Top 2018 Kentucky Derby Contenders Looking to End Apollo Curse

If you are following the Kentucky Derby in 2018 then you have heard the Apollo Curse bandied about probably more than you care for.

Apollo was the 1882 Kentucky Derby winner and he is the last to have won the Run for the Roses without having at least one start as a two-year-old.

Since 1937 there have been 61 runners that have started in the Kentucky Derby without a race as a juvenile and they have all come up empty.

This year there are two major contenders looking to break the curse, Justify and Magnum Moon, and they are both among the top 2018 Kentucky Derby betting choices.

Justify is the betting favorite, his current Kentucky Derby odds at 7-2. The Bob Baffert trainee is perfect in three career starts, winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his last outing.

The colt did not make his debut until Feb. 18 where he broke his maiden by 9 ½ lengths and earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. He followed that victory up with a win against first level optional claimers and again topped the triple digit Beyer scale with a 101. He then topped that number with a 107 for his Santa Anita Derby score.

If there is a trainer that can get a horse ready on the first Saturday of May it is the Hall of Famer Baffert, who has won the Derby four times including with American Pharoah in 2015, who went on to win the Triple Crown.

Magnum Moon is the other top contender seeking to end the streak. He is sent out by trainer Todd Pletcher, who saddled last year’s Derby winner Always Dreaming.

Magnum Moon is currently listed at 15-2 in the latest 2018 Kentucky Derby odds.

The colt did not make his debut until Jan. 13, breaking his maiden with a 97 Beyer. He then beat first level optional claimers, then was shipped to Oaklawn Park for his stakes debut.

He won the Rebel (G2) with a 97 Beyer and then shipped back to Hot Springs to win the Arkansas Derby (G1) with a career best 98 Beyer.

The colt comes into this year’s Derby perfect in four career starts and is certainly a threat.

Can the Apollo Curse end this year? These are two very talented and undefeated colts and there is a good chance the name Apollo won’t be mentioned at all leading up to the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

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