The posts have been drawn, the track is being groomed and the grandstands are being prepped. Now it’s just that delightful wait before the 144th Kentucky Derby goes off. Justify has been installed as the opening favorite at 3/1, and for good reason. The 2018 Santa Anita Derby winner looks virtually untouchable.
While there are about seven horses that are highly rated in this race, there are only two outright threats in the eyes of the oddsmakers. Mendelssohn is the 4/1 second choice after blasting the UAE Derby by 18 1/2 lengths, and his $3 million purchase price has a lot of cappers believing in the hype. The incredibly versatile Scat Daddy colt is a great option to beat his half-brother.
Right behind the top two choices on the board is Audible, who drew the fifth post and 8/1 odds in the 144th Kentucky Derby. As the 2018 Florida Derby winner, Audible is sure to draw interest and his price tag makes him a delectable choice to show. It’s hard not to draw up a trifecta box with Audible, Mendelssohn and Justify.
Also getting 8/1 odds is Bolt d’Oro, the presumptive favorite back in September to champion the 144th Kentucky Derby. Like Classic Empire last year, Bolt d’Oro is falling off the ledge a bit and is being propped up by his reputation but is probably not in the class of his rivals. He was smashed by Justify in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby and it didn’t even look close. Good Magic falls in to that same vein and is being cooled at 12/1 odds of his own.
The biggest horse to watch is Magnum Moon, a raw but super talented 2018 Arkansas Derby winner, who needs to have matured in order to draw serious interest. He’s incredibly gifted, but whether or not he has the precision to win the 144th Kentucky Derby is a tough sell. A standalone win bet might be the best hedge if you believe Magnum Moon can grow up in time to upset the derby.
The full odds are below and you can watch the 144th Kentucky Derby either on NBC or on TwinSpiresTV. Get your bets in soon, because Justify is going to be quickly bet down as the strong favorite. Don’t be surprised if, like a few Kentucky Derby’s in the past, this one goes chalk.
In terms of longshots, with Gronkowski out of the running, Noble Indy is promoted in most people’s eyes as the best horse with 30/1 odds to make some noise. If that mark is a bit far fetched, Vino Rosso also appears as a decent standalone play.
144th Kentucky Derby – Saturday, May 5th at Churchill Downs
1 1/4 Miles – 3 Year Olds – $2,000,000
|1||Firenze Fire (FL)||Paco Lopez||126||Jason Servis||50/1|
|2||Free Drop Billy (KY)||Robby Albarado||126||Dale L. Romans||30/1|
|3||Promises Fulfilled (KY)||Corey J. Lanerie||126||Dale L. Romans||30/1|
|4||Flameaway (ON)||Jose Lezcano||126||Mark E. Casse||30/1|
|5||Audible (NY)||Javier Castellano||126||Todd A. Pletcher||8/1|
|6||Good Magic (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||126||Chad C. Brown||12/1|
|7||Justify (KY)||Mike E. Smith||126||Bob Baffert||3/1|
|8||Lone Sailor (KY)||James Graham||126||Thomas M. Amoss||50/1|
|9||Hofburg (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||126||William I. Mott||20/1|
|10||My Boy Jack (KY)||Kent J. Desormeaux||126||J. Keith Desormeaux||30/1|
|11||Bolt d’Oro (KY)||Victor Espinoza||126||Mick Ruis||8/1|
|12||Enticed (KY)||Junior Alvarado||126||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||30/1|
|13||Bravazo (KY)||Luis Contreras||126||D. Wayne Lukas||50/1|
|14||Mendelssohn (KY)||Ryan L. Moore||126||Aidan P. O’Brien||5/1|
|15||Instilled Regard (KY)||Drayden Van Dyke||126||Jerry Hollendorfer||50/1|
|16||Magnum Moon (KY)||Luis Saez||126||Todd A. Pletcher||6/1|
|17||Solomini (KY)||Flavien Prat||126||Bob Baffert||30/1|
|18||Vino Rosso (KY)||John R. Velazquez||126||Todd A. Pletcher||12/1|
|19||Noble Indy (KY)||Florent Geroux||126||Todd A. Pletcher||30/1|
|20||Combatant (KY)||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||126||Steven M. Asmussen||50/1|
|21||Blended Citizen (KY)||Kyle Frey||126||Doug F. O’Neill||50/1|