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FALLING SKY'S SPEED STANDS OUT IN FIELD

Times wires

- Falling Sky has been plenty frisky in his gallops at Churchill Downs, a sign the speedy colt could be a major factor in setting the early pace in the Kentucky Derby. Whether he has the stamina to last 1-1/4 miles is a question to be answered Saturday.

"He was really into it," trainer John Terranova said after Falling Sky's Tuesday gallop. "He's always into it."

Falling Sky is 3 for 6, with his wins coming as a front-runner. He was the leader in the Arkansas Derby turning for home before finishing fourth.

In a Derby with few confirmed speed horses, Falling Sky should be easy to spot early. Look toward the front of the 20-horse field.

"I'd just like to see him comfortable wherever he's going to be, whether it's on the lead or close," Terranova said. "Knowing him, he's going to be forwardly placed. There's no getting around that fact."

Jockey Luis Saez has the job of coaxing that speed as far as possible.

FULL FIELD: The one empty spot in the Derby created a scramble, with Giant Finish unexpectedly landing in the race.

After several horses were withdrawn a day earlier, the field shrank to 19, one under the limit. Fear the Kitten joined the lineup, bringing the Derby to a full complement.

Tuesday, the owner of Giant Finish decided he wanted in, and his horse had enough points to surpass Fear the Kitten under the new system this year that determines Derby eligibility.

Giant Finish earned 10 points for a third-place finish in the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, trumping the six held by Fear the Kitten.

Fear the Kitten is now back on the bubble, unable to run unless another horse withdraws before the close of entries today.

"I am so surprised by all of this," said Tony Dutrow, Giant Finish's trainer who had planned to run the horse in a May allowance race at Belmont Park.

RAIN IN THE PICTURE: The warm, sunny weather in the Louisville area is not expected to last. The Derby Day outlook calls for a 40 percent chance of rain with temperatures topping out in the mid 60s.

DERBY TV: NBC Sports Network will present 14-1/2 hours of Derby coverage, starting today with a look back at Mine That Bird's 50-1 upset win in 2009. The retrospective will be followed by live coverage of the Derby draw at 5 p.m.

FAST FACTS

139th Kentucky Derby

4 p.m. Saturday (post time 6:24), Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky. TV: Ch. 8

Today: Derby draw, 5-6 p.m., NBCSN

Thursday: Derby access, 5-6 p.m., NBCSN

Friday: Kentucky Oaks, 5-6 p.m., NBCSN

Saturday: Derby prep, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., NBCSN

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