By Gil Martin

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing and the race is fast approaching. No horse race in America is full of more tradition and pageantry than “The Run for the Roses” at Lexington, Kentucky. As more fans are able to attend the event, hopefully this year’s event will at least be close to “normal” as the pandemic hopefully winds down.

The Kentucky Derby has the largest field of the Triple Crown races and favorites often win the race. But sometimes, a longshot comes in and turns everybody’s expectations upside down.

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Here is a look at four intriguing long shots with a chance to win this year’s Kentucky Derby:

  1. Hot Rod Charlie

Hot Rod Charlie has already surprised a lot of people with his shocking second place finish in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile in 2020. He entered the race with odds of 94-to-1 but managed to run a strong race and nearly pulled off a huge upset. 

Hot Rod Charlie has great bloodlines He is the son of Oxbow, the horse that won the Preakness in 2013. 

After a slow start to his racing career, he has been gaining momentum and will look to surprise more people at the “Run for the Roses” on May 1.

  1. Midnight Bourbon

Midnight Bourbon has been a competitive horse and won the Lecomte in January to open the eyes of many experts. 

Trainer Steve Asmussen believes his horse does better in longer races which should serve him well at the Kentucky Derby and especially at the Belmont Stakes if he races in it. 

Midnight Bourbon doesn’t like to run too quickly, too early in a race but if he stays close, his stamina makes him a strong finisher and a potentially dangerous long shot.

  1. Keepmeinmind

Keepmeinmind was not originally expected to run in the Kentucky Derby, but after winning the Kentucky Jockey Club and finishing third at the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile, trainer Robertino Diodoro is seriously considering entering the horse in the first leg of the Triple Crown. 

Keepmeinmind also excels at longer distances and if he continues to run well, could surprise a lot of people on May 1 at the Kentucky Derby.

  1. Medina Spirit

Medina Spirit is a horse that likes to get off to a quick start and set the pace. He won the Robert B. Lewis stakes using that strategy against some better known and highly-regarded horses.

Just before that, this horse finished a close second in the Sham, losing by less than a length to Life Is Good. 

This horse is fast and talented, but the biggest concern is his stamina. Trainer Bob Baffert is confident his horse can perform well at longer distances which would make him an interesting choice to surprise people at this year’s Kentucky Derby.