Mendelssohn already has racked up some impressive wins – will this horse take the crown at the Kentucky Derby? Before the ‘Race For The Roses’ starts, get the facts about this horse.
1. He’s not the odds-on favorite, but some think he’ll win the race. Though anything can change until the starter pistol goes off at the 2018 Kentucky Derby on May 7, currently, there’s only one horse with better odds than Mendelssohn. At 6-1, the three-year-old champion horse is a safe bet to win the 114th “Run For The Roses.” The only other horse with better odds is Justify. Yet, while Justify is in his “rookie year,” as he didn’t race as a 2-year-old, Mendelssohn has an impressive resume of some major wins.
2. He won his last race by a wide, wide margin. Mendelssohn raced in the UAE Derby in Dubai on March 31. It was his first start on a natural dirt surface and his first time running a race that was longer than a mile. The results were mind-blowing, as he won the race by 18-and-a-half lengths. “For a horse to come here and win by nearly 20 lengths is unbelievable,” said M.V. Magnier, representing the Coolmore Partners – the organization that purchased Mendelssohn as a yearling, per Bloodhorse. This win “was obviously a dream” for a horse with Mendelssohn’s pedigree and gave the team hope of winning at Kentucky.
3. Mendelssohn’s started winning after a few stumbles. In his maiden race in July 2017, he finished eighth. He won his second race, but was still pretty raw when it came to talent. He came in a distant last in his third race, and didn’t really pick up a major win until coming in first at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in 2007. He seemed to find his stride in 2018, winning the Patton Stakes by three-quarters of a length before his wild performance at the UAE Derby.
4. He’s a “half brother” to another Kentucky Derby horse. Considering how inclusive and guarded the world of thoroughbred horse breeding is, it’s no surprise that two horses running the Kentucky Derby would be related. However, it’s pretty amazing that the two top favorites are from the same sire. Mendelssohn’s sire (aka daddy) is Scat Daddy, who also sired the odds-on favorite – Justify! Brothers racing against brother! There’s so much drama in this year’s race. Whereas Justify’s dam (aka mom) was Stage Magic, Mendelssohn’s dam was the 2016 Broodmare of the Year, Leslie’s Lady.
European horse Mendessohn, who will be one of the Derby favorites, hits the Churchill track for the first time after being in quarantine pic.twitter.com/tftGP0EYj5
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) May 3, 2018
5. He’s got a whole mess of bad luck ahead of him. So, Mendelssohn has victories in four countries on three different surfaces (dirt, synthetic and turf, according to the Washington Post.) His race at the UAE Derby is astounding, but that may have doomed him. Horses who have won the UAE Derby are currently 0 and 13 when it comes to winning the Kentucky Derby. Plus, he drew the No. 14 post. The last time a horse won from that position as Carry Back in 1961. If Mendelssohn can buck the trend, he’ll break at least two curses. That would be really lucky.