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.
Purse: $2.18 Million
Distance: 10 furlongs
Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET
|1||OPEN* ||--- ||--- ||---|
|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.
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.
Darren Rovell @darrenrovell
I’m taking Overanalyze. Favorites have only won the Derby in three out of the last 10 years http://t.co/o8CuxQYka55/3/2013, 4:47:44 PM
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.
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.
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.
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