2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Who Outside of the Favorites Will Contend?

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIMay 3, 2011

BALTIMORE - MAY 15:  Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, ridden by Calvin Borel, rounds turn 1 during the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 15, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

It was 12 years ago a horse named Charismatic, at 31:1 odds, won the Kentucky Derby. In fact, Charismatic went on to nearly win the Triple Crown.

Just six years ago, Giacomo won after going off at 50:1.

And just two years ago, Mine That Bird shocked the world by winning the Kentucky Derby at 51:1 odds.

It does happen every now and then. A long shot winning the Derby.

This year, because of the third-place finish by Uncle Mo at the Wood Memorial, many experts have declared this field wide open. Although there are favorites, there are not the clear-cut choices we've had in past years. This is a great year for a horse to come up from relative obscurity and claim this crown.

I think the four top horses are still the safe bet: Uncle Mo, Dialed In, Mucho Macho and Toby's Corner. But again, there is a reason there are other horses in the field. Anyone can win. Just ask Giacomo or Mine That Bird.

Here are five horses outside of the contenders that have a shot at winning the Derby.

1. Santiva - Mostly getting overlooked, this horse could be a surprise. The odds on him figure to be higher than 20:1, which could make him a steal on race day. This horse can win this race. The son of Giant's Causeway, the horse is trained by Eddie Kenneally.

2. Brilliant Speed - In the mud on Monday the horse had a great workout. The Blue Grass Stakes winner could do well if the track is muddy on Saturday. If not, this horse doesn't figure to threaten the contenders. Brilliant Speed is trained by Tom Albertrani.

3. Pants on Fire - The (G2) Louisiana Derby winner should not be overlooked in this race. The horse looked good in the mud working out on Sunday, raising a few eyebrows. Pants on Fire is trained by Kelly Breen.

4. Nehro - The horse that finished a neck behind Pants on Fire in that Louisiana Derby, Nehro is turning into a strong sleeper pick as we head toward Saturday. In addition to his runner-up finish to Pants on Fire, Nehro had a second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby. Trained by Steve Asmussen.

5. Archarcharch - Trained by William (Jinks) Fires, this horse looked impressive winning the Arkansas Derby. Could be one of the favorites by Saturday. Looked very strong last Friday in an early morning workout.