Pletcher is Loaded with Four 2018 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Todd Pletcher will be the busiest trainer in the paddock on the first Saturday of May, sending out four top contenders for the 2018 Kentucky Derby (G1).

His barn accounted for four major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race victories and the trainer is seeking to win back to back Run for the Roses after his victory last year with Always Dreaming.

Pletcher will saddle Audible, Magnum Moon, Noble Indy and Vino Rosso, the quartet all coming into the Kentucky Derby off victories.

Pletcher lost with his first 24 Derby starters before finally finding the winner’s circle with Super Saver in 2010. Over the next six years he saddled 17 more runners without success, then sent out a trio last year, striking gold with Always Dreaming.

Audible might be his best shot, the colt coming off a victory in the Florida Derby (G1) and is currently the third choice on the early 2018 Kentucky Derby odds at 5-1.

Always Dreaming became the 24th Kentucky Derby winner to prep in the Florida Derby, with the race now surpassing the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland for most winners of the Kentucky Derby.

A $500,000 Keeneland purchase, Audible has won four in a row and is the choice of top jockey Javier Castellano who has not won the Derby in 11 tries.

Magnum Moon comes into the Run for the Roses undefeated in four career starts, taking the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park in his last start. The colt is the current fourth choice in 2018 Kentucky Derby betting at 8-1.

The colt is looking to become the first Derby winner since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old. The colt made his debut on Jan. 13.

Vino Rosso picked up his first stakes win and his ticket to the Kentucky Derby by winning the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct.

The Wood has not produced an in-the-money finish in the Kentucky Derby since 2003 where Funny Cide won and Empire Maker ran second.

The colt has dropped to 16-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering after his Wood victory.

Pletcher’s fourth contender is Noble Indy, who has not been seen since winning the Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 24. The third-place finisher in that race was My Boy Jack who returned to win the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland in his next outing.

The colt has won three of his four career starts and is sitting at 20-1 in early Kentucky Derby betting, the highest price among the four Pletcher runners.

Pletcher is a seven-time Eclipse Award winner for outstanding trainer, the all-time record, but in the Run for the Roses he has won with just two of his 48 starters.

His record does not look good, but in his defense he has sent out quite a few longshots and has had at least three starters eight times.

His record looks better when we look at the fact he has started runners in 17 editions of the Kentucky Derby with two wins.

He certainly has a chance to improve on his record this year.

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