Kentucky Derby Horses That Will Surprise at Churchill Downs

Michael DulkaContributor IApril 30, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 30:  Black Onyx trained by Kelly Breen runs on the track during morning training in preperation for the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Kentucky Derby has been filled with surprises over the past couple years as I'll Have Another and Animal Kingdom have stolen the show in recent races. The last time the favorite won the event was in 2008 as Big Brown took the honors. 

This year, in a crowded pack, there should be plenty of surprises. While the favorites will expect to win, there are some other strong contenders as well.

Here is a look at which horses will surprise during horse racing's premier event.  


Mylute enters the race with some of the worst odds to win, which is surprising on its own. With jockey Rosie Napravnik riding the horse, there is certainly a chance for Mylute to pull out a victory. Napravnik is coming off a scorching run while she looks to be the first female jockey to win the Derby.

Mylute's pedigree is more suited to that of a sprinter, but the horse has done well to change that perception in the lead-up races. Both his sire Midnight Lute and dam Stage Stop passed on those sprinting traits. Mylute will need to prove he's worth than a sprinter to cross the finish line first. 

Will Take Charge


In this crowded field, the race could come down to which horses remain patience and find lanes to then take advantage. In addition, Will Take Charge has shown the power to start quickly should that opportunity present itself. Jockey Jon Court has had success before, winning the Arkansas Derby, but struggled in the 2011 Kentucky Derby with Archarcharch.

Court and Will Take Charge have the combination to have success, but they could also falter. With low expectations, they have every opportunity to surprise during the race. With sire, Unbridled's Song, and dam Take Charge Lady, Will Take Charge has the pedigree to be successful in this race. 

Palace Malice

Palace Malice is among the bottom in terms of odds coming into the Derby, but has a good chance to surprise at the Derby. Palace Malice has great pedigree with sire Curlin and dam Palace Rumor and is made to endure the length of the track of Churchill Downs. 

Jockey Mike Smith is quiet decorated including riding Giacomo to victory at the Kentucky Derby in 2005. With trainer Todd Pletcher in the mix as well, Palace Malice has what it takes to compete in a race like this one.  There is a risk here, but the reward is pleasant.