Kentucky Derby 2017: Post Time, Race Schedule and Latest Prize Money Info

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2017

Always Dreaming is close to top form as he prepares for the Derby.
Always Dreaming is close to top form as he prepares for the Derby.Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

The dream for most horse racing fans is that the Kentucky Derby winner will go on to find success in the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes and the sport will have another Triple Crown winner.

American Pharoah broke the sport's long dry spell in 2015 when he became Horse Racing's first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed had turned the trick in 1978.

American Pharoah earned plaudits and legendary status as a result of that win, and this year's crop of three-year-olds does not appear to have a superstar who will be able to accomplish such a magical feat.

   

2017 Kentucky Derby Details

Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky

Post Time: Saturday, May 6, at 6:34 p.m. ET

Watch: NBC

Live StreamNBC Sports Live

TicketsScoreBig.com

Prize Money: $2 million purse, with $1.24 million going to the winner, according to SportingNews.com.

2017 Kentucky Derby
Post PositionHorseJockeyTrainerOdds
1Lookin At LeeCorey LanerieSteve Asmussen33-1
2Thunder SnowChristophe SoumillonSaeed bin Suroor18-1
3Fast and AccurateChanning HillMike Maker66-1
4UntrappedRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen50-1
5Always DreamingJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher9-2
6State of HonorJose LezcanoMark Casse33-1
7GirvinMike SmithJoe Sharp16-1
8HenceFlorent GerouxSteve Asmussen16-1
9IrapMario GutierrezDoug O’Neill18-1
10GunneveraJavier CastellanoAntonio Sano12-1
11Battle of MidwayFlavien PratJerry Hollendorfer20-1
12SonneteerKent DesormeauxKeith Desormeaux40-1
13J Boys EchoLuis SaezDale Romans28-1
14Classic EmpireJulien LeparouxMark Casse19-4
15McCrakenBrian Hernandez Jr.Ian Wilkes6-1
16TapwritJose OrtizTodd Pletcher28-1
17Irish War CryRajiv MaraghGraham Motion6-1
18GormleyVictor EspinozaJohn Shirreffs18-1
19Practical JokeJoel RosarioChad Brown25-1
20PatchTyler GaffalioneTodd Pletcher33-1
OddsShark

If there are any horses that appear capable of pulling off multiple victories in the Triple Crown races, Always Dreaming or Classic Empire are the most likely. 

Always Dreaming is listed as the second choice in the 1 1/4-mile Run for the Roses at plus-450 according to OddsShark, which translates to the standard horse racing odds of 9-2.

Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, Always Dreaming has won three consecutive races going into the Derby. His most recent victory came in the Florida Derby, and that should indicate to most bettors that he is close to top form.

Classic Empire figures to be Always Dreaming's top rival, and he is listed as the favorite at plus-425 (equivalent odds of 19-4). Classic Empire is a feisty sort who is normally tough in training but excellent when it comes to his performance in the races. 

The colt has been known to act up from time to time when he is asked to run in a morning training session, but he is at his best when the bell rings and the starting gate swings open. Classic Empire has won five of six races throughout his lifetime, and that translates to more than $2 million in earnings.

Classic Empire had a foot abscess earlier in the year, and that's one of the primary reasons he was unable to come through in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. He finished third in that February race, but trainer Mark Casse was able to help him recover, and he followed that performance with a victory in the Arkansas Derby.

There have not been any known issues since then, so it appears that Classic Empire could be close to top form.

If Always Dreaming and Classic Empire are both in outstanding condition, they could engage in a stretch battle that produces a great race.

But it's not just about being the best horses in the race. There are 20 horses in the field, and that means tactics will play a huge role.

Jockeys have to make sure their horses don't get boxed in and stuck on the rail at a crucial point in the race that prevents their horse from making a key move.

The other problem with a huge field often results when come-from-behind horses fail to stay in contact with the pack. A late runner may be able to take advantage of the tired pace setters, but if he begins his move when he is 15 lengths or more behind, it may not matter if he is at his best in the final 400 yards.

Irish War Cry
Irish War CryEclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

Irish War Cry should have an opportunity to put his imprint on the Kentucky Derby. He comes into the race at plus-600, which is the equivalent of 6-1 odds.

Trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Rajiv Maragh, the horse has won two of three races in its lifetime, including a victory in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Queens, New York, in early April.

He has the pedigree to carry the distance in the race, and that could allow him to outlast some of the other contenders if he can get a decent break and stay out of the Derby traffic.

The Derby has the makings of an exciting race, but a second Triple Crown winner in three years does not seem likely.


Racing information courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com unless other wise indicated.

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