In the final days before the Kentucky Derby, a few horses have separated themselves from the pack as contenders. However, there are a few outside of this group that still have a chance to win.
Based on recent odds (courtesy of AllHorseRacing.ag), Verrazano, Orb and Revolutionary have become the overwhelming favorites to win the prestigious race. Goldencents and Normandy Invasion are also top contenders.
However, the "Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" rarely goes as planned. Very often, there are sleepers who are able to seemingly come out of nowhere to reach the winner's circle.
This year could be more of the same, as these lesser-known horses will challenge for the win on Saturday.
Note: All photos courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com unless otherwise noted.
While Itsmyluckyday might not have the longest odds, it is certainly well behind the favorites and worth a bet.
This horse is one of the fastest starters in the group and is likely to hold a lead at some point during the race. Of course, that does not mean it is incapable of finishing in front.
Although it lost the lead to Orb at the Florida Derby to place second, it held on strong to get wins in the two previous races in 2013. Overall, Itsmyluckyday has won five times in 10 events, and this experience will help against this loaded field.
The key will be to not get worn out before the home stretch.
Even in losses, Mylute has looked solid against top competition. In his recent defeat to Revolutionary at the Louisiana Derby, it was neck and neck until the end when he finished second.
The fact that Revolutionary is now climbing the ranks as one of the favorites is a good sign for the horse that almost beat him.
However, the big story with Mylute is jockey Rosie Napravnik. The female rider finished ninth at Churchill Downs in 2011 with Pants on Fire and is looking to break her own record for the best finish ever by a woman.
Mylute has finished in third or better in seven of nine career races and has the ability to make a run in this one.
Black Onyx (40-1)
Many simply do not trust the lack of competition that Black Onyx has faced to this point, but the success is there.
The horse has won three times in five career races, most recently in the Grade III Spiral Stakes. He has done better in longer races, and his closing ability will help him do well in the 1-1/4 mile race in the Kentucky Derby.
Additionally, trainer Kelly Breen knows something about longshots. He helped Ruler on Ice win the Belmont Stakes in 2011 after he did not compete in either of the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
With a good post, Black Onyx has a chance to surprise people and compete for the win.