The 144th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. We are just a little over a week away from the big race.
As of right now there are 25 horses with odds available. We can be assured at least five of those listed won’t be on the track. That’s because the field is maxed out at 20.
For everything that you need to know about betting this race, check out my Kentucky Derby Betting Guide. I’ll also have my win/place/show picks posted shortly in my Kentucky Derby Predictions article.
Ever wonder how much money is bet on the Derby? You might be surprised by how much action this event brings in. Find out how much cash is wagered in my year-by-year betting totals article.
Look at the Vegas Odds to Win the 2018 Kentucky Derby
I’ve broken down the field based on the odds.
1st Tier – Betting Favorites
Justify – As you can see the early odds on favorite is Justify, who has won all 3 of his starts. The most recent being the G1-Santa Anita Derby, where he won by 3 lengths. This impressive horse likes to take charge of the race and get out front. He’s certainly looked impressive to this point, but history isn’t exactly on his side. Justify will try to be the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby after not racing as a two-year-old. He’ll also try to become the first horse since Big Brown in 2008 to win this event after just 3 starts.
Mendelssohn – The other horse getting a ton of love from the books is Mendelssohn, who has won each of his last 3 starts. The most recent being the UEA Derby, where he blew the field away. Mendelssohn is well-known for being the highest-priced yearling of 2016, as he was purchased for $3 million. He’ll look to be the first horse to cash for trainer Aidan O’Brien, who hasn’t placed with any of his five previous horses that he’s taken to Churchill Downs.
Audible – Audible is next up on the list and has the best odds in the field for trainer Todd Pletcher, who won last year’s race with Always Dreaming. Like last year’s winner, Always Dreaming, Audible comes in off a win at the Florida Derby. There are some concerns with how this horse can handle the length of this race. He’s also trying to become the first New York bred horse to win since Funny Cide in 2003.
Magnum Moon – Magnum Moon is your Derby points leader and another Pletcher horse that is considered to have a legit shot at winning this race. Magnum Moon has won each of his 4 starts since breaking his maiden in January . The last two being the G2-Rebel Stakes and G1-Arkansas Derby. Like Justify, Magnum Moon is trying to become the first horse since Apollo to win after not racing as a 2-year-old.
Bolt D’Oro – Bolt D’Oro is the last of our betting favorites to preview, which will be the debut horse for owner/trainer Mick Ruis at the Kentucky Derby. It’s been a pretty impressive start to this horse’s career, as he’s already racked up 4 wins, but did finish 3rd as the favorite at the Breeders Cup and maybe his biggest concern is that he lost to Justify by 3 lengths in his last start at the Santa Anita Derby. A big positive for Bolt D’Oro is that he will have one of the best derby jockey’s on his back in Victor Espinosa, who has 3 wins in 9 mounts, including back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015 on California Chrome and American Pharoah.
2nd Tier – Top Contenders
|My Boy Jack||25/1|
Good Magic – Here’s a horse that people might be sleeping on. There’s was a lot of hype surrounding Good Magic after his surprising win at the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile, where he defeated heavy favorite Bolt D’Oro. That hyped cooled off after a 3rd place finish at the Fountain of Youth. There was talk that Good Magic wasn’t in top form for that race. There may be some truth to that, as he went out in his next race and won the Blue Grass. The Eclipse award winner as a 2-year-old is one to keep an eye on.
Vino Rosso – Here’s another Pletcher trained horse that has a shot to win this race. He most recently won the G2-Wood Memorial by 3 lengths over Enticed, but had come in 3rd and 4th in his previous two starts. One of things that I like about Vino Rosso is he’s known as a closer and that style of running has worked well at this big event. Another positive for Vino Rosso is he’ll have a two-time Derby winner on his back in John Velazquez, who won in 2011 on Animal Kingdom and just last year on Always Dreaming.
Hofburg – If you are someone that is a fan of Audible’s chances at this event, you might want to consider having Hofburg on your betting card as well. Hofburg most recently finished 2nd to Audible at the G1-Florida Derby. Hofburg made a late charge and it’s not out of the question that the extra 1/4 quarter mile could be enough for him to get his revenge if it were to come down to those two on Saturday.
Noble Indy – Yet another Pletcher horse that could be in the field. However, this one doesn’t quite have the pedigree as the others we have mentioned. While he’s won three of his four starts, he hasn’t exactly been up against any of the big names. In fact, the one race he didn’t win was the G2-Risen Star, which was on by Bravazo, who is currently a 50 to 1 long-shot.
Solomini – Trainer Bob Baffert didn’t exactly give Solomini the kind of praise you want to hear. He basically said this horse has a lot of heart, but is what he called lazy. In his most recent race at the Arkansas Derby he finished a little over 4 lengths back of Magnum Moon. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of whether or not he shows up on race day.
My Boy Jack – Here is the most experienced horse in the field, as My Boy Jack has 10 starts on his resume. He won his most recent race at the G3-Stonestreet Lexington Stakes. You have to wonder if he’ll be able to put that experience to good use. If he ends up running at Churchill Downs it will be his third start in a seven week stretch. The biggest positive for My Boy Jack is that he’ll be guided around the track by 3-time derby winner Kent Desormeaux, though he hasn’t won this race since guiding Big Brown to victory in 2008.
Enticed – This could be a horse to keep an eye on. Enticed most recently finished 2nd at the Wood Memorial to Vino Rosso, but trainer Kiaran McLaughlin thought Enticed deserved the win after getting bumped down the stretch.
3rd Tier – Rest of the Field
|Free Drop Billy||33/1|
|Dream Baby Dream||66/1|