Last week we looked at the top ten Kentucky Derby (G1) contenders and betting odds and today we will look at the second half of the field that is expected to line up at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday of May.
While Santa Anta Derby (G1) winner Justify is expected to go off as the betting favorite, this year’s field is deep and there are seven or eight runners in the field that could win the race and not be a huge surprise.
However, when we get to the backend of the field, are there any sleepers that have a chance to pull off a major upset?
Perhaps no, but there certainly is a chance one or two of these could be in the mix in the superfecta.
Click here a look at Part One of Kentucky Derby Top Contenders and Betting Odds.
Here is a look at the second half of the Derby field in order of current early betting odds at USRacing.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee started his three-year-old debut with a fourth-place finish in the Holy Bull (G2) where he was beaten 14 ¾ lengths by Audible and his connections elected to ship him to New York for an easier path to Louisville. He bounced back with a sharp win in the Gotham (G3) going a mile and then was no match for Vino Rosso in a runner up finish in the Wood Memorial (G2) in his last start. As we have stated the Wood has not been a key race in recent years for the Kentucky Derby. The last in the money finish came back in 2003 when Funny Cide and Empire Maker completed the exacta.
The son of Distorted Humor started off his three-year-old campaign by winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) at 19-1 and earning a career top Beyer Speed Figure of 94. Last out he pressed the early pace and could not go with Magnum Moon in the stretch in a runner up finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1), beaten four lengths while a neck in front of Solomini. He would need to make a major jump forward to compete. His trainer Rodolphe Brisset was a long-time assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
I could not have been any happier to hear that Rob Gronkowski bought a share in this colt. AS we saw last year with Patch, the betting public likes a good story, and this colt is going to get way too much attention at the betting windows He won the European Road to the Kentucky Derby by winning his last two starts, taking the Burradon Stakes in his last start. No Group races and Jamie Spencer is in to ride. There is absolutely nothing to like about this guy. His best shot might be if Tom Brady rides him.
This colt is one of four sent out by trainer Todd Pletcher and he has been the forgotten runner among the quartet. He has not started since winning the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds on March 24 by a head over Lone Sailor. The third-place finisher My Boy Jack did come back with a nice win in the Lexington (G3) in his next outing. Contenders exiting this race have been successful landing for minor shares including Gun Runner (third in 2016), Commanding Curve (second in 2014), Golden Soul (second in 2013), Nehro (second in 2011) and Mucho Macho Man (third in 2011).
Free Drop Billy
After winning the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) this guy sure looked like a major Derby player. But he has lost his last four starts, checking in fourth and placed third thanks to a disqualification last out in the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland. He now has eight starts under his belt and his career top Beyer is the 90 he earned in his runner up finish in the Holy Bull (G2). The Dale Romans trainee just has not progressed from two to three.
The Mark Casse trainee is hard knocking, landing in the exacta in seven of his nine career starts. He won the Sam F. Davis (G3) and was a good second in both the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Blue Grass (G2). What could make this colt dangerous is he will be forwardly placed which could lead to at the son of Scat Daddy staying out of trouble. However, with a career top Beyer of 93, he would need to take a big leap forward to win.
This colt stamped his ticket with a runner up finish in the Louisiana Derby (G2) where he came with a good rally to take over the lead but was not able to hold off Noble Indy in deep stretch, beaten a neck. He has a solid two-year-old foundation with a third in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and a second missing by a head in the Street Sense. The Tom Amoss trainee comes into the Run for the Roses off by far his career best effort, but the question is going to be the added distance.
Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has won the Kentucky Derby four times—Winning Colors (1988), Thunder Gulch (1995), Grindstone (1996) and Charismatic (1999). The colt pulled off the upset in the Risen Star (G2) at 21-1 but faded badly to check in eighth I the Louisiana Derby (G2) in his last start. One rule that may not be broken anytime soon is the long streak of Derby winners coming into the race off a sharp prep. This guy sure does not.
This colt was an early leader in the clubhouse after his win in the Champagne (G1) last October at Belmont Park. He has only won once in five starts since, taking the Jerome on Jan. 13 in the mud. His fourth-place finishes in the Gotham (G3) and Wood (G2) do not instill much confidence he can win the Derby.
Here is another runner coming into the race off a subpar effort. The colt set a very sharp pace in the Florida Derby (G1) and faded to finish a well beaten ninth. He took the field gate to wire two back in the Fountain of Youth (G2), setting a more sensible pace and pulling off the upset at 18-1. He brings some serious speed to the race but would have to shake loose on an easy lead to be a factor on the first Saturday of May.
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