Saturday’s Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs has its share of ‘chalk’ and long shots vying for their share of a $2,000,000 purse. Horse oddsmakers have listed No. 16 Orb as the 7/2 morning-line favorite, while No. 14 Verrazano closely follows as a 4/1 choice.
Orb and Verrazano have both notched four straight victories, capturing the east coast’s key preps. Orb won March’s Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, while Verrazano shipped north to triumph in last month’s Wood Memorial.
No. 8 Goldencents and No. 3 Revolutionary make up the contest’s next two contenders, listed at 5/1 and 10/1 odds, respectively.
Goldencents won April’s Santa Anita Derby by 1 ¾ lengths for trainer Doug O’Neill, who looks to repeat I’ll Have Another’s Kentucky
Derby triumph from last year. Revolutionary edged out No. 6 Mylute (15/1) to win March’s Louisiana Derby by a neck, while gaining three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel aboard here.
No. 19 Java’s War(15/1) and No. 20 Vyjack (15/1) break from the far outside, hoping to edge out the top challengers. Java’s War closed from fifth to first in the Blue Grass Stakes, while Vyjack held on for the show spot at Aqueduct against Verrazano.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas brings No. 17 Will Take Charge (20/1) and No. 2 Oxbow (30/1) to Louisville, looking for his fifth Kentucky Derby crown. Will Take Charge reached career-high speed for rider Jon Court in March’s Rebel Stakes victory, while Oxbow keeps Gary Stevens aboard after a fifth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby.
The betting odds also has five 50/1 long shots, who all look to upset their opposition for a chance at history.
Black Onyx (No. 1) switches to dirt after capturing Turfway’s Spiral Stakes over third-place finisher Giant Finish, who returns here (No. 7). No. 4 Golden Soul returns to Churchill Downs after a second-place finish in November’s career debut.
Frac Daddy breaks from No. 18 for Kenneth McPeek, keeping Victor Lebron aboard after a second-place run in the Arkansas Derby. No. 13 Falling Sky faded to fourth in the same affair, ending a string of three straight starts in the money.
Selections: Normandy Invasion, Overanalyze, Will Take Charge
Saturday’s clash is Race No. 11 on Churchill Downs’ card, with an expected post time of 6:24 p.m. (ET). The weather forecast in Louisville calls for a 70-percent chance of rain, with 15 mph winds.
When it comes to placing my sports picks, I am going to spread my bankroll out on three choices here, looking for a price with win and place tickets on each.
No. 5 Normandy Invasion (12/1) finished second behind Verrazano in the Wood Memorial and looks for revenge at some higher odds here. Chad Brown’s colt showed improvement after February’s subpar fifth-place outing at Fair Grounds, while having the closing kick needed to prevail at a longer distance.
No. 9 Overanalyze (15/1) comes to Louisville as one of Todd Pletcher’s five entries, overshadowed thanks to Verrazano and Revolutionary having more promising chances. The contender closed five-wide to capture the Arkansas Derby and should be ready to stretch out here.
No. 17 Will Take Charge (20/1) is an overlay for Lukas and Court here, still not getting enough respect after last month’s Rebel Stakes win. The grandson of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled moved to 2-for-3 in his last trio of starts, with Court on board for all of the outings.