Kentucky Derby 2013: Breaking Down Horses Who Can Topple the Favorites

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  Mario Gutierrez seen in purple silks atop I'll Have Another comes down the front stretch at start of the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Forget about the favorites when you choose to put some money down on the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

The quartet of Verrazano, Goldencents, Orb and Revolutionary are likely to be the betting favorites heading into the Run for the Roses. There's a reason those horses are the getting the most hype. They've looked great in the buildup to the race.

It only takes one good race, though, to win the Kentucky Derby.

The field for the race is very deep. You're extremely likely to see a different horse in the field overtake the favorites and come out with the win. Here are the horses with the best chance to do that.



Gary Stevens is a legend. He's a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. He's also a two-time winner of the Preakness Stakes. Jockeys don't come much better than Stevens. 

Stevens came out of retirement to jockey Oxbow at The Run for the Roses (h/t Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal).

Oxbow is coming into the Kentucky Derby on a pretty good run. He won the Lecomte Stakes by 11 and a half lengths in January. Then in March, he lost a close race to Will Take Charge at the Rebel Stakes.

When you combine that nice momentum with a jockey like Stevens and a trainer like D. Wayne Lukas, you've got a horse you shouldn't be discounting.


Normandy Invasion

Although Verrazano won the Wood Memorial, Normandy Invasion stole the show. The race itself was billed as a duel between Verrazano and Vyjack. Normandy Invasion decided to crash the party, overtaking Vyjack near the finish and giving Verrazano a major push.

He's done well in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, sitting in 14th place with 44 points. It was that strong finish at the Wood Memorial that made people stand up and take notice.

For what it's worth, Normandy Invasion has been looking very good in his practice runs (h/t The Washington Post).

Having an experienced jockey like Javier Castellano is also a huge plus. He's never won at the Derby, but he's got a win at the 2006 Preakness Stakes on his resume.



Mylute managed a runner-up finish in the Louisiana Derby. He ran a strong race but didn't have enough to overtake Revolutionary.

Although the loss stung, Tom Amoss could take solace in how much Mylute had improved. Mylute didn't have a good run in the Risen Star Stakes. Finishing second in Louisiana gives the horse the kind of momentum that can be a boost for him going into the Kentucky Derby.

Some might doubt jockey Rosie Napravnik. Being a female jockey, she's often unfairly judged and criticized. However, Napravnik is a talented jockey. This isn't a case of her being promoted simply by being a pretty face. She's not going to hold this horse back in the Derby.