LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Occasionally, Ahmed Zayat will watch a clip of the 2010 Wood Memorial and daydream. He tries not to do it too much, but he can't help but think about what might have been.
Watching a horse as good as Eskendereya will do that to an owner. A year ago, after Zayat's horse dominated the Wood Memorial like few horses ever have, Eskendereya came to Louisville as a huge favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. But before the week even began, he was scratched with a leg injury, and he was retired shortly after.
“Every time I watch, with my son Justin, his Wood Memorial, the race gives me goose bumps,” Zayat said. “The sheer dominance, the beauty and the majesty of Thoroughbreds. That was a horse that was once in a lifetime. In the bottom of my heart he would have won the Triple Crown. It is very hard to think, ‘What if?’ ”
Zayat, however, would be happy to forget about last year's race if he could get a little luck this year. He made it back to the Derby with Nehro, the Louisiana Derby winner, and his horse has flown under the radar a bit this week with all the focus on Uncle Mo and Dialed in. Nehro is currently listed at 6-1 odds, even though he's stuck in the No. 19 post position, a spot that has never produced a winner in the history of the race. Still, Zayat feels his horse has been training so well, he's good enough to overcome what he's facing.