139th Kentucky Derby Preview and Picks
The 2013 Triple Crown horse racing season for three-year old thoroughbreds gets underway this Saturday afternoon with the running of the Crown Jewel of the series; the Kentucky Derby. Run on a 1 ¼ mile dirt track at Churchill Downs, this grade I stakes race features a field of 20 horses competing for a total prize purse of $2 million.
The following is a closer look at my top favorite, contender and longshot for Saturday’s race with odds provided by Sportsbook.
There are a few quality horses in this category, but the one that I have pegged as the favorite to win the Derby is Verrazano at +400. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, this colt comes into this race with a perfect 4-0 record in four previous starts.
After winning a maiden weight special and allowance race at Gulfstream, he really burst onto the scene with a victory in the Tampa Bay Derby this past March as a 2/5 favorite in his first graded stakes race.
Verrazano cemented himself as one of the favorites to win on Saturday after winning the grade I Wood Memorial as a 4/5 favorite in early April.
The early odds on Goldencents are +1000, but he could easily move up to be one of the top three or four horses in the field depending of the outcome of the draw for starting positions.
As a two-year old, this colt broke his maiden in his first start at Del Mar and then went on to finish second in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont and first in the Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs to close-out a very successful juvenile campaign. [ad-1605881]
With Doug O’Neill as his trainer, Goldencents won the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in early January in his first stakes race as a three-year old.
Following a disappointing fourth-place finish in the grade II San Felipe Stakes in early March, he moved right back up the ranks with a huge victory in the grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 6.
This is one of the strongest fields in years for the Kentucky Derby as there are a number of horses with longer odds more than capable of upsetting the field late Saturday afternoon.
One horse in particular that is starting to draw quite a bit of attention is Mylute at +2500.
This horse has gained a reputation as an excellent sprinter so the added distance of this race is a concern; however trainer Tom Amoss and jockey Rosie Napravnik have done a great job with him as a three-year old to build his endurance.
His best finish in a major stakes race this year is second in the grade II Louisiana Derby on March 30, but Mylute still has upset potential written all over him.