Kentucky Derby Field 2013: Pinpointing Favorites, Dark Horses and Busts

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Kentucky Derby Field 2013: Pinpointing Favorites, Dark Horses and Busts
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Race day has arrived at Churchill Downs. 

The 2013 Kentucky Derby field is set, as 19 horses will vie for the roses at the Triple Crown's first leg in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday evening. 

But for every favorite this weekend, there is a dark-horse contender and, of course, a bust to be on the lookout for.

With post time fast approaching, we'll break down the field, pinpointing the top favorites, dark horses and busts to watch along the way on Saturday.

 

2013 Kentucky Derby—Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.

Grade I 

Purse: $2.18 Million

Distance: 10 furlongs 

Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET

Channel: NBC

*Post positions via the Kentucky Derby's official Twitter account. Odds via KentuckyDerby.com.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 OPEN*
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2  Oxbow
Gary Stevens
D. Wayne Lukas
22-1
3 Revolutionary  Calvin Borel  Todd Pletcher
5-1
4 Golden Soul Robby Albarado  Dallas Stewart  31-1
5 Normandy Invasion
Javier Castellano
Chad Brown
7-1
6 Mylute
Rosie Napravnik
Tom Amoss
13-1
7 Giant Finish Jose L. Espinoza  Anthony W. Dutrow  39-1
8 Goldencents  Kevin Krigger  Doug O'Neill  6-1
9 Overanalyze  Rafael Bejarano  Todd Pletcher  14-1
10 Palace Malice  Mike Smith  Todd Pletcher  24-1
11 Lines of Battle  Ryan Moore  Aidan O'Brien  33-1
12 Itsmyluckyday  Elvis Trujillo Eddie Plesa, Jr.  9-1
13 Falling Sky  Luis Saez  John Terranova II  39-1
14 Verrazano
John R. Velazquez
Todd Pletcher
9-1
15 Charming Kitten
Edgar Prado
Todd Pletcher
29-1
16 Orb Joel Rosario
Claude R. McGaughey III
7-1
17 Will Take Charge Jon Court
D. Wayne Lukas
30-1
18 Frac Daddy Victor Lebron  Kenny McPeek
23-1
19 Java's War  Julien Leparoux  Kenny McPeek  22-1
20 Vyjack Garrett Gomez
Rudy Rodriguez
36-1

*Black Onyx has been scratched from post No. 1, according to Churchill Downs PR on Twitter.

 

Top Favorites

There are five horses that are being viewed as the favorites to win this weekend. Revolutionary, Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, Orb and Verrazano are the top contenders to know on Saturday. 

Each has looked very strong in recent outings, and both Orb and Verrazano enter Saturday's event on four-race winning streaks.

Orb picked up a pair of big victories at Gulfstream Park this year, winning the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes and following that up with a win in the Grade I Florida Derby. Meanwhile, Verrazano is unbeaten in four career races, picking up notable wins at the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby and Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes.

Revolutionary's biggest win came at the Grade II Louisiana Derby earlier this spring, while Goldencents put himself on the map with an impressive win at the Grade I Santa Anita Derby in early April.

With three-time Derby winner Calvin Borel on board right off the rail in post No. 3, Revolutionary is my pick to win the 139th Run for the Roses this weekend.

 

Dark Horses to Consider

Overanalyze is the name to know when it comes to this year's dark-horse contenders. 

One of five 2013 Derby horses trained by Todd Pletcher, the Grade I Arkansas Derby winner is picking up momentum heading into the race. He'll start from post No. 9 with 14-1 odds. Remember, I'll Have Another won with 15-1 odds a year ago.

Two other notable dark horses are Pletcher's Palace Malice and Charming Kitten. Both will start from favorable posts (Nos. 10 and 15 respectively) and will be ridden by Kentucky Derby-winning jockeys in Mike Smith and Edgar Prado.

Palace Malice was a runner-up in last month's Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, while Charming Kitten finished half a length behind that in third place.

 

Potential Busts

Don't count on Will Take Charge becoming the first horse to win the Derby from post No. 17.

It's difficult to project which horses will come up short at Churchill Downs this weekend, but there are a handful of colts running out of unfavorable posts on Saturday that bettors should be wary of.

Which favorite will post the worst finish on Saturday?

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Oxbow will look to become the first horse to win the Derby from post No. 2 since Triple Crown winner Affirmed ran out of the second slot way back in 1978. With Black Onyx scratched from post No. 1, stay away from Oxbow, as he'll likely be forced to the rail early, becoming a non-factor down the stretch.

Will Take Charge is another horse to avoid. He'll start from dreaded post No. 17. No horse has ever won the Derby from that outside slot.

With a decent amount of favorites running in this year's race, there are also sure to be some busts at the top of the odds list. Verrazano is one favorite with bust potential. After all, it's been over 50 years since a horse won the Derby from post No. 14, where Verrazano will run out of on Saturday.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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