Kentucky Derby Odds
The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s time to do your last bit of final research and get your bets in for the race. While the field looks to be pretty wide open, only three horses are currently listed with odds better than 10 to 1. Here’s a quick breakdown of the three favorites, plus I’ve added a table at the bottom with a complete list of odds available.
The odds on favorite heading into Saturday is perfect 4-0 on the track and is coming off an impressive win at the Wood Memorial on April 6. The win at Memorial really solidified Verrazano as the favorite at the Derby. After three dominant performances against what many would consider to be weak fields, he showed he has what it takes to grind out a win.
I was impressed with Verrazno not getting caught up early with the quick start of Chrisandthecapper. He waited to make his move and when he got to the front he was able to hold off a couple of talented horses in Vyjack (came into the race undefeated) and Normandy Invasion. A lot of the credit for the well-run race goes to Jockey John Velazquez, who will be looking for his second career win at the Kentucky Derby. Many of you might remember, Velazquez road Animal Kingdom to a win back in 2011.
Not only does Verrazano have a proven jockey on his back, he’s been trained by one of the most respected and accomplished trainers in the world in Todd Pletcher.
There are a couple concerns I have with Verrazano. He didn’t participate in a single race until he this year. No horse has won without racing as a two-year-old since Apollo in 1882. The other worry I have is does he have enough to hold off a late charge at the 1 1/4 mile track at Churchill Downs. Woodland Hills is run on a 1 1/8 mile track and Normandy Invasion was closing the gap at a rapid pace.
Orb comes into the Derby fresh off four straight wins and there are plenty of experts out there that believe he should be the favorite over Verrazano. Since breaking his maiden in late November of last year at Aqueduct, Orb has really taken it to the next level.
The 3-year-olds most recent win came at the Florida Derby back on March 30. While this will be his first race in over a month, I wouldn’t let that scare you away from backing this horse.
There’s plenty to like about Orb at Churchill Downs. He’s not a horse that likes to run early, instead he prefers to come from several lengths off pace in the final furlongs. It’s a skill that has proven to be successful at the Derby. One of the big advantages of this style is that he won’t get caught up in the early battle to get to the front. It also allows him to run his race from any pole position, including the dreaded position one.
Like Verrazano, Orb comes in with plenty of help. He’s been trained by Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughery and will be ridden by one of the most respected jockeys in Joel Rosario.
When you have a horse that is being trained by Pletcher and will be ridden by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel, it should come as no surprise to see Revolutionary listed as one of the top favorites. Borel’s three wins as a jockey have all come in the last six years, including back-to-back wins in 2009 (Mine That Bird) and 2010 (Super Saver). His win with Super Saver, provided Pletcher with his first and only win at the Derby.
Like the two favorites listed above, Revolutionary comes into this race running in top form. He’s won three straight, including an impressive win at the G2-Louisiana Derby in his most recent start. I don’t think there’s any question that this horse is in prime form for the biggest race of his young career.
One of the big positives that a lot of people are going to like about Revolutionary is that his running style and pedigree suggest that he will have no problem with the 1 1/4 mile track. He was back 12 lengths at the Louisiana Derby before closing in serious fashion to win the race.
The big concern with a horse like Revolutionary that likes to sit back and wait to make his move, he must avoid getting into traffic problems. This is where having the experience of Borel should pay off, but it’s definitely something that could keep him from racing up to his full potential.
The Rest of Field
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