Despite Loss Carpe Diem Slight Favorite for 2015 Kentucky Derby

The Todd Pletcher trained Carpe Diem is the early favorite in 2015 Kentucky Derby betting despite coming up short as the 9/5 betting choice in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita on November 1.

The Juvenile was won by longshot Texas Red, who went from last to first, drawing away to win by 6½ lengths, returning his backers $29.80 and topping a $2 exacta with Carpe Diem that paid $100.60.

Carpe Diem is currently at Kentucky Derby betting odds of 15/1, while Texas Red is the co-second choice with American Pharoah at 16/1.

The only horse that has won both the Juvenile and the Run for the Roses was Street Sense in 2007.

Carpe Diem was a $1.6 million purchase owned by WinStar Farm and Stonestreet Farm. The colt broke his maiden in his debut at Saratoga on September 15 and then won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland on October 4 before tasting defeat for the first time in the Breeders’ Cup.

Pletcher went 0 for 24 with his Kentucky Derby horses before finally scoring with Super Saver in 2010. He has several other early contenders for the Derby including Champagne (G1) winner Daredevil, who was a disappointing 11th in the Juvenile, and Blofeld, who is undefeated in three career starts, his last win coming in the Nashua (G2) at Aqueduct on November 2.

Daredevil is currently at Derby betting odds of 20/1 while Blofeld is 40/1.

Texas Red came in to the Juvenile off a third-place finish in the Frontrunner Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita on September 27, which was his first start against winners after breaking his maiden in his third career start.

The Steve Asmussen trainee did not get much pace to run at that day, but certainly did in the Juvenile where he rallied strongly from the back of the pack to pull off the upset.

American Pharoah, who wired the field in the Frontrunner, would have been the betting favorite for the Juvenile, but trainer Bob Baffert elected to scratch the colt on Tuesday of Breeders’ Cup week as the colt was suffering from a deep bruise in his hoof. The colt will get some time off and will be back for the early Derby preps next spring.

The fifth choice in early Derby betting is El Kabeir, who skipped the Juvenile. The John Terranova trainee has won one of his four starts. The colt was fourth in the Champagne and then ran second in the Nashua in his most recent outing.

Cozmic One is listed at 35/1 despite not having raced yet. The colt is the first foal to race out of the great mare Zenyatta.

Last year’s Derby winner California Chrome already had five starts under his belt on November 1 of his juvenile campaign. On that day he ran sixth in the Golden State Juvenile Stakes at Santa Anita, giving us little hint of what was to come the following spring.

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