2018 Kentucky Derby: 5 Horses Talented Enough to Win the Triple Crown

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D.S. Williamson

April 24th, 2018

Each year, 3-year-old racehorses attempt to win the most popular, some say the most important, horse race in the United States, the Kentucky Derby. Sometimes, like in 2017, the quality of 3-year-old horse races doesn't run deep.  That's not the case in 2018. 2018 might offer the deepest pool of talented 3-year-olds since 2007 when Street Sense, Hard Spun, Curlin, and Scat Daddy all ran in the Run for the Roses.

This year's 3-year-old pool is so deep that I see no less than 5 horses that can not only win the Kentucky Derby, but that can also win the Triple Crown.

2018 Kentucky Derby:  5 Horses Talented Enough to Win the Triple Crown


He possesses something that many of his competitors don't have, the ability to run right off the pace, or to come from the clouds. That makes Audible the most tractable horse in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. If he were to win the Derby, is it hard to imagine he doesn't win the Preakness and Belmont? Not to me. Audible's sire, Into Mischief, produces just as many stayers as speed horses.

Bolt d'Oro

The winter book Derby favorite hasn't yet shown his best this year. There's every reason to believe he shows up with his best effort on May 5. From there, there's no doubt he could win the Preakness, especially if he dissuades his opponents from running two weeks later. His sire, Medaglia d'Oro, finished second in the Belmont to 70 to 1 shot Sarava. He'd get the Belmont distance.


Justify looked great winning the Santa Anita Derby. Like Magnum Moon, who also makes my possible Triple Crown list, Justify hasn't yet grown into the racehorse he could end up growing into. He appears capable of running all day. He also shows up to Churchill Downs with the top speed rating of any other entrant, no matter the speed ratings you use. Make no mistake, his off Derby odds probably won't justify (no pun intended) a win wager. But, that doesn't mean he won't win the Derby, then the Preakness, and then the Belmont.

Magnum Moon

The more I watch the Arkansas Derby, the more I see an incredibly talented horse who tried hard. Magnum Moon being green in the Arkansas Derby might benefit him on the First Saturday in May. It means he hasn't yet peaked. Not only has he not peaked, he hasn't touched how good of a racehorse he could be. He's undefeated without having shown his best. That says something.


He's gotten somewhat lost in the shuffle after Justify, Magnum Moon, and Good Magic provided their excellent Derby prep wins. He's well-suited to win the Kentucky Derby, though. He's a half-brother to Beholder while his sire, Scat Daddy, also sired Justify. If he wins the Derby, he could easily take the Preakness because he's a close to pace, front-running, horse. The Belmont might be the easiest win of the 3 if he gets through the Derby and Preakness.

Mendelssohn might be the horse with the best overall shot to win this year's Triple Crown. He's trained by one of the best trainers in the world. He's bred to be a champion. He won a Grade 1 as a 2-year-old, and he doesn't need the lead while having the ability to race comfortably on the lead.