2018 Kentucky Derby Betting Storylines
The Kentucky Derby is as much about the storylines as it is about the two minutes of excitement that follows when the 20 best three-year-olds burst out of the starting gates at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.
Ahead of the most storied race in the world, here are three key things you
need to know ahead of the run for the roses.
The field for the Kentucky Derby is made up of the 20 top-ranked horses (plus four 'also eligibles', who are on standby in case of a late scratch) after the completion of the road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a series of prep races held across North America, Japan and Europe.
The top scoring horses during the road to Derby may be a good indicator of form over an extended period of time. However, that form doesn't always translate into favoritism when it comes to Kentucky Derby odds.
This year, the Todd Pletcher-trained Noble Indy has led the way in the points standings of the North American road to the Derby. However, Racebook Bovada only has the colt with an outside chance to win the Derby at odds of 20/1 at the time of this writing.
More fancied, however, is the Mick Ruis-trained Bolt d'Oro, whose
preparation has been near faultless, registering four wins from five
starts, while the Bob Baffert-trained McKinzie also shares the top line of
betting after three first-place finishes and a second in his four prep
races, including the Group One Los Alamitos Futurity.
With four Kentucky Derby winners apiece, Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas are
tied for the second most wins as a trainer in the Kentucky Derby. And with
both expected to have runners in the May 5 race, they are both in with a
shot at making it No. 5.
Baffert, who trained the 2014 Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh, will in all likelihood have two runners in the race, the highly-fancied McKinzie, who at time of writing is the favorite at 7/1, as well as the highly-thought-of Solomini, who too is expected to run well.
Meanwhile, D. Wayne Lukas, who holds the record for most Triple Crown race
wins with 14, will have a single runner in this year's Derby, Bravazo, who
is currently listed at 50/1 odds of taking out the Derby.
GRONK IS IN THE HOUSE
Much-loved New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is famous for his
exploits in the NFL, but this year he'll have a commanding presence on the
track as well, with a horse named after him qualifying for the race, which
is sure to feature in thousands of people's Kentucky Derby picks.
After topping the standings of the European Road to the Derby, Gronkowiski (the horse) will enter the gates in exceptional form, having won his last four races, with two wins coming in March. All that remains to see is if this Gronkowski can do what his human namesake couldn't - win on the biggest stage of the year.
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