After spending the entire spring as the early betting favorite for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, the undefeated Verrazano will play second fiddle to Orb after the 2013 Kentucky Derby morning line odds were released on Wednesday afternoon.
A field of 21 was entered in the race, with Fear the Kitten sitting on the also-eligible list. Florida Derby (G1) winner Orb drew post 16 and was installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite by Churchill Downs morning linesmaker Mike Batttaglia.
The Shug McGaughey trainee has won four of his seven career starts and will be reunited with jockey Joel Rosario, who rode the colt in his first five starts. John Velazquez rode him in victories in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and Florida Derby but elected to stick with Verrazano.
“I’m pleased with the 16 and we’ll take it from there,” McGaughey stated after the draw. “I think from where he is we’ll try to hold our position and maybe try to creep in a little bit around the first turn and then (Joel Rosario) can watch what’s going on inside of him. He can watch what Johnny (Velazquez) is doing on Verrazano. If Johnny thinks Orb is the horse to beat he’s going to be watch what we’re doing to.”
The Pletcher trained Verrazano drew post 14 and is the 4-1 second choice in the field. The colt is perfect in four starts, winning the Wood Memorial (G1) in his last prep. The colt was the futures betting favorite throughout the spring and closed as the favorite in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager at 7-1.
However, the combination of a less than impressive Wood win and the fact that Orb has been the talk of the backstretch this week at Churchill Downs led to the role reversal for morning line favorite.
Pletcher had to wait longer to find out the draw for Verrazano, and posts one and two were still available when the colt drew post 14.
“We hadn’t gotten a spot for Verrazano and with some tough posts – the one and the two – still out there, I was concerned,” Pletcher said. “But then he drew the 14 and it was a sigh of relief.”
Pletcher will saddle four runners in the field in addition to Verrazano. Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Revolutionary (10-1) drew post three, Arkansas Derby (G2) victor Overanalyze (15-1) drew post nine, Blue Grass (G1) runner up Palace Malice (20-1) will break from the 10 post, and Blue Grass third place finisher Charming Kitten (20-1) will break from post 15.
Goldencents is the third choice on the morning line at 5-1 and will break form post eight for trainer Doug O’Neill, who saddled last year’s Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another.
Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:24 ET and will be broadcast live on NBC during a three hour telecast that gets underway at 4:00 ET.
2013 Kentucky Derby Morning Line Odds
|D. Wayne Lukas
|Lines of Battle
|Eddie Plesa, Jr.
|John Terranova, Jr.
|Will Take Charge
|D. Wayne Lukas
|Fear the Kitten
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