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How Did Major Fed Wind Up in Longshot Territory for the 2020 Kentucky Derby?

| September 1, 2020 3:59 am PDT
How Did Major Fed Wind Up in Longshot Territory for the 2020 Kentucky Derby?

There are longshots, and there are very longshots. At 75-1, Major Fed certainly qualifies for the latter title. Does he deserve those odds? He’s shown a talent for the longer races, after all.

And just how did this home-bred native son wind up in the odd position of being a walking contradiction–“longshot favorite”?

Major Fed’s Trainer

Trainer Gregory D. Foley has been working with Lloyd Madison Farms for decades, and they all must be feeling a sense of déjà vu right now: Nearly two decades ago they were prepping another contender—Champali—for a possible Triple Crown challenge. Cholic ended that campaign (Champali survived the cholic, by the way). So, while Greg Foley and his family may have been to the Kentucky Derby as spectators, 2020 will be their first trip as participants.

“He’s sharp now,” is how Travis Foley—Greg’s son and assistant trainer—described Major Fed’s condition and attitude to Daily Racing Form recently. He went on to say: “I don’t know about beating the favorites, but there are some other horses in there I know we can beat. I really do think we’ll hit the board if we can just get a good trip.”

Major Fed’s Jockey

James Graham will be in the irons for Major Fed’s Kentucky Derby run, and like the Foleys and Lloyd Madison Farms, this will be his first trip to the Kentucky Derby as a participant. That doesn’t make him a stranger to winning—he’s won dozens of graded stakes races since his first back in 2004. Most recently, he’s won the Bashford Manor Stakes, the Wise Dan Stakes, and the Louisville Stakes—all at Churchill Downs.

So if Major Fed should happen to make all the longshot dreams of the punters come true, Graham will no doubt be able to find his way to the Winner’s Circle.

Major Fed’s Recent Form

Major Fed established himself early, putting 20 points on the RTKD scoreboard with a second-place finish in the Risen Star Stakes (Div. 2) at Fair Grounds in New Orleans in February. He’d only the month before broken his maiden there with a win in a 1-1/16 mile maiden special weight race.

From that first RTKD score, Major Fed added ten more points to the scoreboard with a disappointing fourth place finish at the Louisiana Derby in March. But if that finish was a disappointment, his 10th place finish in the Matt Wynn Stakes at Churchill Downs in May was a disaster.

Still, bumps are part of any road, and in July, Major Fed acquired his final eight RTKD points with a second-place finish in the Indiana Derby. Major Fed finishes his long Road to the Kentucky Derby at Number 13 on the leaderboard stands at Number 13 on the 2020 Kentucky Derby tally.

Will Major Fed Make Everybody Happy at the Kentucky Derby?

Early betting has Major Fed as something of a longshot favorite, with the 75-1 odds enticing enough to bring droves of punters to the betting windows or online betting sites. But throughout the ages, the promise of big rewards for small money has been an elusive one at best.

It’s possible that Travis Foley was right when he told DRF: “I really do think we’ll hit the board if we can just get a good trip.”

J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

More Posts by J.W. Contact J.W.

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