Each year, a new crop of horses come into focus ahead of the Kentucky Derby, and this year is no different.
In 2017, a colt named Always Dreaming stole the show with an impressive performance down the final legs of the race at Churchill Downs to secure the victory.
While Always Dreaming's performance didn't lead to a Triple Crown victory, it was still an impressive showing. And while it's not guaranteed that any horse will go on to clinch the Triple Crown this year, this year's Kentucky Derby field should be regarded as one of the most competitive.
2018 Kentucky Derby
When: Saturday, May 5
Post time: 6:50 p.m. ET
Stream: NBC Sports
Kentucky Derby Contenders (odds courtesy of OddsShark)
Magnum Moon +800
Bolt d’Oro +900
Good Magic +1100
Vino Rosso +1600
Noble Indy +2000
My Boy Jack +2500
Promises Fulfilled +3300
Free Drop Billy +3300
Restoring Hope +4000
Firenze Fire +4000
Lone Sailor +4000
Snapper Sinclair +5000
Dream Baby Dream +6600
If there's one horse to bet the house on, Justify is the colt you're looking for. However, before placing that bet, it's important to understand the stakes you're up against.
More specifically, it's important to understand what the "Apollo Curse" is.
The Apollo Curse dates back to 1882, when a horse named Apollo, a two-year-old colt, won the Kentucky Derby.
Since then. No horse that young has won the Run of the Roses, but Justify is likely the horse to buck that trend.
With trainer Bob Baffert in his corner—a five-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer including a Triple Crown victory in 2015 with American Pharoah—the sky's the limit for Justify coming into Churchill Downs with the best odds of the 20-horse field.
Mendelssohn has won his last three starts, including an impressive victory at the UAE Derby where the three-year-old colt won by an incredible 18 lengths back on March 31st.
Here's a look at Mendelssohn's impressive win:
Owned by Derrick Smith, John Magnier and Michael Tabor, Mendelssohn is coming from a team with experience. Among other successful runners in the Derby, the trio saw Lion Heart claim second place at Churchill Downs in 2004.
Coming in at plus-400 odds, Mendelssohn's odds rank second in the field only behind Justify, and he will look to make the Kentucky Derby his second-biggest win of the young horse racing season.
Surprisingly, Magnum Moon has the fourth-best odds to enter the winner's circle come May 5th—a low number for such a talented colt.
The son of Malibu Moon, Magnum Moon is unbeaten in four starts and is coming off a major victory at the Arkansas Derby on April 14 under trainer Todd Pletcher.
With the exception of Justify's performance during his practice runs at the track at Churchill Downs over the past couple of days, there might not be a horse competing in this year's derby in better form than Magnum Moon.
He just might be worth placing a bet on at plus-800.