Kentucky Derby Field 2017: Entries List, Betting Lines and Picks

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2017

After Wednesday's post position draw, the field for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday is set. 

The Derby may only be two minutes of excitement in all, but months of preparation go into this event, least of which by the horses themselves, who have competed in multiple preps to get to this point and have a shot at competing for the Triple Crown

But first, the contenders will have to win the rose garland in the Run for the Roses. 

In addition to the entries list for all 20 horses in the field and their post positions, we'll also break down the current Vegas odds for each horse and their jockey and trainer information before making some picks for the outcome of the race. 

OddsShark has all the most updated Kentucky Derby futures as of Thursday.

2017 Kentucky Derby Entries List, Odds
1Lookin at LeeSteve AsmussenCorey Lanerie20-1
2Thunder SnowSaeed bin SuroorChristophe Soumillon20-1
3Fast and AccurateMike MakerChanning Hill50-1
4UntrappedSteve AsmussenRicardo Santana Jr.30-1
5Always DreamingTodd PletcherJohn Velazquez5-1
6State of HonorMark CasseJose Lezcano30-1
7GirvinJoe SharpMike Smith15-1
8HenceSteve AsmussenFlorent Geroux15-1
9IrapDoug O'NeillMario Gutierrez20-1
10GunneveraAntonio SanoJavier Castellano15-1
11Battle of MidwayJerry HollendorferFlavien Prat30-1
12SonneteerKeith DesormeauxKent Desormeaux50-1
13J Boys EchoDale RomansLuis Saez20-1
14Classic EmpireMark CasseJulien Leparoux4-1
15McCrakenIan WilkesBrian Hernandez5-1
16TapwritTodd PletcherJose Ortiz20-1
17Irish War CryGraham MotionRajiv Maragh6-1
18GormleyJohn ShirreffsVictor Espinoza15-1
19Practical JokeChad BrownJoel Rosario20-1
20PatchTodd PletcherTyler Gaffalione30-1


Top Picks to Win it All

Classic Empire: +400

Before the post position draw on Wednesday, Always Dreaming was leading the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby. 

But as of Thursday, that designation has been overtaken by Classic Empire at +400, per Mike Dempsey of OddsShark.

The Mark Casse-trained colt, who breaks from the No. 14 position, "is nicknamed 'Racing’s Bad Boy' because of his training antics," according to the official Derby website

Classic Empire has won five of his six previous races, with his only stumble coming in the Holy Bull Stakes in February, in which he came in third because of a foot abscess. 

However, Classic Empire has resumed his training and comes into the Kentucky Derby flying high after a triumphant first-place finish in the Arkansas Derby on April 15. 


Always Dreaming +450

Always Dreaming may have ceded his place as the overall favorite in the Vegas odds to Classic Empire, but that doesn't mean this colt has any less of a shot at winning the rose garland on Saturday. 

The Todd Pletcher-trained colt breaks from the favorable No. 5 post position, which has produced 10.3 percent of Derby winnners since the advent of the starting gate in 1930, according to Dempsey

At +450, the Kentucky-bred colt is just barely behind Classic Empire in the futures. 

Impressively, Always Dreaming has won his last three races heading into Churchill Downs, beating out fellow Kentucky Derby entrants State of Honor and Gunnevera in the Florida Derby by a whopping five lengths. 

Churchill Downs will be the longest track that Always Dreaming has run, but if his recent performances have indicated anything it's that he's capable of racing on the speed and bringing home the honor for trainer Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez. 


McCraken +600

Coming in third in the recent futures, at +600, is McCraken, who will break from the No. 15 post on Saturday.

McCraken is coming off a minor ankle injury, which he suffered in training on February 28. That could account for his position at third in the betting lines.

However, the Ian Wilkes-trained colt has plenty of experience with winning, having won each of his first four races before finishing third in the Blue Grass Stakes, likely attributed to that ankle injury.

McCraken is one of the entrants in this year's field best suited to compete at Churchill Downs.

According to the Derby website, he "has oozed class in every start to date. In addition, everything about McCraken's racing stylehe has the ability to settle behind the speed and finish very stronglysuggests he should stay the 1 1/4 mile Derby distance."

If it weren't for that recent ankle injury, McCraken could find himself topping the list of favorites heading into Saturday's race.


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