Kentucky Derby Odds: Assessing Every Horse's Chances of Winning

Alex KayCorrespondent IApril 29, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 27: Java's War, riden by Marvin Abrego and Frac Daddy, riden by Victor Lebron, work out together during the morning excercise session in preparation for the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 27, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

With the 2013 Kentucky Derby coming up on Saturday, May 4, now is the perfect time to start assessing the potential field and narrowing down your bets to a select few horses.

Of course, picking the exact winner is a tall task and if it were consistently predictable I’d be a much richer man. Nevertheless, there are a few contenders that have jumped out from the rest of the pack.

Let’s take a look at each horse and note the listed odds to the right of their name, while I’ve added some quick-hitting analysis and the percentage chance I believe they have to win the Run for the Roses below.

*Odds and field via Prior race information from


Verrazano, 9-2

This horse is the favorite and for good reason. Verrazano hasn’t lost since his maiden on January 1, and has an impressive win at the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial under his belt.

While he may be undefeated, his lack of experience could be the downfall for this contender. Regardless, he’s a good bet to at least show and should certainly finish near the front of the pack.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 15 percent


Orb, 5-1

The Florida Derby winner is a good bet to finish in first during the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” He’s been trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey and ridden by Joel Rosario, two fixtures in the sport looking to claim their first Derby crown.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 10 percent


Revolutionary, 7-1

Revolutionary has been solid since a rough start to his racing career and recently edged out Mylute for the Louisiana Derby. However, the narrow victory over an inferior horse is somewhat concerning for such a heavy favorite.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 7 percent


Goldencents, 8-1

Goldencents is my pick to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

He’s going to be generating a ton of buzz prior to the race for his connections to both Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino (co-owner) and trainer Doug O’Neill (won 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with I’ll Have Another.), but he is a safe play regardless of how much these odds shrink prior to post time.

This thoroughbred is peaking at the right time and comes into Churchill Downs following a win at the Santa Anita Derby in early April.

Goldencents has the speed and endurance to go wire-to-wire at the front of the pack and claim the first leg of the Triple Crown, so don’t be afraid to bet him big.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 20 percent


Normandy Invasion, 9-1

This horse has just one victory under his belt and is more notable for his second-place finishes. If you’re going to bet him, do so to place instead of win.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 5 percent


Itsmyluckyday, 14-1

Itsmyluckyday finished just behind Orb at the Florida Derby and is one of the fastest horses out of the gate in this field. He just hasn’t shown the stamina and is likely to fall off near the end of the 10-furlong race.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 6 percent


Vyjack, 14-1

Vyjack started hot, winning his first four races at Aqueduct, before being dethroned at the Wood Memorial and merely showing. He’s primarily a speed horse, but we don’t see him hanging out near the front for long in Kentucky.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 5 percent


Overanalyze, 18-1

This horse finished behind Vyjack at the Gotham, a race Overanalyze went into as a favorite. It’s worth noting that he’s being trained by Todd Pletcher (who has a number of contenders in this event) and likes to sit off the pace, a style that has been successful during the Run for the Roses in past years.

However, if he stays too far off the lead against such strong finishers, Overanalyze likely will not have a chance to make it up to the front of the pack. The post-position draw will likely have a huge impact on this horse’s odds closer to the race.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 4 percent


Palace Malice, 20-1

Palace Malice is a stalker that would love to come from behind and snatch away victory, but has been stricken with bad luck and injury. If jockey Mike Smith can earn a decent draw and avoid getting stuck behind the other contenders, he has an outside chance of claiming victory.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 3 percent


Will Take Charge, 20-1 

This horse has won two of his three starts in 2013, but looked bad at the Oaklawn Southwest Stakes in February. Depending on which Will Take Charge shows up, he'll be in contention or near the back down the stretch. Lean toward the latter. 

Predicted Chance of Winning: 3 percent

Oxbow, 25-1

Oxbow hasn’t had the most decorated prep schedule but fared well enough to cash some tickets and finish near the front in most of his races. He doesn’t have any distinguishing characteristics besides his abundant energy—which hasn’t always worked in his favor.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 5 percent


Governor Charlie, 30-1

Governor Charlie didn’t start racing until this January, but has put together some dominating performances since placing in his debut. He crushed the 1-1/8 mile stretch of the Sunland Derby in just 1:47.54, a time that should have long-shot enthusiasts excited about his Derby prospects.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 3 percent


Lines of Battle, 35-1

This thoroughbred earned his way into the Kentucky Derby by winning the famous UAE Derby in Dubai, proving any sort of travel schedule will not rattle him. However, he’s untested on dirt and wasn’t impressive in many of his stateside races, so be cautious.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 2 percent 


Black Onyx, 40-1

Onyx doesn’t look to be a terrible bet at 40-1, as he’s 3-1-0 in five starts and won the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes back in March. Kelly Breen, his trainer, has Triple Crown experience with Ruler on Ice, who notably captured the 2011 Belmont Stakes.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 2 percent 


Mylute, 45-1

Mylute has been all over the country testing his skills prior to being selected for the Kentucky Derby field. Female jockey Rosie Napravnik will be making her second appearance in this event, having finished a respectable ninth in 2011 with Pants on Fire.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 2 percent


Frac Daddy, 45-1

Frac Daddy is my pick for a long-shot bet worth serious consideration on race day.

He started out his career looking like a surefire champion after a dominating sprint through Churchill Downs last November. Since then he’s dealt with injuries and other ailments, putting the Kenny McPeek-trained thoroughbred under the radar.

His resurgence came when he placed just behind Overanalyze at the Arkansas Derby and he should be primed for another good showing on May 4.

While he may not win it outright, Frac Daddy should be able to hit the board with his blazing speed and reputable endurance.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 7 percent


Falling Sky, 50-1

Falling Sky is likely going to be the pace setter in this race, jumping out to an early lead but quickly falling back. He just doesn’t have what it takes to go wire-to-wire.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 0.8 percent


Charming Kitten, 60-1

Charming Kitten is too slow for this race and isn’t going to make any noise whatsoever during the Run for the Roses. Expect this horse to be slow out of the gate and one of the last to cross the finish lines.

Predicted Chance of Winning: 0.1 percent 

2013 Kentucky Derby | Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky. | Purse: $2.18 Million | Grade I | Distance: 10 furlongs | Post Time: 7-7:30 p.m. ET