History will be made on Saturday as the 2013 Kentucky Derby commences from Churchill Downs at 6:24 p.m. ET.
With the field of 20 set and official positions announced, horse racing experts have submitted their selections for who will win the 139th Run for the Roses.
It's no easy task predicting how the Kentucky Derby will play out, but the analysts from KentuckyDerby.com and the Daily Racing Forum have done their best to provide you with their projections for the 2013 running.
Before we get into the experts' picks, let's take a look at the most up-to-date odds for the derby field (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 official Twitter account.
John Asher, Vice President of Racing Communications—Win: Revolutionary; Place: Orb; Show: Normandy Invasion
Jill Byrne, Director of On Air Communications—Win: Revolutionary; Place: Orb; Show: Normandy Invasion
Asher and Byrne, who are both close to the action and know horse racing well, each like Revolutionary to win the Run for the Roses on Saturday.
Revolutionary is trained by the infamous Todd Pletcher, who has five horses running in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Pletcher trained Super Saver to a 2010 Kentucky Derby victory and led all trainers in monies won in 2011.
Jockey Calvin Borel has three Kentucky Derby victories under his belt, most notably being the improbable win aboard Mine That Bird in 2009, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
James Scully, editor of Handicapper's Edge and Bloodstock Journal at Brisnet.com: Win: Orb; Place: Itsmyluckyday; Show: Overanalyze
A lot of analysts like Orb's chances of being the next Kentucky Derby winner, and James Scully is no different.
James Scully @James_Scully111
I like Orb to win. wasn't a big fan of IMLD but willing to admit error -- he's very live. like Overanalyze best of Pletcher5/2/2013, 1:56:22 AM
Orb is trained by Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey III, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004 and is a former Eclipse award winner. Jockey Joel Rosario doesn't possess much derby experience, as he finished fourth in his first Kentucky Derby appearance aboard Make Music for Me in 2010.
Jay Privman and Mike Watchman are the correspondents for the Daily Racing Forum and have developed their own power rankings for the 2013 Kentucky Derby, along with their own odds. Here's a look at their updated rankings and odds:
|10||Will Take Charge||20-1|
|16||Lines of Battle||30-1|
As you can see, the guys like Orb to finish in the winner's circle on Saturday. Privman recently tweeted about Orb's status entering the 2013 derby:
Jay Privman @DRFPrivman
Two best gallopers from this morning were Orb and Itsmyluckyday. Both appear to be coming into race as good as you could want. #kyderby5/2/2013, 6:22:59 PM
Orb seems to be the consensus favorite among a lot of analysts, but it's interesting to see the lack of confidence in Verrazano, who owns the second-best odds entering the derby.
Verrazano is a Pletcher-trained colt and is jockeyed by John Velazquez, who has appeared in 13 Kentucky Derbys, winning one aboard Animal Kingdom in 2011.
Of course, horse racing isn't an exact science and with less body of work to base a horse off of than we used to have, it's only gotten more difficult to predict how a horse will fare. Nonetheless, this is what the experts are saying for the 2013 Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Good luck, all.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Pete_Schauer