The last favorite to win the Kentucky Derby was Big Brown in 2008. It has been the long shots who have stolen the show and put oddsmakers’ predictions in doubt.
In fact, only four betting favorites have won at Churchill Downs’ biggest race over the past 12 years.
These realities are telling of the unpredictability of the sport as well as the nature of casual fans to lean toward favorites when placing wagers. And there is no bigger event when it comes to casual fans placing bets than the Kentucky Derby.
A looming rain storm (via WDRB.com) that will be passing through the Louisville area on Saturday evening adds to this uncertainty and unpredictability.
Will each favorite be able to survive the elements and hold back the long shots from joining a growing list of such winners?
Take a look at a couple of Derby favorites who are in danger of failing to live up to the hype.
Shug McGaughey won’t saddle up just any horse for the huge Churchill Downs race. The Hall of Famer hasn't had an entry there in 10 years and is still looking for his first victory at the Run for the Roses.
Couple a poor post position with the uncertainty of the weather and race favorite Orb’s meteoric rise to the top could be over as quickly as it begun.
Can Doug O’Neil win two in a row? Last year he fielded Derby winner I’ll Have Another and looks to catch lightning in a bottle again this year.
The biggest problem for Goldencents might be too hefty of expectations after racing against lesser competition on the West Coast.
Also, the added hype of Lousiville legend Rick Pitino being involved in ownership of the horse has sent expectations through the roof. Failing to live up to them is more likely than not.
Relying on luck and come-from-behind wins can only get you so far. The narrow victories by one of Todd Pletcher’s finest entries may come back to haunt him when all is said and done at Churchill Downs.
Falling behind early may be hard to come back from this time around due to the weather and the aptitude of the field.
*Odds courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com (current as of May 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET).