Kentucky Derby 2013: Where Do the Top Contenders Stand Heading into Race?

Joshua AxelrodCorrespondent IMay 3, 2013

Orb is the favorite to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
Orb is the favorite to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby.Rob Carr/Getty Images

It looks like Orb, Verrazano and Goldencents are the betting man’s favorites at the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

These three thoroughbreds are neck and neck in the odds and two of them can practically breathe on each other based on their post positions.

As always, anything can happen during the Run for the Roses. That said, these horses are favorites for a reason, so let us see how they look going into Saturday.



Jockey Joel Rosario’s horse is the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. The thoroughbred has 7-2 odds of victory, barely edging out Verrazano.

Orb will start from post 16, which produced 2011 winner Animal Kingdom. It could become the fifth horse in derby history to win from that position.

The poor guy had a bit of a scare on Wednesday when a truck engine reportedly startled it and caused it to kick the back of its stall. Trainer Shug McGaughey said he is fine and there is no cause for alarm.

There is no reason to believe that incident will affect Orb’s derby performance. He is where the smart money is at until otherwise proven.



The undefeated Verrazano is barely behind Orb in the odds with 4-1 chances of winning. It will start at post 14, which has only produced two winners.

The biggest thing to know about Verrazano is that he will be battling the Curse of Apollo.

For the uninitiated, no two-year-old horse has won at Churchill Downs since Apollo in 1882. Verrazano’s first race was on Jan. 1, 2013, which means he would have avoided the Apollo discussion if he had debuted just a day earlier.

It may be a superstition, but the Curse of Apollo is something to consider when deciding to put money on Verrazano or not. Of course, all curses are meant to be broken.



This colt may not get all the publicity of the top two derby contenders, but it is no slouch itself. It earned 5-1 odds of winning it all, and a post of eight.

That post has historically done better than either Orb or Verrazano’s, with 10 derby winners to its name.

The Washington Post’s Andrew Beyer called Goldencents the “obvious choice” to win the Kentucky Derby based on its speed and running style, which he says will give it a “significant tactical advantage.”

Hopefully Beyer is right for its sake. Goldencents may not be getting the same amount of hype as Orb or Verrazano, but it is still a favorite with a legitimate shot at victory.