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Picking Thunder Snow in the Derby?

5 May 2017, 8:56 pm

It’s time to pick the winner of the Kentucky Derby, but who to choose? There are twenty horses and jockeys to filter through. There’s the theory of picking horses in certain gate numbers. Then there is the color of the horse, or the color of the jersey worn by the jockey to perhaps persuade your pick. It would be fitting for us here at WeatherNation to pick the one weather-related name, right? Well, maybe not.

History tells us there have only been a handful of weather-related winners. Maybe that’s because there aren’t a lot of horses with weather names, plus there are twenty horses in each race and many non-weather names.

This year there’s Thunder Snow. Now before you jump on the bandwagon and pick this horse let’s take a look at the statistics. Thunder Snow will be taking off from Gate # 2. It has been 39 years since a horse has won from gate # 2.

But everyone loves a good story, right?! Thunder Snow is coming in all the way from Dubai, where the horse took first place at the U.A.E. Derby. Plus, word is from the experts, Thunder Snow runs well on a muddy track. Hmmmmm. We’ll get to the weather forecast part in a moment.

Then there’s the odds. The odds came out for Thunder Snow at 20-1. That means if you wagered $1 you would win $20. The odds then moved to 17-1 and then 18-1 which generally means people are putting bets on this weather-related-named horse! The favorites in this race are hovering around 4-1 or 5-1, meaning “roughly” 4 to 5 times more likely to win than Thunder Snow.

Before Thunder Snow, there was

1897 – Typhoon II  This was the first weather-named horse to win at the derby. What excites me is that the name was Typhoon II, meaning there must have been an original Typhoon!

1982 – Gato Del Sol Technically not “totally” weather-related, I had to branch out a little for some of these names. This horse ended the 85 year drought of  weather horses losing!

1983 – Sunny’s Halo  Exciting back-to-back winners of the derby being weather-related. Gives me hope for Thunder Snow.

1993 – Sea Hero  Maybe the furthest stretch of a weather-related horse name

1995 – Thunder Gulch  The last weather-named horse to win at the Kentucky Derby. Maybe a good lead in for Thunder Snow ? We’ll see.

As far as the weather for the Kentucky Derby Saturday, May 6 it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting any thunder snow. However it may be wet in the morning/midday and it’s going to be downright cool!

Low temperatures on Saturday morning, May 6. The Kentucky Derby is taking place in Louisville, KY where the day will start in the 40’s
High temperatures on Saturday, May 6 where some areas may be as much as 10 to 20 degrees below average for the date!
A cold front will glide by, just to the west of Louisville on Saturday morning through early afternoon.
Our forecast for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6

Come race time it looks dry with any rain from earlier in the day having finished. It will be cool with temperatures in the 50’s and a bit of a north wind at about 10 mph maybe a little higher. The track may be wet from earlier showers, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be muddy. The risk of severe weather is low. Now time to watch how Thunder Snow does!

For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Steve Glazier

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