Kentucky Derby Top Contenders and Betting Picks

A field of 20 is likely for Saturday’s 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, and it appears to have one of the most wide open and talented fields we have seen in decades.

While the betting favorite has won the last two editions, Orb ($12.80) in 2013 and the popular California Chrome ($7.00) last year, only four other favorites have managed to get the job done in the last three decades.

That has led to huge payoffs. The average exacta over the past 15 years is $1,173 and the trifecta average is $16,161.

Even with the favorites winning the past two years, the $2 exacta still returned a hefty $340 last year and $982 in 2013 thanks to longshots running second.

Kentucky Derby Top Contenders

American Pharoah has been the betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby for months, and is currently at betting odds of 9-4. The talented colt won the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park in his last outing by eight lengths.

His stablemate Dortmund gives trainer Bob Baffert a strong duo as he seeks to win the Kentucky Derby for the fourth time. Dortmund’s betting odds are 9-2, good for second choice in the wagering.

The colt is undefeated in six career starts, winning three starts as a juvenile and then sweeping the Derby preps in Southern California this year.

The Todd Pletcher trained Carpe Diem is the third top contender at odds of 7-1. The colt has won four of his five career starts and is perfect in two starts this year, winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) off a four-month layoff and then winning the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) in his final Derby prep.

His lone loss was a runner up finish in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) behind Texas Red, who dropped off the Derby Trail with an injury.

Pletcher will also saddle the likely fourth choice in Materiality, who is at odds of 12-1. The colt is perfect in three starts. He broke his maiden in his debut on Jan. 11, won the Islamorada Handicap in his stakes debut, and then won the Florida Derby (G1) to earn his way to Louisville.

An intriguing contender is Mubtaahij, who seeks to become the first Derby winner to prep in Dubai. The colt won the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan Race Course in Dubai to earn 100 Derby points. The colt is trained by Michael de Kock, regarded as one of the top trainers in the world. His current odds are 12-1.

Frosted is at odds of 16-1 and comes into the race off a victory in the Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct in his last outing.

Kentucky Derby Betting Picks

Can the betting favorite win the Kentucky Derby for the third year in a row? American Pharoah certainly looks like the most talented colt of his generation and has not been fully tested in his last two starts. And Baffert knows how to get it done in Louisville, a three-time Derby winning trainer.

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