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Dan Blacker a silent contributor

Updated: May 7, 2011, 4:41 PM ET
By Claire Novak | Special to ESPN.com

LOUISVILLE, KY -- Let me tell you something about a Kentucky Derby contender.

Every horse, every single runner that enters the starting gate today, carries a thousand hopes and dreams upon his back.

Sure, you hear about his trainer and you read about his jockey. The owner's story is told, and maybe they'll write about the guy that bred the horse or picked him out at auction.

But you don't know about the groom and the hot walker, or whoever jumps in the saddle to exercise ...

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