There is $17,049,763.00 right now in the Kentucky Derby pool. Favorites based on current derby odds are are #5 Always Dreaming at 9-2, #17 Irish War Cry at 5-1 and #15 McCraken at 6-1. Here is a list of Kentucky Derby Contenders:
1 – Lookin At Lee 20-1– If you like Classic Empire go back and watch the Arkansas Derby and only focus on Lookin at Lee also came from dead last in Breeders Futility to finish 2nd to Classic Empire
#2 Thunder Snow 20-1 – History says no to Thunder Snow as horses that have won the UAE derby in Dubai are 0 for 12 in the Derby with the best finish being 5th
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#3 Fast and Accurate 50-1 – Totally outclassed here with his Beyer numbers and he will be on the lead or just off it. At least the owners will hear his name at the start of the race. NO SHOT
#4 Untrapped 30-1 – Has the preferred running style as he will be one of the stalkers but I question if he can get the distance as he as flattened out in the end of his last few starts. He does have a win over this track as a 2 yr old
#5 Always Dreaming 5-1 – Hot horse winning 3 in a row and getting better as he had a career best 97Beyer last time out. Has full of him self in the morning workouts wanting to run off with rider. In Florida Derby win went last furlong in 12.53 indicating he can get the extra distance. Perfect running style will have near lead but most likely sitting just off the lead.
#6 State of Honor 30-1 – Always a bridesmaid never a bride as in 10 starts has just 1 win but 4 seconds. Most likely will be the early speed in the race. With 10 starts under his belt this horse has pretty peaked already and is what he is. A good horse not a great horse.
#7 Girvin 15-1 – with only 4 lifetime starts this horse has a license to make a big jump on Saturday. In 4 starts he has 3 wins and a 2nd and has the preferred running style for the Derby but the horse has been dealing with quarter crack on his foot and will be running in Z Bar shoes to help take the pressure off the foot. If the foot was 100% I would like him a lot but the foot has altered his training and having had to deal with quarter cracks on my own horses you never know to you get them in the race. I’ll use him on some tickets.
#8 Hence 15-1 – Is the Hot backside horse this week or the Steam Horse as he is catching everyone’s eye in the mornings. Made a giant jump in his last race winning the Sunland Derby with a Career High Beyer of 97. His Beyer has improved in every start but the jump from 81 to 97 might of taken too much out of him and may be the reason he hasn’t raced since March 26th as he was ripe to bounce in his next start. So on one hand the extra time would eliminate the bounce factor but creates a new problem in the last 96 years there have only been 5 horses win the Derby that did not have a prep race in April. Don’t think he can win it but should be used in your exotics.
#9 Irap 20-1 – This trainer, jockey, owner combination has won the Derby twice in recent years with I’ll Have Another and Nyquist but both of those horses were better accomplished coming into Derby than Irap who didn’t break his maiden till last time out which was his 8th career start. I see better in the field.
#10 Gunnevera 15-1 – He will be closing late and prior to his 3rd place finish in the Florida Derby he had put together 3 bang up efforts seeing his Beyers jump from 86 to 95 to 97. He drew the outside post in the Florida Derby and got away dead last and Gulfstream Park has been known for a speed favoring bias so finishing 3rd coming from the clouds really doesn’t look that bad. With JJ Castellano up you have what many believe to be the best jockey in the world riding. Can’t be ignored at a price.
#11 Battle of Midway 30-1 – Battling history here as no horse since in 1882 won the Derby without racing at 2. I love the jockey here as Flavin Prat has taken the So Cal racing by storm but I don’t think this horse has the foundation to win this race look for better things from this horse later this summer.
#12 Sonneteer 50-1 – History says no here as he has yet to win a race and only 3 maidens have ever won the Derby with the last being 1933. Also with 10 career starts he is what he is. Look elsewhere.
#13 J Boys Echo 20-1 – This horse ran a huge race 2 back winning the Gotham and putting up a 102 Beyer figure. His previous best was 84 so the question is did he bounce last time out when he ran a 84 Beyer in a disappointing 4th place finish. If there is a fast pace up front and he avoids traffic problems he could be flying late. Consider on bottom end of exotics.
