The most prestigious event on the horse racing calendar is set to place this weekend when the Kentucky Derby rolls around—the 139th running of the thrilling race.
The "greatest two minutes in sports" will no doubt provide plenty of stellar viewing and great racing action. But those who have a wager on the day will be hoping to make correct picks and cash in with a winning selection.
Will this be the year where a favorite dominates the event, or is there value to be found in one of the other horses this year? Read on to see which horses will be in the winners' circle come Saturday and which ones you should back as a result.
2013 Kentucky Derby: Full Odds Listing for Every Horse
*Post positions via the Kentucky Derby's official Twitter account.
|1||Black Onyx ||Joe Bravo ||Kelly Breen ||50-1|
|2||Oxbow ||Gary Stevens ||D. Wayne Lukas ||30-1|
|3||Revolutionary||Calvin Borel||Todd Pletcher ||10-1|
|4||Golden Soul||Robby Albarado||Dallas Stewart||50-1|
|5||Normandy Invasion ||Javier Castellano ||Chad Brown ||12-1|
Mylute ||Rosie Napravnik ||Tom Amoss ||15-1|
|7||Giant Finish||Jose L. Espinoza||Anthony W. Dutrow||50-1|
|8||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||5-1|
|9||Overanalyze||Rafael Bejarano||Todd Pletcher||15-1|
|10||Palace Malice||Mike Smith||Todd Pletcher||20-1|
|11||Lines of Battle||Ryan Moore||Aidan O'Brien||30-1|
|12||Itsmyluckyday||Elvis Trujillo||Eddie Plesa Jr.||15-1|
|13||Falling Sky||Luis Saez||John Terranova II||50-1|
Verrazano ||John R. Velazquez ||Todd Pletcher ||4-1|
|15||Charming Kitten ||Edgar Prado ||Todd Pletcher ||20-1|
|16||Orb||Joel Rosario ||Claude R. McGaughey III ||7-2|
|17||Will Take Charge||Jon Court ||D. Wayne Lukas ||20-1|
|18||Frac Daddy||Victor Lebron||Kenny McPeek ||50-1|
|19||Java's War||Julien Leparoux||Kenny McPeek||15-1|
|20||Vyjack||Garrett Gomez ||Rudy Rodriguez ||15-1|
2013 Kentucky Derby: Horses Who Will Pay Big
Best Bet—Orb (currently 7/2)
Orb comes into the Derby this year as the horse to beat—and rightly so. He has been extremely strong throughout the year and looks set to continue that here.
There might be some question marks as to how he'll fare over the longer distance after dominating some shorter events, but that shouldn't be an issue. His strong pedigree suggests he'll adapt perfectly to the longer straight at Churchill.
Claude "Shug" McGaughey III is one of the best trainers in the sport, and he knows precisely how to get his horses ready for big races. He'll make sure that Orb is ready to be unleashed with his great combination of speed and stamina. And if he hits the front at the top of the straight, it'll take a stellar performance from one of the horses behind him to gun him down.
7/2 isn't great value, but Orb will win. Which, at the end of the day, is better than any losing 20/1 shot that's going to do nothing but leave you with very light pockets.
A Little Longer—Normandy Invasion (currently 12/1)
Perhaps you want something a little longer than Orb's 7/2 odds. Maybe it's for an each-way bet, or perhaps you're just after something to throw in for a place.
Normandy Invasion is what you're going to want to pick.
Given there's a chance of rain on Saturday and the pace is already going to be pretty slow as it is, horses who can sweep home late will be genuine players in this one, and Normandy Invasion is one of the best finishing horses in the field.
Timing will be key for Normandy Invasion, but his run at the Wood Memorial showed that he has more than enough talent to finish home stronger than most horses in the field. And given how we've seen Derbys won like this in the past, it could well be a winning tactic here.
He's yet to run a good race outside of New York, which does hinder him a big here. But given his turn of foot and his ability to fly home down the outside, don't count out this colt from getting in the money on Derby day.
The Dark Horse—Oxbow (currently 30/1)
Given his poor post draw and the struggles that Oxbow has had previously in 2013, I wouldn't be surprised to see the 30/1 quote on him drift out even further come Derby day—which could make for a very appealing long shot if you're after one.
Oxbow hasn't had a great year, but it's hard to think that any of that has been his fault. He's had poor rides, bad draws, bad luck during the race—all of which, if they go according to plan, could make Oxbow a real player on Derby day this year.
He showed real talent in finishing second to stablemate Will Take Charge in the Rebel Stakes, and given that three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Gary Stevens will be on board, he's unlikely to experience any of the poor riding decisions that have cost him a chance at success in the past.
Stevens is a smart jockey who can navigate his way through the field. Oxbow has great stamina and could well surprise a few people come race day.
Don't throw out Oxbow with the other long shots in this race that have "no chance." He's a real player here, so don't leave him out of consideration at all.
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