A Who’s Who of Kentucky Derby Trifecta Picks

Pop Culture
Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

America's Best Racing reached out to some well-known racing fans to get their top three selections for the 2017 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.

Find out which Derby runners these friends of ABR landed on for the first jewel of the Triple Crown.


Jim Rome

National sports radio and TV personality

Follow on Twitter: @jimrome

1. Irish War Cry

2. McCraken

3. Thunder Snow


Bill Nack

Journalist and author

1. Hence

2. McCraken

3. Irish War Cry


Jeannine Edwards

ESPN reporter

Follow on Twitter: @jeanninee12

1. Classic Empire

2. Gormley

3. Thunder Snow


Pat Forde

Senior Yahoo! Sports columnist

Follow on Twitter: @YahooForde

1. Classic Empire

2. Irish War Cry

3. Hence


Matt Bernier

Daily Racing Form and NBC Sports analyst

Follow on Twitter:  @bernier_matt

1. Irish War Cry

2. McCraken

3. Classic Empire


Jonathon Kinchen

Former NHC Tour Champion

Follow on Twitter: @Utbighair

1. McCraken

2. Thunder Snow

3. Hence


Donna Barton Brothers

Reporter, NBC Sports

Follow on Twitter: @donnabbrothers

1. Classic Empire

2. Hence

3. McCraken


Justin Zayat

Zayat Stables

Follow on Twitter: @JustinZayat

1. Always Dreaming 

2. Irish War Cry

3. Gunnevera


Jay Privman 

Daily Racing Form Triple Crown writer and NBC Sports reporter

Follow on Twitter: @DRFPrivman

1. McCraken

2. Always Dreaming

3. Classic Empire


Johnny Avello

Executive director of race and sports, Wynn Las Vegas 

1. McCraken

2. Practical Joke

3. Tapwrit 


Joel Stein

Columnist for TIME magazine. Stein’s book, “Man Made: A Stupid Quest For Masculinity,” changes people’s lives

Follow on Twitter: @thejoelstein

1. McCraken

2. Irish War Cry

3. Always Dreaming


Keith Jones

NBC Sports hockey analyst

1. Irish War Cry

2. Gormley

3. Gunnevera


Bonnie-Jill Laflin

Reporter for FOX Sports and BBC, former NBA scout

Follow on Twitter: @BJLaflin

1. Irish War Cry

2. Patch 

3. Classic Empire 


Bram Weinstein

Host of "The Bram Weinstein Show" and ABR's "The Winner's Circle" 

Follow on Twitter: @RealBramW

1. Irish War Cry 

2. Gunnevera

3. Always Dreaming


Jamie Reidy

Author of "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman"

Follow on Twitter: @JamieReidy

1. Always Dreaming

2. Battle of Midway

3. Girvin


Pat Cummings

Executive manager, public affairs, Hong Kong Jockey Club 

Follow on Twitter: @PatCummingsHK

1. Irish War Cry

2. McCracken 

3. Gunnevera 


Ken Rosenthal

Fox Sports Major League Baseball reporter 

Follow on Twitter: @Ken_Rosenthal

1. McCraken

2. Girvin

3. Gormley


Joe Kristufek

America's Best Racing contributor, paddock analyst for Churchill Downs

Follow on Twitter: @JoeyDaKRacing

1. Always Dreaming

2. McCraken

3. Irish War Cry


Frank Deford

Author, commentator, six-time U. S. Sportswriter of the Year

1. Fast and Accurate

2. Girvin

3. State of Honor


Mark Ingram

New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl running back and Hesiman Trophy winner

Follow on Twitter: @MarkIngram22

1. Classic Empire

2. Hence

3. Practical Joke


Thomas Morstead

New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl punter

Follow on Twitter: @thomasmorstead

1. Classic Empire

2. Girvin

3. Irap


Gene Kershner

Turf writer, The Buffalo News

Follow on Twitter: @EquiSpace

1. Irish War Cry

2. Classic Empire

3. Irap


Liam Chapman

Producer, ESPN Radio

1. Classic Empire

2. McCraken

3. Irish War Cry


Melissa Hoppert

Sportswriter, New York Times

Follow on Twitter: @MHoppertNYT

1. Classic Empire

2. McCraken

3. Irish War Cry


Jim Cantore

Meteorologist, storm tracker for The Weather Channel

Follow on Twitter: @JimCantore

1. Thunder Snow

2. Always Dreaming

3. Hence


Tim Sullivan

Sportswriter, Louisville Courier-Journal

Follow on Twitter: @TimSullivan714

1. Classic Empire

2. Irish War Cry

3. McCraken


Ramiro Restrepo

Thoroughbred Acquisition Group

Follow on Twitter: @RamiroRestrepo

1. Irish War Cry

2. Gunnevera

3. Hence


Bobby Flay

Celebrity chef and Thoroughbred owner

Follow on Twitter: @bflay

1. Irish War Cry

2. Gunnevera

3. Practical Joke


Pia Catton

Editor at Dance.com

Follow on Twitter: @PiaCatton

1. Irish War Cry

2. Gunnervera

3. Tapwrit


Jon Miller

President of programming, NBC Sports

1. McCraken

2. Always Dreaming

3. Classic Empire


Jude Feld

Horse Racing Radio Network analyst

Follow on Twitter: @racehorsereport

1. McCraken

2. Irish War Cry

3. Thunder Snow


Alan Cavanna

FoxSports NASCAR Reporter

Follow on Twitter: @CopaCavanna

1. Always Dreaming

2. McCraken

3. Irap


Simon Bray

TVG analyst

Follow on Twitter: @SimonTVG

1. Irish War Cry

2. Classic Empire

3. Sonneteer


Jim Chairusmi

Sportswriter, Wall Street Journal

Follow on Twitter: @jimchair

1. Irish War Cry

2. McCraken

3. Hence


Stephanie Abrams

Meteorologist, The Weather Channel

Follow on Twitter: @StephanieAbrams

1. Thunder Snow

2.  State of Honor

3.  Always Dreaming


Neil Everett

ESPN SportsCenter host

1. Irap

2. McCraken

3. Thunder Snow


Chris “Bear” Fallica

ESPN College GameDay

Follow on Twitter: @chrisfallica

1. Irish War Cry

2. Hence

3. Battle of Midway


Michael Mulvihill

Senior vice president of programming/research, Fox Sports

Follow on Twitter: @mulvihill79

1. Hence

2. Irish War Cry

3. Always Dreaming


Monti Carlo

Host of “Help My Yelp” on Food Network

Follow on Twitter: @TheMontiCarlo

1. Thunder Snow

2. Irish War Cry

3. McCraken


Jim Wilson

Oscar Award-winning producer of “Dances with Wolves”

1. McCraken

2. Classic Empire

3. Thunder Snow


Danny Meyer

Restauranteur (Shake Shack, Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, etc.)

Follow on Twitter: @dhmeyer

1. Girvin

2. Irish War Cry

3. McCraken


Sol Kumin

Thoroughbred owner

1. McCraken

2. Hence

3. Irish War Cry


Peter Lurie

Horse Racing analyst, TVG

Follow on Twitter: @Peterlurievo

1. Classic Empire

2. Always Dreaming

3. Sonneteer


Esther de Jong

International model

1. Irish War Cry

2. Thunder Snow

3. Practical Joke


Bob Nastanovich

Musician, member of indie rock band Pavement

Follow on Twitter: @BNastanovich

1. McCraken

2. Hence

3. Irish War Cry

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