THE Kentucky Derby. Twenty horses. 10 furlongs. $3 million. And all the stories in between.

Three undefeated colts, including Eclipse Award winner Essential Quality. Four colts trained by Todd Pletcher, two by Steve Asmussen and two by Mark Casse. And just one by Bob Baffert, the man who gets the cream comes to the biggest race with a $35,000 purchase by the unheralded Protonico.