Kentucky Derby 2013: Early Non-Favorites to Keep Your Eye On

Tim KeeneyContributor IApril 25, 2013

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Odds are constantly changing. 

The Kentucky Derby is just over a week away, but over that time, interest in the famous race will exponentially increase. As the more casual fans get involved, favorites will become long shots, popular underdogs will gain steam and the numbers will follow.

As such, the best time to make picks is now. Sooner or later, the public will learn about the following value picks, and they won't be value picks anymore. 


Normandy Invasion

The three-year-old colt may get overlooked because he has just one win in five races, but his most recent trek at the Grade-1 Wood Memorial was his most impressive:

Of course, Verrazano—the winner of that race—is getting most of the love heading into the Kentucky Derby, but pay close attention to the end of that race.

Normandy Invasion made a hard push on the final straightaway, and if that 1 1/8-mile track was any longer, he would have left victorious.

Well, the Kentucky Derby, which is 1 1/4 miles, will give this strong finisher the extra time he needs.

Chad C. Brown's pride and joy has improved as the tracks have gotten longer, making him a terrific value pick at Churchill Downs. 


Palace Malice

A horse's pedigree is undoubtedly crucial, and if you need any convincing of that fact, this should probably do it

Well, Palace Malice's father is Curlin.

For those who may have forgotten, Curlin finished in the top three of each of the Triple Crown races back in 2007. He finished third in the Kentucky Derby, second in the Belmont Stakes and won the Preakness. 

Todd A. Pletcher's horse is coming off a second-place finish at the Grade-1 Blue Grass, and despite less than desirable early odds, he has the blood that makes him as trustworthy as it gets for a long-shot pick. 



Vyjack was passed over during Normandy Invasion's, um, invasion on the final stretch of the Wood Memorial, but a third-place finish is nothing to be ashamed of. 

The three-year-old gelding has still won all four of his other races and has reportedly looked good in practice.  

Although there is a worry that Vyjack can't handle long distances, he is an impressive horse and will only continue to gain momentum in the next week.