#14 Classic Empire 4-1 – Is the Champ back? Winner of the Breeders Futility at 2 he looked like he would enter this year as the odds on favorite for the Derby but he has been a nut job at times. Horses can be their own worst enemy and he was in the Hopeful when he wheeled at the start throwing his rider. Then in the Holy Bull ran his worst race finishing a badly beaten 3rd as the odds on favorite. His training schedule had to be altered as it was discovered that he had a foot abscess that was the reason for the poor performance in the Holy Bull. His training schedule was messed up a second time with a back injury and Classic Empire twice refusing to train. With all the obstacles he faced Mark Casse did a tremendous job getting him ready for the Arkansas Derby but the question I have is did rushing to get him here take too much out of him. I will use in Exotics but see others with better chance of winning
#15 McCraken 5-1 – McCraken has won at Churchill 3 times in his career and has only tasted defeat once in 5 career starts. McCraken had improved is Beyer figure in every race up until his last race when he finished 3rd in the Bluegrass. Some will say he was beaten by a maiden in that race and look at it as a negative but if you look deeper I believe that race was just a tightner for this race. Coming off his win in the Davis in which he posted a Beyer of 95 he exited that race with a slight ankle sprain. His trainer Ian Wilkes had planned to go to the Tampa Bay Derby next but since he had to back off for a few weeks he decided to wait and race in the Arkansas Derby having almost 2 months in between starts. McCracken was no way 100% for the Bluegrass and rather than go all out with him it looked like they just wanted to get a race in him to tighten him up for this race. I think McCracken is sitting on a Big Race and post #15 is perfect as he is first horse in the auxiliary gate meaning he and #14 Classic Empire have a little extra room leaving the gate. His style is perfect as he will be one of those horses in the first tier of stalkers waiting to get the jump on the deep closers. Appears to be Horse to beat.
#16 Tapwrit 20-1 – With his post position and not really a speed horse out of the gate he is going to have to make up a lot of ground in the Derby. He had won 3 of his last 4 prior to his poor performance last time out in the Bluegrass. I can’t back him off the last race.
#17 Irish War Cry 6-1 – He is only horse in race that has 2 100+ Beyer races on his resume. He has tactical speed to get away from the gate so leaving from post #17 not as big of deal as it would be for others. He has been looking good in the mornings and with just 5 career starts 4 of them wins we still haven’t seen his best yet. He’s a major player on Saturday.
#18 Gormley 15-1 – The positives are this horse is a California based horse and California Horses have won 4 of the last 5 Derby’s. He also has Victor Espinoza aboard who knows his way to the winners Circle on the 1st Sat of May. Now the negative although he won the Santa Anita Derby is was in a very slow time. He has to overcome post #18 with better speed inside of him. This will also be his first race at a track other than Del Mar or Santa Anita. Too many question marks for me to consider as a contender.
#19 Practical Joke 20-1 – Hard not to like a horse that’s 6 for 6 in the money and has improving Beyer numbers including a career best 92 last time out. Joel Rosario is aboard and is one of the best jocks in the country in my opinion. The horse the preferred running style as he is a stalker. The big concern here is Post #19 as he may be further back in this race than he has been and will be at the mercy of the pace and traffic. But if he gets a quick pace which I think he will Rosario knows how to cut out a trip. Chad Brown is one of the Top trainers in the game and made an equipment change leading up to Derby and by all accounts has looked better with the addition of small cup blinkers. He has looked more aggressive in his morning works. Will have him on some of my exotics
#20 Patch 30-1 Has improved rapidly after stretching out from 6f to a mile and a mile 1/8th posting a win and a 2nd. With just 3 career starts he has the opportunity to make a big jump here as we clearly haven’t seen his best yet but the fact he didn’t race at 2 he is bucking history and getting post #20 doesn’t help either. Others present more value.
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2017 Kentucky Derby Preview and Predictions Video
Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk TV host Marco D’Angelo (@MarcoInVegas) and special guest Matthew Holt (@MatthewHoltVP) Vice President of Business Development from CG look at the 2017 Kentucky Derby and give their preview and predictions.