2013 Kentucky Derby: Pattern of Favorites Losing Makes Long-Shots More Desirable

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IMay 2, 2013

I'll Have Another beat out betting favorite Bodemeister in 2012.
I'll Have Another beat out betting favorite Bodemeister in 2012.Rob Carr/Getty Images

It's been five years since Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby as the betting favorite in 2008.

Since then, the past four Kentucky Derby champions have overcome long odds to win the biggest horse racing event of the year at Churchill Downs, making long shots more alluring nowadays.

Most recently, it was I'll Have Another surviving 12-1 odds and the dreaded post No. 19 to win the Run for the Roses. A year before that, it was Animal Kingdom overcoming 30-1 opening odds to win the Triple Crown's first leg.

Prior to Super Saver's victory in 2010 (15-1 odds), it was Mine That Bird pulling off an unthinkable upset at the famed 1 1/4-mile dirt track, outlasting the field despite 50-1 pre-race odds to do so.

Since 2000, only four of the betting favorites have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby; Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), Smarty Jones (2004), Street Sense (2007) and Big Brown (2008).

In 2013, the two big favorites to win are Verrazano (6-1 odds) and Orb (5-1 odds). Verrazano has won all four of his career races, including impressive wins at the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes. Meanwhile, Orb has won four straight races dating back to last November. Orb's notable wins include the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Grade I Florida Derby.

But Mike from TheValleySavage.com has the right idea—don't be content to settle for a favorite. Be sure to find a long shot you like this weekend.

Overanalyze is certainly a solid long shot this May. He's coming off a win at the Grade I Arkansas Derby last month and won the Grade II Remsen Stakes last November. 

Java's War is another dark-horse contender to watch out for. He won the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes a couple of weeks back and finished second behind Verrazano in the Tampa Bay Derby in March. Both Overanalyze and Java's War currently have 15-1 odds to win according to Mike Watchmaker via drf.com.

If you're looking for some big-time underdogs capable of stealing Saturday's race, look no further than Palace Malice (20-1 odds) and Mylute (30-1 odds). Palace Malice finished second to Java's War at the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last month, while Mylute finished right behind Revolutionary at the Grade II Louisiana Derby in his last outing back in March.

While the odds aren't exactly in Palace Malice or Mylute's favor to win, recent results at Churchill Downs suggest that picking a long shot may be the best way to go at this weekend's Kentucky Derby


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