Kentucky Derby 2018: Prize Money Purse, Latest Vegas Odds Payouts and More

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2018

Horse look out of the stalls at Churchill Downs Friday, May 4, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. he 144th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 5th. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Justify remains the favourite to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby and a first-place prize worth a reported $1.24 million, according to the latest odds.

OddsShark.com's Mike Dempsey noted the colt has top odds to win, ahead of international star Mendelssohn and Audible, the latter trained by Todd Pletcher.

According to Sporting News, the winner will earn a purse of $1.24 million from a total prize fund of $2 million.

Here's a look at the favourites for Saturday's race (odds accurate as of Friday, May 4):

Justify: 7-2

Mendelssohn: 4-1

Audible: 11-2

Magnum Moon: 7-1

Good Magic: 9-1

Bolt d'Oro: 9-1

   

Mendelssohn's Rising Star

Top international runner Mendelssohn has been a hot name among fans and pundits leading up to the race, and his odds have increased accordingly.

Ed DeRosa was one of many who went over the tape and came away impressed with the UAE Derby winner:

From the stable of Aidan O'Brien, Mendelssohn has done most of his running on turf, but his transition to dirt has been smooth. He already has a major win on U.S. soil under his belt, placing first in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last year, but it was his showing at Maydan that really established him as a contender.

Here's a look at that race:

But while the oddsmaker like Mendelssohn, history does not. Since 2000, no UAE Derby winner has gone on to win the Derby.

   

Outside Hopes

USA Today's Dan Wolken made the case for Good Magic as the most overlooked horse in the field following his win in the Blue Grass Stakes.

Good Magic was among the early betting favourites due to his excellent showings as a two-year-old, but after a lengthy break, he fell well short of expectations in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, where he finished third.

Per Wolken, he's not just one to keep an eye on—Wolken has him as the favourite:

"Part of the problem with the Derby is that it’s easy to overthink things as a handicapper. But with Good Magic, you get a horse that fits the profile of many Derby winners: He won a big race at 2, improved from his first to his second start at 3, will sit just off the lead where he can pounce coming around the far turn and comes from a trainer who tasted his first Triple Crown success in last year’s Preakness with Cloud Computing."

Punters hoping to score big may want to have a look at Good Magic or Bolt d'Oro, another early favourite who has experienced a recent slide.

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