Greetings kids!! (Cue up the bugler’s “call to the post”) The most exciting 2 minutes in sports is this Saturday. I’m talking about the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby of course. It’s that time of the year again where we get to see a new crop of the best 3-year old thoroughbred horses in the world.

Each year there is a horse among the field, that has some linkage to New Jersey, specifically the Jersey Shore. Last year, it was Irish War Cry, a Jersey bred-horse owned by Red Bank native Isabelle de Tomaso. Unfortunately, Irish War Cry finished 10th out of the 20 horse field. This year’s field features another Jersey-connected horse and this time it has to do with both an owner and trainer.

2017 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Del Mar - Day 2
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Firenze Fire (post position # 1) is trained by Jason Servis, who is not only an Eatontown resident, but he is also based at Monmouth Park. Just like horses have a pedigree, horse-racing runs deep in the Servis family. His father Joe was a longtime jockey and steward at Charles Town Racetrack in Charlestown, WV. Jason’s younger brother John is also a trainer. John’s most notably-trained horse was 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Smarty Jones. And Jason’s brother-in-law is also a Monmouth Park-based trainer, Eddie Plesa, Jr. The owner of Firenze Fire is Mountain Lakes native, Ron Lombardi, owner of Mister Amore Stables.

Another horse entered with Jersey connections is Solomini (post position #17). Solomini is owned by Zayat Stables, LLC. Ahmed and his son Justin are from Teaneck. You may have heard of the Zayat’s from winning not only the 2015 Kentucky Derby, but the Triple Crown and the Breeder’s Cup Classic that same year with American Pharoah. Much like with that future hall of fame horse, Solomini is also trained by Bob Baffert. The Zayat-Baffert formula seemed to work out very well three years ago.

Here is the complete field for the 144th Kentucky Derby:

Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerOwnerCurrent Odds
1Firenze FirePaco LopezJason Servis Mr. Amore Stables50-1
2Free Drop BillyRobby AlbaradoDale RomansAlbaugh Family Stable30-1
3Promises FulfilledCorey LanerieDale Romans Robert J. Baron30-1
4FlameawayJose LezcanoMark CasseJohn C. Oxley30-1
5Audible Javier CasetellanoTodd PletcherWinStar Farm LLC8-1
6Good MagicJose OrtizChad Browne Five Racing Thoroughbreds12-1
7JustifyMike SmithBob BaffertWinStar Farm LLC3-1
8Lone SailorJames GrahamTom Amoss G M B Racing50-1
9HofburgIrad Ortiz, Jr.William Mott Juddmonte Farms, Inc.20-1
10My Boy JackKent DesormeauxKeith DesormeauxMonomoy Stables LLC20-1
11Bolt d’OroVictor EspinozaMick RuisRuis Racing LLC8-1
12EnticedJunior AlvaradoKiaran McLaughlinGodolphin Racing LLC30-1
13BravazoLuis ContrerasD. Wayne LukasCalumet Farm50-1
14MendelssohnRyan MooreAidan O’Brien Michael B. Tabor5-1
15Instilled RegardDrayden Van DykeJerry Hollendorfer OXO Equine50-1
16Magnum MoonLuis SaezTodd Pletcher Robert & Lawana Low6-1
17SolominiFlavien PratBob BaffertZayat Stables, LLC30-1
18Vino RossoJohn VelazquezTodd PletcherSt. Elias Stable LLC12-1
19Noble IndyFlorent GerouxTodd PletcherWinStar Farm LLC30-1
20CombatantRicardo Santana, Jr.Steve AusmussenWinchell Thoroughbreds LLC50-1
Also Eligible *Blended CitizenKyle FreyDoug O’NeillSayjay Racing, LLC50-1

* Blended Citizen can draw into the field should a horse be scratched before Friday at 9 a.m. (Eastern time).

Coverage begins on NBC Sports Network Saturday at Noon and then on NBC at 2:30pm. Post time is 6:34pm. He may be currently 50-1, but I still have to go with the Jersey Shore connections represented in the Run for the Roses. Go Firenze Fire!!

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