For the Paleologos household, the Kentucky Derby has always been an exciting time for each of us to choose our thoroughbreds vying for the first jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown.

This year's race is this coming Saturday, May 5. Post time is 6:34 p.m. and "they're off" at 6:46 p.m. on NBC (locally, that's NBC 10 WJAR-TV).

My love for these gorgeous thoroughbred athletes goes back to my teenage years at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, when I'd "walk hots," a term used to walk the horses after a race to cool them down. The horse can overheat, so it's critical to cool down the "hot horse" properly. I remember taking a bucket of water and pouring it on their head after they raced, and then hand-walking the horse in a cool place.

This year, there will be 20 horses scheduled to compete at the 144th running at Churchill Downs, and although it's unlikely a real long shot with odds like 60-1 wins the Kentucky Derby, I recall in 2005 Giacomo ran away with it at 50-1 odds.

This year, I was looking forward to seeing Gronkowski run, but he came down with a fever in his legs recently and couldn't make the trip from overseas.

Before you make your final Kentucky Derby picks for win, place and show, remember which horse has a good track record and trainer. Which jockey has the most success at Churchill Downs and which post position is the most advantageous! Or just pick a name or color and have fun watching "The Fastest Two Minutes In Sports!"

Good luck! I have my picks at the end of these 2018 post positions and odds:

1Firenze Fire50-1
2Free Drop Billy30-1
3Promises Fulfilled30-1
6Good Magic12-1
8Lone Sailor50-1
10My Boy Jack30-1
11Bolt d'Oro8-1
15Instilled Regard50-1
16Magnum Moon6-1
18Vino Rosso12-1
19Noble Indy30-1

I think the order of finish is going to be:

WIN: Audible

PLACE: Magnum Moon

SHOW: Justify

Phil Paleologos is the host of the Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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