Everyone knows that Orb and Verrazano are the favorites at the 2013 Kentucky Derby. But who are the under-the-radar participants with a solid chance of winning the Run for the Roses?
Three of the last four derby winners—I’ll Have Another, Animal Kingdom and Mine That Bird—came into the race with odds of 15-1, 20-1 and 50-1, respectively. Obviously, none of them were anything resembling favorites.
The ability for even the longest of the longshots to win is what makes the Kentucky Derby so exciting and sets it apart from most major sporting events. Well, that and the excessive amount of mint juleps.
Joe Bravos’ thoroughbred may have earned first post, but its odds of winning the Kentucky Derby are 50-1. That makes it a serious underdog heading into Saturday.
A horse with the best post position has not won since Gary Stevens and Winning Colors did it in 1988. In fact, three out of the last five winners started the derby at a position of 16 or beyond.
Onyx does have some historical precedent on its side. In the entire history of the Kentucky Derby, the horse in the first post position has won 12 times. Only the fifth post has produced as many winners.
So keep an eye on Onyx tomorrow. The odds may not be in its favor, but history says it should not be counted out yet.
Speaking of horses with high post positions and terrible odds, Oxbow is right behind Onyx at the second post but only has a 30-1 shot at winning.
Historically, the second post has produced only nine winners, which puts it at only the sixth most fruitful position in terms of producing Kentucky Derby champions. But Oxbow has a not-so-secret weapon on its side—jockey Gary Stevens.
Stevens is a three-time derby winner. He won in 1988 with Winning Colors, 1995 with Thunder Gulch and 1997 with Silver Charm.
After seven years of retirement, the 50-year-old grandfather with a harrowing medical history is back in the saddle. He knows how to win at Churchill Downs.
There seems to be a theme here of horses with high post positions and extremely low odds of winning. Golden Soul will have the fourth post with 50-1 odds of winning.
The fourth post produced a champion just three years ago, when Super Saver won the Run for the Roses. Plus, that is the third-winningest post in the history of the race, with 11 derby winners.
Of course, the real reason to watch Golden Soul is to see if jockey Rosie Napravnik can become the first female Kentucky Derby winner. Her odds are not great, but the chance to make history could fuel her and Golden Soul to an unlikely victory.