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|
|1||Lookin at Lee||Steve Asmussen||Corey Lanerie||20-1|
|2||Thunder Snow||Saeed bin Suroor||Christophe Soumillon||20-1|
|3||Fast and Accurate||Mike Maker||Channing Hill||50-1|
|4||Untrapped||Steve Asmussen||Ricardo Santana Jr.||30-1|
|5||Always Dreaming||Todd Pletcher||John Velazquez||5-1|
|6||State of Honor||Mark Casse||Jose Lezcano||30-1|
|7||Girvin||Joe Sharp||Mike Smith||15-1|
|8||Hence||Steve Asmussen||Florent Geroux||15-1|
|9||Irap||Doug O'Neill||Mario Gutierrez||20-1|
|10||Gunnevera||Antonio Sano||Javier Castellano||15-1|
|11||Battle of Midway||Jerry Hollendorfer||Flavien Prat||30-1|
|12||Sonneteer||Keith Desormeaux||Kent Desormeaux||50-1|
|13||J Boys Echo||Dale Romans||Luis Saez||20-1|
|14||Classic Empire||Mark Casse||Julien Leparoux||4-1|
|15||McCraken||Ian Wilkes||Brian Hernandez||5-1|
|16||Tapwrit||Todd Pletcher||Jose Ortiz||20-1|
|17||Irish War Cry||Graham Motion||Rajiv Maragh||6-1|
|18||Gormley||John Shirreffs||Victor Espinoza||15-1|
|19||Practical Joke||Chad Brown||Joel Rosario||20-1|
|20||Patch||Todd Pletcher||Tyler Gaffalione||30-1|
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.
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 style—he has the ability to settle behind the speed and finish very strongly—suggests 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.