Kentucky Derby Weather 2013: How Rainy Conditions Will Impact Top Contenders

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVMay 3, 2013

Associated Press
Associated Press

All indications on the weather front for Saturday's running of the Kentucky Derby don't look too promising, and the apparent rainy conditions will impact each contending horse in a different way.

While some pedigrees and sizes are better suited to trek through the sloppy conditions, others will face certain difficulties while battling the field through 1 1/4 miles.

To get a better view of how the race track will look when the 139th Run for the Roses commences, let's take a look at this forecast from Louisville WDRB meteorologist Marc Weinberg, which shows how things will look come 6:24 p.m. ET.

Unfortunately, it seems as if a heavy amount of rainfall will be in order right when the horses are sprinting out of the gate, meaning it'll be a sloppy ride around the track at Churchill Downs.

With the forecast looking bleak, let's take a look at how the conditions will affect the odds of the top-ranked contenders in the field.


Orb: 7-2

Despite entering the race as the odds-on favorite, Orb isn't very well suited to achieve victory if the conditions are what they seem to be. 

Coming out of the gates in the 16th position, Orb will have to fight off Java's War and Vyjack, both of whom are imposing contenders who won't give up easily. Just as well, sleeper pick Frac Daddy has a big body and won't be easily passed.

Orb is trying to become the first favorite in five years to win the Kentucky Derby, but as of right now, the conditions aren't cooperating with his plan. 


Goldencents: 5-1

It's quite confusing to figure out how this supposed rainfall will affect Goldencents, who has had both success and failure in such conditions in his racing career.

According to USA Today's Gary Mihoces, Goldencents has yet to run in competition on a wet track in his career. This lack of experience is undoubtedly worrisome for minority owner Rick Pitino and everyone involved.

But trainer Doug O'Neill told Mihoces that Goldencents ran quite well at Santa Anita in California on a wet track, the same place that Goldencents qualified for the Kentucky Derby.

Only time will tell if the rain will prove to be too much for Goldencents, or if he excels in the slippery conditions.


Verrazano: 4-1

 Verrazano is one of just five horses represented by trainer Todd Pletcher in this year's Run for the Roses, but according to Pletcher, he's not the best one to race on a wet track.

Despite having 4-1 odds for victory, Pletcher actually believes Revolutionary, at 15-1, is best suited for the rainy circumstances according to Mihoces.

"Of all of them, I get the impression that Revolutionary might be the one to relish an off track."

Also, Verrazano is known for starting out slowly and coming in hot down the stretch, but if the conditions are rainy when he goes for his run, it could spell doom.

The rainy day may not inhibit Pletcher from reaching the winner's circle, but if his indications are correct, it'll keep Verrazano from reaching the winner's circle.


Note: All information and odds, unless otherwise noted, were obtained from