Kentucky Derby Looks Wide Open With Six Major Preps Left

It’s the home stretch on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, with just over a month before the two most exciting minutes in sports and now just six major prep races left to be decided.

With some of the major contenders getting upset and a couple of others with minor injury setbacks, who ultimately ends up going off as the betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby is still very much up in the air.

Coming up on Saturday there are two Road to the Kentucky Derby points races – the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G3) and the $1 million Florida Derby (G1).

On April 8, there are three points races – the $750,000 Wood Memorial (G2), the $1 million Blue Grass (G2) and the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1).

The last major points race will be contested on April 15 – the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1).

The current lukewarm betting favorite of the Kentucky Derby is still McCraken at 6-1, who last raced February 11, winning the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs and remaining undefeated in four career starts.

The Ian Wilkes trainee was targeting the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) for his next start but suffered a minor injury and is now being pointed toward the Blue Grass at Keeneland for his final Derby prep race.

The Todd Pletcher trained Tapwrit is the current second choice in the early Derby betting at 7-1. The colt was second to McCraken in the Sam F. Davis and then returned to win the Tampa Bay Derby.

Pletcher has not decided which final prep he will use to get this colt ready for Louisville on the first Saturday of May.

Gunnevera is down to 8-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering, good for third choice in the betting. The colt won the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park in his last outing.

Trained by Antonio Sano, the colt is pointing toward the Florida Derby on Saturday as his final prep race for the big dance.

The Pletcher-trained One Liner is at odds of 11-1. The colt won the Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park in his last outing and is perfect in three career starts.

Last year’s juvenile champion Classic Empire has drifted upward from the solid favorite to co-fifth choice at 12-1 along with Practical Joke and Malagacy.

The colt was a disappointing third as the betting favorite in the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park in his three-year-old debut in February.

He developed a foot abscess and missed his next intended start in the Fountain of Youth. He makes his final Derby prep in the Blue Grass or Arkansas Derby.

Post Navigation