If you look closely at this Saturday's 150th running of the 'greatest two minutes in sports,' you may just catch a blur of a Colorado flag running down the track.

The Kentucky Derby will be run Saturday afternoon, May 4 at Churchill Downs in Kentucky, and one sentimental favorite horse has ties to our state in more ways than one.

West Saratoga is a long shot to win the race - but was a longer shot to even get there in the first place. He didn't come with a hefty price tag or lofty expectations as a yearling when he was sold, but owner Harry Veruchi and his longtime trainer Larry Demeritte saw something maybe nobody else did when they paid just $11,000 for him in 2022.

His dad was Exaggerator, who won the Preakness Stakes in 2016 and finished 2nd at the Derby the same year. He was named "West Saratoga" after the street Veruchi grew up on in Littleton, when he took an interest in horses and would visit Centennial Race Track as a kid. The track was demolished in 1983.

For West Saratoga, after a handful of wins at tracks across the United States - including the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs last year - he is now set to run in this weekend's Kentucky Derby, marking a first for both owner and trainer. Neither have ever been associated with a horse that qualified for the race.

It's a lifelong dream for Veruchi, but even sweeter for his trainer. Originally from the Bahamas, Larry Demeritte has been battling cancer since 1996 and has been told multiple times since his days were numbered. But he's battled and beaten the odds time and again, and this Saturday becomes the first black trainer to compete in the Kentucky Derby since 1989, and only the second since 1951.

West Saratoga's jockey will be wearing its owners silks, which are yellow with blue and red stripes, and feature a Colorado flag across the back. Veruchi's jockeys have worn the same uniform all 40+ years of his stable's history.

West Saratoga has drawn lucky #13 for the race, and is a morning line long shot at 50-1 odds. The race will be run at 4:57 PM Mountain time.

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