It's certainly no secret that betting favorites have struggled to get over the hump at the Kentucky Derby in recent years, including Bodemeister, who was upended by underdog I'll Have Another in last year's Run for the Roses.
It's been five years since a betting favorite won it all at Churchill Downs—Big Brown in 2008. The last four winners have overcome the odds, highlighted by Mine That Bird's memorable run in 2009, winning despite 50-1 odds.
This May, the pressure falls on Orb, the 7-2 betting favorite. The Grade I Florida Derby winner will start from a favorable post, however. Post No. 16 has produced four Derby winners since 1995, including 2011 champion Animal Kingdom.
But in Orb's way are a handful of well-trained underdogs with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Here we'll get you set for the most exciting two minutes in sports, breaking down the biggest underdog threats along the way.
2013 Kentucky Derby | Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky. | Purse: $2.18 Million | Grade I | Distance: 10 furlongs | Post Time: 7-7:30 p.m. ET
|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|
Well-known trainer Todd Pletcher has five horses in this year's Kentucky Derby, including one of the favorites, Verrazano. But big things are no doubt expected of Verrazano this Saturday.
If you're looking for a horse flying slightly under the radar that's capable of wreaking havoc around the 1 1/4-mile dirt track at Churchill Downs this weekend, look no further than Overanalyze. The impressive colt is coming off a win at the Grade I Arkansas Derby last month and boasts four first-place finishes in seven career starts.
Overanalyze certainly has the speed and the stamina in his arsenal to outlast the field. He will start from post No. 9 on Saturday, right alongside one of the other favorites, Goldencents.
Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., Itsmyluckyday pushed this year's favorite, Orb at the Grade I Florida Derby last March. Before that, he won the Gulfstream Park Derby and the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Starting from post No. 12 with 15-1 odds to win on Saturday, Plesa's colt looks like a real threat to the favorites. He should at least stir things up in the early goings.
Itmyluckyday will look to become the first horse since Canonero II in 1971 to win the Run for the Roses from post No. 12. Even if he doesn't, he definitely has the talent to finish in the money and cause some post-race havoc.
Palace Malice, 20-1
Another Todd Pletcher-trained horse, Palace Malice will start from a very favorable post this weekend, smack dab in the middle in post No. 10.
Oddly enough, Palace Malice will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2005 atop Giacomo, who was the last horse to win from post No. 10.
For those that do not know my jockey Mike Smith won the @kentuckyderby with Giacomo from the same post as mine #10.— Palace Malice (@PalaceMalice) May 1, 2013
After struggling at the Grade II Louisiana Derby in March, posting a seventh-place finish, Pletcher's underrated thoroughbred bounced back in a big way last month at the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, finishing as runner-up right behind Java's War.
Although the finish left plenty to be desired, his potential was clearly on display.
With only one victory in six career starts, there aren't many people riding the Palace Malice bandwagon this spring. But that can only make the Pletcher-trained colt more of a threat running out of the middle on Saturday.
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