Jet Again will be the favourite among those with Manitoba connections in this year's Derby and for good reason.
The homebred gelding by top local sire Going Commando moved up multiple class levels while also stretching out for the first time this year in his final Derby prep, the Harry Jeffrey Stakes, and gave blue-blooded favourite Edison all he could handle before finishing a strong second.
Conditioned by one of the sharpest trainers on the grounds in Jim Meyaard, Jet Again's performance in the Harry Jeffrey was beyond impressive. Meyaard is quick to point out that his wife and assistant trainer Amber is equally responsible for their success, and based on the couple's exceptional ability to keep horses at their peak for long periods of time Jet Again is expected to improve again.
Jockey Chris Husbands has also been a major factor in the Meyaard victory equation this year, winning multiple stakes for the couple. He will again be aboard his favourite mount for the Manitoba Derby.
Meyaard saddled It's All Here to finish fourth in the 2013 Manitoba Derby, and he certainly knows how to win big races, having won the Canadian Derby in 2010 with No Hesitation.
Owner-breeders Barry Arnason, Cam Ziprick and Charles Fouillard have never won the Manitoba Derby, although Arnason came close in 2002 when longshot Silver Greek came flying home to finish second.
All three ownership partners have invested heavily in the Manitoba racing and breeding industry over the years, so Jet Again definitely has karma on his side as he attempts to become the first Manitoba-bred to win the Manitoba Derby since Royal Frolic in 1993. He also has talent.