Kentucky Derby 2013 Odds: Breaking Down Derby Favorites and Dark Horses

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 01:  Goldencents trains on the track in preparation for the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With the qualifying races in the past and the post positions drawn, the only thing left to do is to go racing at Churchill Downs. Saturday's Kentucky Derby field is set as are the betting odds. While they will obviously fluctuate on race day, it is clear which horses are considered to be top contenders and which aren't.

That means little once the race begins as literally anything can happen, but it gives bettors a good idea of which horses have momentum heading into Saturday. There is a lot to like when it comes to the top-rated horses in this race, but there are a few middle-of-the-pack horses that could potentially surprise and steal a victory as well.

Along with a full listing of odds and post positions, here is a complete breakdown of favorites and dark horses to watch for during the Run for the Roses.



Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Black Onyx
Joe Bravo
Kelly Breen
2  Oxbow
Gary Stevens
D. Wayne Lukas
3 Revolutionary  Calvin Borel  Todd Pletcher
4 Golden Soul Robby Albarado  Dallas Stewart  50-1
5 Normandy Invasion
Javier Castellano
Chad Brown
6 Mylute
Rosie Napravnik
Tom Amoss
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
15 Charming Kitten
Edgar Prado
Todd Pletcher
16 Orb Joel Rosario
Claude R. McGaughey III
17 Will Take Charge Jon Court
D. Wayne Lukas
18 Frac Daddy Victor Lebron  Kenny McPeek
19 Java's War  Julien Leparoux  Kenny McPeek  15-1
20 Vyjack Garrett Gomez
Rudy Rodriguez



*Post positions via 


Favorites to Watch


Verrazano (4-1)

Verrazano hasn't been beaten in four races heading into the Kentucky Derby and there is certainly a good chance that he'll leave undefeated as well. Verrazano is right behind Orb when it comes to the pre-race favorites, but he could easily ascend to that top spot thanks to a favorable post position at No. 14 and a competent jockey in John Velazquez.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has five horses in the Derby field, but there is no question that Verrazano represents his greatest hope. Verrazano is coming off wins in both the Wood Memorial and Tampa Bay Derby. Although he is the least experienced horse in the field with just four races run, he is among the most talented as well.

Stamina has to be somewhat of a concern for Verrazano as he has never run the 10 furlongs required to complete the Kentucky Derby. That can be said of most horses in the field, though, so it's a fairly level playing field. Whatever the case, Verrazano has all the tools necessary to cross the finish line first.


Goldencents (5-1)

After an advantageous post position draw of No. 8, Goldencents moved up the big board and is now nestled behind just Orb and Verrazano at 5-1. There are a lot of great stories in this field, but perhaps no horse is more intriguing than Goldencents. His trainer, Doug O'Neill, won the Kentucky Derby behind I'll Have Another last year. Also, jockey Kevin Krigger could become the first African-American jockey to win the Derby since Jimmy Winkfield in 1902.

If that isn't enough, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino has a five percent ownership stake in the horse. Pitino and the Cardinals are coming off a victory in the 2013 NCAA National Championship Game, so Goldencents has some good mojo working in his favor. Jeannine Edwards of ESPN did a SportsCenter piece on Goldencents and made the Louisville connection as well.

Above all else, Goldencents is simply a great horse as he has won three of his past four races including the famous Santa Anita Derby. Goldencents is a quick starter, so he should be near the front of the pack from the start. Stamina is a concern as it is with every horse, but he should be able to persevere. 


Dark Horses to Watch


Revolutionary (10-1)

Revolutionary was unquestionably a horse worth watching prior to the naming of his jockey and the post position draw, but it seems like everything has fallen into place perfectly. Revolutionary will be guided by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel, who was without a ride until recently. Also, Revolutionary will start No. 3, which is generally a bad spot to be in, but that isn't the case for him.

Borel has an affinity for bringing his horse close to the rail and making a late charge. When Borel won the 2009 Kentucky Derby aboard the unheralded Mine That Bird, he came from out of nowhere along the rail during the home stretch. He very well may take a similar approach with Revolutionary.

There may be a little added pressure on Revolutionary as fans at the York Revolution Atlantic League of Professional Baseball game in York, Penn. will receive a free ticket to a future game if Revolutionary wins the Kentucky Derby.

In all seriousness, though, Revolutionary has a great makeup, has won three straight races and has an ideal jockey for the No. 3 post position. It's possible that he could get stuck in traffic, but if anyone can guide him to victory, it's Borel.


Itsmyluckyday (15-1)

Although he arguably has the best name in the entire field, Itsmyluckyday is far from a novelty act. At 15-1 and starting from the No. 12 spot, Itsmyluckyday may be the best intermediate bet on the board. He hasn't been talked up as much as many of his competitors, but there is plenty to like about him. He is extremely experienced with 10 races under his belt and hung tough against Kentucky Derby favorite Orb in the Florida Derby.

Jockey Elvis Trujillo has yet to win a Triple Crown race in his career, but he is ready to make that leap to the next level. Based on where he is set to start in the field he should have a pretty good trip, so all the pieces are in place for him to succeed. According to Kenny Rice of Kenny Rice Sports, Itsmyluckyday trainer Eddie Plesa believes the field is wide open, so Itsmyluckyday has as good of a shot as anyone.

The race will only be run once, so all it will take is one great run from Itsmyluckyday to go down in history. Thanks to his experience and recent success leading up to the Derby, Itsmyluckyday is a definite contender.


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