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Kentucky Derby Futures & Contenders

On Saturday, May 4, the 2013 Kentucky Derby will be run at Churchill Downs – the 139th annual Run for the Roses.

While that date might seem well into the future, it’s never too early to start handicapping the field and looking at hoses that might make some noise come May.

This year, the Derby has instituted a new points system for qualification into the big dance. Stakes races will increase in value as we get closer and closer to May 4, meaning the “stakes” actually get higher with each race.

So while Derby positions are still left to be determined, a pretty decent picture is coming into focus with regards to contenders and pretenders. The Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard is jammed with points and futures are already in play.

So let’s take a look, shall we?

Kentucky Derby Contenders

All Others, 5/1

No, that’s not the name of a horse – it’s a way for bettors to play the field. Also referred to as the Mutuel Field, this includes all three-year-old thoroughbreds other than the 23 individual horses on the Derby future’s pool.

It’s not an overwhelming surprise that All Others leads the way right now. April represents a big month for stakes races with certain fields offering up as many as 50 Derby points. That means the field could take a dramatically different look on a week-to-week basis, hence why people might play the field.

Verrazano, 7-1

Verrazano is a product of the Let’s Go Stable, a racing partnership started by brothers-in-law Kevin Scatuorchio and Bryan Sullivan in 2006. The duo has enlisted the services of super-trainer Todd Pletcher to handle Verrazano, and that’s partly why the odds are already in the horse’s favor – Pletcher won the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver and led all trainers in monies won for the 2011 season.

Verrazano has shown good form as of late, winning the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby Stakes on March 9. At the time of writing he currently sat sixth on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 50 points.

Vyjack, 10/1

Vyjack comes from the Pick Six Racing stable (David Wilkenfeld) and is the first horse Wilkenfeld ever purchased. Fun fact: the name comes from his parents, Vivienne and Jack.

Wilkenfeld has enlisted the services of Rudy Rodriguez as his trainer and the pair has worked well together, especially in March. Vyjack shot right near the top of the leaderboard thanks to a big win at the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 2.

Itsmyluckyday, 10/1

Itsmyluckyday is still riding high on success from earlier this season – he captured the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream back in January, snagging a bunch of points in the process (currently sitting 20th overall.)

A lot of Itsmyluckday’s hype probably stems from his trainer, Eddie Plesa Jr. A former assistant for the legendary Stanley Hough, Plesa Jr. has over 2,000 career victories and was inducted into the Calder Hall of Fame in 2006.

About Tennessee Leduc

Born in Summersville Kentucky, Tennessee is an impassioned fan of horse racing, women, civilized debauchery, and... mint juleps. He writes, he reads, he listens, but above all he experiences the world he lives in.

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