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Dialed In early Derby favorite

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dialed In was made the early 4-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby after drawing the favorable No. 8 post, with Uncle Mo as the second choice in a full field of 20 horses.

Trained by two-time Derby winner Nick Zito, Dialed In has won three of four career races. Owner Robert LaPenta let out a cheer when the post was drawn on Wednesday.

“It’s a big thing, and he deserves it,” Zito said, referring to his horse’s status as the favorite.

Three times in the last seven runnings the favorite has worn the garland of roses, most recently Big Brown in 2008.

“So far, so good,” Zito said. “If he has another couple of good days we’ll be happy. Things are doing all right.”

Things haven’t been going so well for Uncle Mo, who drew the No. 18 post, three slots from the outside. The colt is being treated for a gastrointestinal infection, which was blamed for his first defeat in last month’s Wood Memorial.

Owner Mike Repole has said if Uncle Mo isn’t sufficiently recovered, then he won’t run in Saturday’s 11/4-mile Derby. However, trainer Todd Pletcher said Uncle Mo might be able to win even if he’s at less than his best.

“But we’re committed to bringing him over there at 100 percent, anything less than that, we won’t accept,” he said.

Uncle Mo, who was last year’s 2-year-old champion, jogged a mile around the dirt track at Churchill Downs on Wednesday.

“I’ve always said I think he’s the best horse of his generation,” Pletcher said. “We proved that last year and identified what we thought was the reason for the poor performance in the Wood.”

Uncle Mo would have to overcome a bit of history.

Only one horse since 1900 has come out of the No. 18 hole to win and that was Gato Del Sol in 1982.

2Brilliant Speed30-1
3Twice the Appeal20-1
4Stay Thirsty20-1
5Decisive Moment30-1
6Comma to the Top         30-1
7Pants On Fire20-1
8Dialed In4-1
9Derby Kitten30-1
11Master of Hounds30-1
13Mucho Macho Man12-1
15Midnight Interlude10-1
16Animal Kingdom10-1
18Uncle Mo9-2
20Watch Me Go50-1