Racing: Pulpit's mass appeal

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D Wayne Lukas will be without a runner in Saturday's Kentucky Derby - the first time he has not been represented in America's premier Classic for 17 years. Lukas, who has won the last two runnings of the race, has decided not to run Sharp Cat in a contest for which the possible field of 12 will be the smallest to face the starter since Spectacular Bid beat nine in 1978.

Sharp Cat will instead run in the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, Lukas having discussed the possibility of tackling the colts with the filly's owner, Ahmed Salman, brother of Paul Cole's principal owner, Fahd Salman.

This "Run For The Roses" is being billed as one of the most open in years. Pulpit, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes last time, and the horse who ended his unbeaten record in the Florida Derby, Captain Bodgit, are vying for favouritism with Las Vegas odds makers.

Hello, trained last year by John Dunlop, is a 12-1 chance, despite being one of only three Grade/Group One winners in the field. He landed the Gran Criterium in Milan last October.

Kentucky Derby (Churchill Downs, Saturday) 5-2 Pulpit, 3-1 Captain Bodgit, 5-1 Silver Charm, 6-1 Free House, Concerto, 8-1 Crypto Star, 12-1 Hello, Phantom On Tour, 20-1 Jack Flash, 30-1 Celtic Warrior.