The 2013 Louisiana Derby figures to be more competitive than any other Louisiana Derby in the history of the event. This time, the stakes have been raised.
The New Orleans race serves as one of the final opportunities to make a big move in the newly formulated "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points system. The new system offers a more understandable and clear path to the Kentucky Derby, and the winner in New Orleans will earn 100 points toward qualifying for the race in Churchill Downs.
Those kinds of stakes have drawn a full 14-horse field for the 2013 derby, which should lead to a wildly competitive race. Here are the latest betting favorites in the field according to Bovada.
Revolutionary comes in to the race as the odds-on favorite. It's a well-deserved distinction.
Jockey Javier Castellano showed plenty of confidence in his horse at the Withers G3 race, and Revolutionary responded by taking first place. Revolutionary faced a congested field in that race, needing a late burst to win, and he could face a similar task with this deep field.
Revolutionary desperately needs a good showing. He only has 10 points on the season, but he could shoot up the standings with 100 points from a win.
With 14 horses in the running, anything could happen, but Revolutionary seems like a safe bet. Anything less than second place would be a surprise.
Palace Malice—Odds: 5/1
Todd Pletcher has to like his odds in this race. The top two favorites in the race are both under his training.
Palace Malice is coming off of a third-place finish at the Risen Star G2, but the winner of that race, I've Struck a Nerve, is one of the top-scoring horses this season and won't be in the field. Code West finished second in that race and will be in the field.
It's tough to say if Palace Malice will be able to outrun Code West this time, but you can be sure that he will be right in the middle of things down the stretch run.
Code West—Odds: 9/2
Speaking of Code West, the Bob Baffert-trained horse sits at No. 17 in the overall points standings with 20 points and could really benefit from picking up the win in New Orleans.
He already outrun fellow favorite Palace Malice at the Risen Star G2, but he hasn't won a single race in its last five starts.
It's certainly a dark-horse pick, but Code West could be the sleeper in the field that finally gets to the winner's circle. That would be a huge coup after two second-place finishes in a row this year.