Only one horse of the field of 20 will be the 2017 Kentucky Derby winner and will take home the $2 million purse. But the horses and jockeys aren't the only ones with money on the line, as bettors from every corner of the country will come out and place a bet on their favorite horse.
With only a couple of days before Saturday's big race, the post positions have been finalized and final odds are being tallied. We all know about the favorites to win the 143rd edition of the derby, but what about the dark horse? What about the horse that some bettors are salivating over to have a chance to double or even triple their money?
Let's take a look at the complete field of horses racing this weekend with updated odds, via OddsShark.
|2017 Kentucky Derby Lineup|
|1||Lookin At Lee||Corey Lanerie||Steve Asmussen||+2800|
|2||Thunder Snow||Christophe Soumillon||Saeed bin Suroor||+1600|
|3||Fast and Accurate||Channing Hill||Mike Maker||+6600|
|4||Untrapped||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steve Asmussen||+5000|
|5||Always Dreaming||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||+400|
|6||State of Honor||Jose Lezcano||Mark Casse||+4000|
|7||Girvin||Mike Smith||Joe Sharp||+1600|
|8||Hence||Florent Geroux||Steve Asmussen||+2200|
|9||Irap||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O’Neill||+2500|
|10||Gunnevera||Javier Castellano||Antonio Sano||+1200|
|11||Battle of Midway||Flavien Prat||Jerry Hollendorfer||+2800|
|12||Sonneteer||Kent Desormeaux||Keith Desormeaux||+3300|
|13||J Boys Echo||Luis Saez||Dale Romans||+3300|
|14||Classic Empire||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse||+425|
|15||McCraken||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Ian Wilkes||+650|
|16||Tapwrit||Jose Ortiz||Todd Pletcher||+2500|
|17||Irish War Cry||Rajiv Maragh||Graham Motion||+650|
|18||Gormley||Victor Espinoza||John Shirreffs||+1600|
|19||Practical Joke||Joel Rosario||Chad Brown||+1600|
|20||Patch||Tyler Gaffalione||Todd Pletcher||+3300|
Worst Odds: Fast and Accurate
With a name like Fast and Accurate, one would think that said horse would be, well, fast.
At +6600, Fast and Accurate has, by far, the worst odds to win the Kentucky Derby. But even though he probably won't win on Saturday, he is still a capable race horse.
After winning the Spinal Stakes by three-quarters of a length, Fast and Accurate put his name on the map. But even though he won the race, he initially wasn't a part of the field to race this Saturday at Churchill Downs, as his owner, Dr. Kendal Hansen, missed the Derby's deadline to enter the race and had to pay $200,000 to get him in.
Here's what Hansen said about getting Fast and Accurate in the race, per WLWT5: "We missed the deadline by just four or five days after winning the Spiral, and I have to pay $200,000 to run in the Derby, so I'm trying not to think about it."
Hansen added: "The money I won from winning the (Spiral Stakes) just passes through my hands back over to Churchill. If I think about $200,000 to be in a race, it's insanity, but for one chance to be in the Derby, it's worth it, it really is."
It's hard not to root for a horse like that with odds that high, but it wouldn't be wise for bettors to put their savings on the line in hope of a miracle.
Odds Worth a Look: Irish War Cry
Outside of the top-tier horses such as Classic Empire and Always Dreaming, there's a bit of drop-off in competition. There are plenty of really solid horses that finish strong, such as McCraken and Gunnevera, but a name that sticks out is Irish War Cry. And with +650 odds, he could be a popular pick among the masses.
Irish War Cry has had a solid week of preparation and practice, obtaining a balance of hard work without exhausting himself, according to his trainer Graham Motion, per Claire Novak of Blood Horse: "I wanted him to have a decent work but not overdo it, and I think that's exactly what he did.
"[Jockey Rajiv Maragh] was anxious to see how he'd settle behind another horse, I thought it would be good for him to feel that himself, and he was happy with the way he did it. To be really corny, we 'ticked all the boxes,' pretty much."
But don't just take his trainer's word for it, as Mike Watchmaker of Daily Racing Form has already selected Irish War Cry as his pick to win it all.
Mike Watchmaker @DRFWatchmaker
I’m picking Irish War Cry. I’m not concerned post 17 is 0 for 38. Post 16 is 4 for 45, post 15 is 5 for 55, so it’s a statistical anomaly.2017-5-3 16:17:44
This year's Derby could be quite the race, and Irish War Cry could find himself in the winner's circle.
Best Odds: Always Dreaming
Always Dreaming is the horse with the best odds to win, according to OddsShark. At +400, he is just slightly ahead of Classic Empire (+425) in terms of odds and appears to have the advantage in terms of pole position, sitting pretty at No 5.
Horses that have begun the Kentucky Derby in the No. 5 position have won the race 13 times, more than any other position in the Derby's history, according to OddsShark.
But even though Always Dreaming is the friendly bet this year, it's important to take note that his odds are only slightly better than that of Classic Empire, who appears to be in great shape in the lead up to the race while Always Dreaming has had a hot and cold week, to say the least, per Mike Welsch of Daily Racing Form.
Mike Welsch @DRFWelsch
Always Dreaming one of 1st horses on track at 545 still very unsettled galloping especially through stretch and around club turn.2017-4-30 10:24:55
Mike Welsch @DRFWelsch
Always Dreaming vastly improved this a.m. even kept composure when passed by set of workers, did get a bit feisty just before pulling up2017-5-2 09:59:57
Mike Welsch @DRFWelsch
Always Dreaming a little more aggressive than yesterday but after a bit of an anxious start under control throughout his 1 1/2M gallop 1/22017-5-3 09:57:54
There's still a couple of days before the Derby, but it would be wise to continue to keep an eye on Always Dreaming in the buildup to Saturday.