Kentucky Derby 2013 Field: Dark Horses Who Could Challenge for Crown

Ryan DavenportContributor IMay 3, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 02: Revolutionary runs on the track during the morning training for the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

At least on paper, the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby features a very much open field, as there aren't any clear-cut front-runners heading into the race.

Sure, there's Orb, the technical favorite (via Yahoo! Sports) at 7-2, and right behind him is Verrazano at 4-1, but beyond them, there are a number of also-ran contenders who are poised to be in the mix until the very end.

That's not to say that Orb or Verrazano won't win; obviously both have earned their reputations as co-favorites heading into the first leg of this year's Triple Crown, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a handful of less heralded horses who could each end up taking home the title in Louisville, Kentucky.

Heading into the 2013 Kentucky Derby, here's a late look at some of the underdogs who could challenge for bragging rights at Churchill Downs on Saturday.


Frac Daddy

It hasn't been the best start to 2013 for Frac Daddy, but he shouldn't be counted out either, given his history on this track.

That's because Frac Daddy has a win and a runner-up finish to his credit at Churchill Downs and is coming off a second-place result at the Arkansas Open, which he needed to qualify for this race.

He would need the race of his life to beat out some of the bigger names, but given how comfortable he is here, Frac Daddy's chances are better at the Kentucky Derby than at either Belmont or Preakness.

He won in Louisville in November, so maybe he'll rediscover the magic on Saturday on the very same track.



Pegged as a 15-1 favorite, Itsmyluckyday may not be getting enough credit given the number of strong performances he's put forth recently.

If not for a late surge by Orb at the Florida Derby, he would've won there, but regardless of that result, Itsmyluckyday has done enough to merit some recognition in preparation for the Kentucky Derby.

With wins at both the Gulfstream Park Derby and Holly Bull Stakes, he can't be counted out, especially after coming so close to beating Orb, and according to the Boston Herald, his trainer said he wasn't even close to 100 percent.

If he is now, look for Itsmyluckyday to open some eyes on Saturday.



OK, so at 10-1, Revolutionary is certainly recognized as a horse that could be finishing the race in the lead, but he's taken a backseat to Verrazano, Goldencents and Orb leading up to the race.

But Revolutionary's ability to win under virtually any circumstance is something to consider, as ESPN's Bob Ehalt points out:

For me, the best option in playing the Derby rests with Revolutionary.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, whose batting average in the Derby is hardly enviable, Revolutionary comes into the Derby off two highly beneficial preps.

In the Withers, he seemed to have little chance of hitting the board -- much less winning the race -- at the top of the stretch, then accelerated impressively when a small opening appeared, and won by a neck.

In his previous race, the Louisiana Derby, Revolutionary raced wide on the turn but still managed to again win by a neck.

Revolutionary may not be getting the hype that some of the other favorites are, but given how well he's performed lately, he's worth taking a flier on, especially from post position No. 3.