Kentucky Derby 2013 Horses: Sleepers to Ignore in Crowded Field

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2013

Everyone thinks he knows the perfect horse to bet on in the Kentucky Derby to make a lot of money. Many of these people know very little.

It seems like the favorite heading into the Run for the Roses is rarely the one that enters the winner's circle. More than that, bettors would rather pick more of a long shot that provides a better payout.

This should rule out some top contenders like Verrazano, Goldencents and Orb. 

However, that does not mean you should automatically go with the popular sleepers. These horses are climbing up the rankings, but they should be avoided at all costs. 

Note: Odds courtesy of Daily Racing Form.


Itsmyluckyday (15-1)

After finishing second at the Florida Derby, Itsmyluckyday has a lot of momentum heading into Churchill Downs. This is especially true after winning its two previous races in 2013.

Unfortunately, the recent loss is not a good sign for this potential contender. The horse had a good start, but it was overtaken late by Orb. It would not be surprising if this happens again this time around.

Itsmyluckyday is great in short distances and is likely to get a lead at some point during the Kentucky Derby. The problem is that it has struggled in longer races and is likely to fall behind toward the end.

This is not a great way to win the large field.


Vyjack (15-1)

After winning its first four career races, Vyjack certainly caused experts to take notice. It finished in third in the Wood Memorial behind Verrazano and Normandy Invasion, but that will not derail its hopes of winning the big race on Saturday.

The problem is that when Vyjack has won, it got off to a good start and was usually among the front of the pack. It would then have the ability to close strong and finish in first.

This will be extremely tough to do at the Kentucky Derby after finishing with the dreaded No. 20 post. It will have to come all the way from the outside to catch the rest of the field, and the horse might not have enough pure speed to get there.

With Garrett Gomez riding the horse for the first time, there will simply be too much to overcome.


Oxbow (30-1)

Few horses in this field have as much experience in big-time races as Oxbow. The horse has made nine career starts, including two Grade 1 and two Grade 2 events.

The problem is that it has not seen much success over this time.

Oxbow only has two career wins and finished in the money four times. Its best performance was a second-place finish at Rebel, although he was clearly not as good as Will Take Charge. At the Arkansas Derby, the challenger was never close to the leaders.

Both trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens have had plenty of career success at Churchill Downs. Unfortunately, this will not be one of the highlights of their careers.