Loaded with a field of contenders, the 2013 Kentucky Derby certainly won't lack the excitement horse racing fans have grown accustom to seeing each year at Churchill Downs.
The enthusiasm was certainly present in 2012, as last year's winner I'll Have Another posted the fastest time in three years, blazing to a 2:01.83 time and earning the array of roses that comes with the winner's circle.
We're hearing a lot about Orb and Verrazano entering the 1 1/4 mile-long race on Saturday, but I'm going to highlight three other contenders you should know about prior to post time along with the odds for the entire field, starting with favorites and ending with longshots.
Current Betting Odds (via KentuckyDerby.com)
|17||Will Take Charge||20-1|
|11||Lines of Battle||30-1|
Note that Black Onyx has been scratched from the 2013 Kentucky Derby, according to the Churchill Downs Twitter account.
Churchill Downs PR @DerbyMedia
Breaking News: Black Onyx has been scratched from #KyDerby 139. Stewards decide that post 1 will be left open. More info coming. #breaking5/3/2013, 3:29:30 PM
Goldencents has gained popularity in the past couple months due to the fact that the horse is owned by the Louisville Cardinals' head men's basketball coach, Rick Pitino.
Obviously the 5-1 odds show that analysts and bettors alike believe the horse is a favorite to win it all, but let's not forget who's training Goldencents. That would be none other than Doug O'Neill, who nearly led I'll Have Another to a Triple Crown in 2012 and who has been working with this horse diligently.
If you're looking for some history of the No. 8 post position, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy has it for you:
Joe Reedy @joereedy
Things keep coming up roses for Pitino. Goldencents draws the No. 8 spot, where horses have won 8 times, most recent Mine That Bird in '095/1/2013, 9:30:19 PM
Both history and the trainer say that Goldencents is a contender.
If Overanalyze doesn't get bogged down on the outside, this horse will contend in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
According to BloodHorse.com, jockey Rafael Bejarano felt that the colt ran extremely well at the 2013 Arkansas Derby in April, even saying that the horse had a lot left for the next race.
Overanalyze also has one of the best trainers in the racing game prepping him for the run for the roses in Todd Pletcher. Pletcher was the trainer for 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and was the top trainer in 2011, out-earning the competition.
With five horses running at Churchill, Pletcher will likely come out a winner, but don't be surprised to see Overanalyze leading the charge for his trainer.
Also trained by Pletcher, Revolutionary has just a good of chance at winning the derby as any of his counterparts.
Revolutionary is jockeyed by an experienced rider in Calvin Borel, a three-time winner at the Kentucky Derby, who most recently led Super Saver to the winner's circle in 2010.
The Hall of Fame jockey will be looking to stick to the inside along the rail, as trainer Pletcher told ESPN, "I think Calvin will be looking to go inside as soon as he could, so starting off inside was a good thing. Super Saver started from (No.) 4."
Verrazano enters the historic race as the favorite among Pletcher-trained horses, but I think Revolutionary impresses on Saturday.
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