It's hard to find someone that knows more about horse racing, and the Triple Crown, than Dick Jerardi. After writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 30 years, Jerardi is still involved in the game, working with BetOnline.ag to handicap races and cover the events.

We got the chance to talk to Dick Jerardi on Levack & Bahl earlier today, and he shared a bit of wisdom about the upcoming Kentucky Derby, and some of his favorite horses heading into race day.

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There were a few major takeaways that I had from our conversation. First, we've heard all week how good Essential Quality has been so far this season, and the odds have been in that horse's favor most of this week. Jerardi believes the hype, but also recognizes that there are other horses that have similar speed and physical attributes. So, while Essential Quality is likely going to be the betting favorite, it's still safe to consider other options.

Jerardi also share a nugget of information that really struck me. I did a bit more digging about a horse he liked, Hot Rod Charlie. Not only is Hot Rod Charlie an up-and-coming race horse, the horse is partially-owned by five former Brown University football players, who call themselves "Boat Racing" as a group. This story is something else.

Aside from Hot Rod Charlie, which is his main pick, Jerardi also liked Medina Spirit in the #8 slot and Midnight Bourbon in the #10 slot. Both horses are 11-1 longshots. He also told us that the horse in the #16 slot, King Fury, is named after boxer Tyson Fury, who will be in attendance after being invited by the team. That's a 26-1 longshot, but could make for a fun watch.

Lastly, Dick Jerardi has been to over 30 Kentucky Derby's, and completely sold me on the racing experience. Granted, I don't have $15,000 to throw around to visit the mansion where Michael Jordan and Tom Brady can be found, but I still want to buy a big, floppy hat and have a weekend at the Derby.

Wish me luck with that.

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