although with rain in the forecast, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tapwrit or Hence pulled out a win on a wet track.)"

    For a full list of the field, click here.

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