2017 Kentucky Derby Odds, Favorites, Dark Horses, and Analysis

The 2017 Kentucky Derby runs at Churchill Downs this Saturday. The race this year has 20 entries, which could cause problems for several of the favorites, who run from some of the outside gates.

A number of relatively unknown or untouted horses have entered the field, including Untrapped (58-1), State of Honor (51-1), and J Boyz Echo (45-1). Irap (38-1), Fast and Accurate (37-1), and Battle of Midway (37-1) are all dark horses, too.

Always Dreaming at 4-1 Odds

The betting favorite (4-1) at the moment is Always Dreaming, which runs out of Brooklyn Boyz Stables. Todd Pelcher, who won the 2012 Kentucky Derby as the trainer of Super Saver, is Always Dreaming’s trainer. Jockey John Velasquez, who won the 2011 Kentucky Derby riding Animal Kingdom, is the colt’s rider. Always Dreaming runs from the fifth gate, which is a perfect place to begin.

Irish War Cry at 5-1 Odds

Second-place betting favorite Irish War Cry is not in the perfect gate. Irish War Cry starts from Gate 17 out of 20 gates. Despite that fact, horse racing analyst Hank Greenberg says Irish War Cry is his pick to win. Greenberg said the colt has the perfect set of skills to win the Kentucky Derby race in particular. Betting began at 9:2, but steadied at 5:1 after the draw was announced. The morning-line odds are 6:1, so late bettors might be rewarded.

Irish War Cry’s owner is Isabelle de Tomaso, the daughter of Amory Haskell. Those who find that name familier might be reminded of the Amory Haskell G1 race at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

Irish War Cry’s jockey is Rajiv Maragh, who is coming off an injury which held him out of racing for the better part of a year. The colt’s trainer is Graham Motion, who was the trainer of 2011 KY Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

Classic Empire and McCracken: Both 7-1 Odds

Classic Empire and McCracken each have 7-1 odds. Classic Empire runs from the 14th gate, while McCracken runs from the 15th gate. Classic Empire is a bit more of an outside shot, because his odds ran to 8-1 at one point. His morning-line odds were 4-1. Classic Empire is trained by “Racing’s Bad Boy”, Mark Casse. His owner is John Oxley, who owned 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. Julien R. Leparoux is the colt’s jockey.

McCracken is remains a 7-1 shot to win the Derby, but had 5-1 morning-line odds. The trainer of McCracken, Ian R. Wilkes, has never won a Kentucky Derby as a trainer, but was an assistant to Carl Nafzger, who won as trainer of 1990 Derby-winner Unbridled and 1997 winner, Street Sense. Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr. is McCracken’s jockey, while the owner is Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC.

Gunnevera at 9-1 Odds

Gunnevera sits in an interesting spot as a 9-1 shot. Gunnevera runs from the 10th gate and is ridden by Javier Castellano. The colt was trained by the gritty Antonio Sano, who twice was kidnapped and held for ransom in his native Venezuela. Both times, Antonio Sano escaped on his own accord. The Peacock Stables LLC owns Gunnevera.

Patch: A Kentucky Derby Fan Favorite

A fan favorite this year is Patch, a 14-1 bet which is running from the 20th box. Patch lost of his eyes due to a mysterious infection. Obviously, his name was given after he lost his eye. Patch is the son of Union Rags, who won the 2012 Belmont Stakes. Always Dreaming’s trainer, Todd Pletcher, is also Patch’s trainer. Tyler Gaffalione is Patch’s jockey, while the Colt’s owner is Calumet Farms.

The 20-horse field of thoroughbreds is considered a wide open field this year. No single horse is considered a potential dominant force, which explains why so many ownership groups fielded horses. That could add intrigue to jockeying for position out of the gates, while the results are likelier to be unpredictable than usual.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com

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