The 139th Run of the Roses will take place this weekend when 20 horses try to etch their name into Kentucky Derby history by triumphing at the Churchill Downs course.
Yet having said that, not all 20 horses have a shot at winning this year.
As with every year, it'll be the favorites who dominate the pre-race thinking and a horse near the favorites that ends up claiming horse racing's most prestigious prize.
Having said that, this could well be the year for the favorites. The 139th Run of the Roses may be the year where the highly favored horses—the ones who are expected to win the race—actually come through and launch a real challenge at the title.
Is this the year for the favorites, or will they disappoint once more?
Read on to see which horses are bound to shine at the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
2013 Kentucky Derby: Details for Every Horse in Field
*** 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|
|6||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|
|14||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 ||5-2|
|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 Sure to Shine This Year
16. Orb (currently 5-2)
Orb is currently the 5-2 favorite for the big race and may well go off even shorter than that given his rich form and ability to succeed at Churchill Downs here.
Having run a number of shorter races in 2013, there was some talk about whether Orb would be able to adjust to the longer distance. And whilst it will definitely come into play here, there's little doubting that Orb has the talent and pedigree available to succeed over the 1.25-mile course.
Orb's great pedigree combines speed and stamina, and if he gets to the front this year, he'll be incredibly tough to keep out. His post position of No. 16 gives Joel Rosario options as to how he'd like to ride the favorite in the big race, and Orb's strength at either leading or coming from back in the pack will give him confidence in whatever decision he makes.
The Claude "Shug" McGaughey III-trained horse is more than capable of hitting the front down the straight this year. And if that happens, he'll be very tough to run down.
3. Revolutionary (currently 7/2)
Orb might be the favorite come start time, but given the support that he's attracted over the past week or so, don't be surprised to see Revolutionary challenge him for that top spot.
If the track is at all off come Saturday and the pace is slow, look for Revolutionary to launch a real challenge. For as he showed in the Withers Stakes, this colt is more than capable of working his way through whatever traffic or problems arise in front of him—and he's then capable of beating them all to the finish line due to his excellent sprinting prowess.
In that race, Revolutionary was knocked at the start and dropped to the back of the field. With some skilled riding, he was able to maneuver his way through the field and gun down the winner in the final furlong—something that will surely bode well for him given the longer straight at Churchill Downs.
Calvin "Bo-rail" Borel will thrive with an inside post position, and he'll definitely have this horse in a good position when they swing around the final bend for the finishing post. From there, Revolutionary will have every chance to emerge victorious—which could be enough to give him the win here.
2. Oxbow (currently 30/1)
Everything about Oxbow—his recent form, his results, his post position—might point toward him having a poor showing at the 139th Run of the Roses. However, with three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Gary Stevens on board, Oxbow could well surprise a few people on the day of the Kentucky Derby as a strong challenger in the race.
Oxbow hasn't had a strong year at all, and whilst there comes a point to accept that, the reality is that the results he's had haven't been indicative of his form in 2013.
He's had some bad draws, he's experienced some terrible riding decisions and he hasn't had the best of luck during his races. If all of those change here, then Oxbow may well pull out his best performance so far—and that may well be enough to win the Derby this year.
Stevens is a smart jockey who is more than capable of navigating his way through a tough field. If the track is wet at all—which it may well be—Oxbow's stamina and endurance will definitely come into play here, and he'll be a definite danger to watch coming from the back.
He might be 30-1 now, but don't expect that quote to last long if there's rain. Oxbow would have to be considered a genuine challenger if that's the case.
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