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Often called the fastest two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby always run on the first Saturday in May. The 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs is the 139th Run for the Roses as the thoroughbred racing world continues its search for the next Triple Crown winner.
There has not been a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed won it in 1978. While there hasn't been a winner since '78, last years I'll Have Another was one race away, but tragically retired due to injury on the eve of the 3rd and final major race, Belmont Stakes.
The morning-line favorite this year is Orb with 7/2 odds to win. He has won four-straight starts, including the Grade I Florida Derby in March. Velazquez rode Orb in the Florida Derby but chose to ride Verrazano in Louisville. Joel Rosario will be aboard Orb at Churchill. He has never ridden a Derby winner.
Verrazano the 4/1 second favorite, who has won all four career races. He beat a strong field as the favorite at the Wood Memorial, but no horse has won the Wood and Derby since Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000.
Verrazano is trained by Todd Pletcher, who won the Derby for the only time in 2010 with Super Saver. Verrazano will be ridden by John Velazquez, who won the 2011 Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom.
With 21 horses and no clear cut favorite this years Kentucky Derby is certain to be very interesting. Lets take a look at the participants in Pole Position order.
Black Onyx- Odds 50-1 Trainer- Kelly Breen Jockey-Joe Bravo. Odds 50-1
Won at the Spiral Stakes on a less than ideal synthetic surface. In an interesting twist 2011 Derby winner Animal Kingdom also won the Spiral prior to taking down the Derby. Could history repeat itself?
Oxbow- Trainer- Wayne Lucas. Jockey – Gary Stevens. Odds 30-1
While the horse has limited appeal his team has 127 years of combined experience. Giving Oxbow an outside shot.
Revolutionary- Trainer -Todd Pletcher. Jockey –Calvin Borel. Odds 10-1
Great looking horse who has a good a chance as any in the field.
Golden Soul- Trainer – Dallas Stewart. Jockey- Robby Albarado Odds 50-1
Horse has had 3 stakes races this year and has not even come close in any of them. Probably the longest shot in the field
Normandy Invasion- Trainer – Chad Brown. Jockey Javier Castellano. Odds 12-1
This horse may be the strongest finisher in the field. He has tripped in his first two races as a 3 year old or he may have gotten his first win already.
Mylute. Trainer – Tom Amoss. Jockey – Rosie Napravnik .Odds 15-1
Napravnik is seeking to become the first female jockey ever to win the Derby. The horse had a strong second place finish at the Louisiana Derby.
Giant Finish. Trainer -Tony Dutrow. Jockey -Jose Espinoza. Odds 50-1
50-1 for good reason. Not much history to show any chance of a strong performance.
GoldenCents. – Trainer- Doug Oneill Jockey- Kevin Krigger Odds 5-1
The horse is partially owned by Louisville basketball Coach Rick Patino. Oneill is seeking to win back to back Derby’s. Krigger is attempting to become the first black jockey ever to win the Derby
Overanalyze- Trainer- Todd Pletcher Jockey – Rafael Bejarano Odds 15-1
Won the Arkansas Derby by a large margin as a 2 Year Old. The pace of that race was slow however and it is questionable as to whether or not he is a legit contendeA.
Palace Malace. Trainer- Todd Pletcher. Jockey- Mike Smith odds 20-1
A second place finish in The Blue Grass takes got him into the field. The slow pace of that race makes him an unlikely winner.
Lines of Battle- Trainer - Aidan Obrien. Jockey – Ryan Moore. Odds 30-1
The Battle lines have been drawn at 30-1 which may end up being 50-1 by post time.
Itsmyluckyday. Trainer- Ed Plesa. Jockey – Elvis Trujillo Odds 15-1
Pleasa says he hasn’t “cranked” the horse all the way up yet and that he will unleash him at the Derby.
Falling Sky. Trainer – John Terranova. Jockey- Luis Saez. Odds 50-1
Probably the best horse amongst the longshots. He is usually out in front to start races, however fades in the end.
Verrazano. Trainer- Todd Pletcher. Jockey- John Velazquez. Odds 4-1
Undefeated and the runner up to being the favorite to this years Derby. Luck is not on their side since post 14 has only had 2 winners in its history.
Charming Kitten. Trainer - Todd Pletcher. Jockey – Edgar Prado Odds 20-1
Prado gives the horse a fighting chance, however its impossible to predict hoe the horse will react on a natural surface after only running on synthetic surfaces prior to the Derby
Orb. Trainer- Shug McGaughey Jockey- Joel Rosario Odds 7-2
The favorite largely based off of his win in the Florida Derby. Overall the horse has four straight wins.
Will Take Change. Trainer – Wayne Lukas Jockey – Jon Court Odds- 20-1
With a win Lukas will become the 2nd highest winner in Derby history and he has won more than 1 Derby against long odds
Frac Daddy. Trainer Ken McPeek Jockey – Victor Lebron. Odds 50-1
Won his Maiden race and hasn’t won since.
Java’s War. Trainer- Ken McPeek. Jockey – Julien Leparoux. Odds 15-1
An impressive stretch run helped him win the Blue Grass. A good start in critical.
Vyjack- Trainer – Rudy Rodriguez Jockey- Garret Gomez. Odds 50-1
Rodriguez’s history of medical issues has this horse under 24 hour observation.
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