2017 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds

 

Last Updated: 2017-05-03

Kentucky Derby 2017 oddsThe 143rd Run for the Roses, better known as the Kentucky Derby, is coming up on May 6, 2017 at world-renowned Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. A full weekend of racing and fun culminates with the most notable horse race on the planet, as the world’s best and three-year-old Thoroughbreds run the 1.25 miles seen around the world.

Post positions have been drawn, so we have updated our original article. Here are the post positions and the morning line odds for the 2017 Kentucky Derby:

Post Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Lookin At Lee 20/1 C. Lanerie S. Asmussen
2 Thunder Snow 20/1 C. Soumillon S. bin Surror
3 Fast and Accurate 50/1 C. Hill M. Maker
4 Untrapped 30/1 R. Santana Jr. S. Asmussen
5 Always Dreaming 5/1 J. Velazquez T. Pletcher
6 State of Honor 30/1 J. Lezcano M. Casse
7 Girvin 15/1 M. Smith J. Sharp
8 Hence 15/1 F. Geroux S. Asmussen
9 Irap 20/1 M. Gutierrez D. O’Neill
10 Guennevera 15/1 J. Castellano A. Sano
11 Battle of Midway 30/1 F. Prat J. Hollendorfer
12 Sonneteer 50/1 K. Desormeaux K. Desormeaux
13 J Boys Echo 20/1 L. Saez D. Romans
14 Classic Empire 4/1 J. Leparoux M. Casse
15 McCraken 5/1 B. Hernandez Jr. I. Wilkes
16 Tapwrit 20/1 J. Ortiz T. Pletcher
17 Irish War Cry 6/1 R. Maragh G. Motion
18 Gormley 15/1 V. Espinoza J. Shirreffs
19 Practical Joke 20/1 J. Rosario C. Brown
20 Patch 30/1 T. Gaffalione T. Pletcher
Alt1 Royal Mo 20/1 G. Stevens J. Shirreffs
Alt2 Master Plan 50/1 J. Velazquez T. Pletcher

Noticeably absent from the odds board is Mastery, who had a phenomenal run at the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, which may have been the most loaded field and the best race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby circuit. Unfortunately, Mastery is out of action with an injury.

Before we dive into the specific contenders, let’s look at some overall Kentucky Derby results. The favorite came in last year with Nyquist taking down the $1.631M first prize with a win for jockey Mario Gutierrez and trainer Doug O’Neill. Exaggerator came in the place position and Gun Runner showed nicely in third. Nyquist would go on to finish third at the Preakness and did not run in the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown. Exaggerator won the Preakness and finished 11th at the Belmont. Exaggerator is now a breeding stallion after retiring from competitive racing. It was a much less exciting Triple Crown circuit last year after American Pharoah cemented his place in history with a dominant Triple Crown performance and a win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic for good measure.

Nyquist’s win was the second in the Kentucky Derby for trainer Doug O’Neill, who also had a winner back in 2012 with I’ll Have Another. Gutierrez was the jockey for that ride as well. Bob Baffert was the winning trainer with American Pharoah for his fourth career Kentucky Derby triumph. It was his first since 2002 with War Emblem, which was also a win for jockey Victor Espinoza. Espinoza was also atop Art Sherman’s California Chrome is 2014. Well-known trainer Todd Pletcher’s only win came back in 2010 when Super Saver was a winner for decorated jockey Calvin Borel, who also won in 2009 on Mine That Bird and 2007 on Street Sense. These are all names that you will want to know heading into Saturday’s feature race.

Unfortunately, Baffert’s top contender was Mastery, so he will have no horses in the race. Pletcher has three horses in the Derby, with a prime contender in Always Dreaming, and two others in Tapwrit and Patch. O’Neill’s only horse is Irap, who has shown well in the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The early odds that we posted from DSI Sportsbook had Classic Empire at +625 and now he is the favorite at 4/1. Classic Empire got a decent draw in post 14, so he should be able to avoid getting tripped up early in the race. He shouldn’t have a whole lot of ground to cover to get to the front of the pack once things settle in. There’s some pedigree here with this horse, as Pioneerof the Nile provided the goods to Star of Goshen. Pioneerof the Nile won the Santa Anita Derby and the San Felipe Stakes before finishing second to Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby in 2009. Trainer Mark Casse hasn’t gotten a win in a Triple Crown race, but does have some impressive Breeders’ Cup wins and also a win in the Queen Anne Stakes with Tepin. Those aforementioned Breeders’ Cup wins came in the Futurity Stakes and also the Juvenile, both with Classic Empire. Classic Empire showed at the Holy Bull, but won the Arkansas Derby. This seems like a great price point for a horse that has already taken down some very impressive Grade I stakes races. Julien Leparoux has been the jockey atop Classic Empire and led him to that Breeders’ Cup Juvenile win and had tremendous success with Tepin.

Pletcher’s Always Dreaming is one of the second favorites at 5/1, along with McCraken. Always Dreaming scored the win at the Florida Derby on April 1 and also scored a pretty easy win at Gulfstream Park in his final tune-up for the Florida Derby on March 4. The rider tasked with getting Always Dreaming to the winner’s circle is John Velazquez, who won his one and only Kentucky Derby on Animal Kingdom back in 2011. The 45-year-old has two career wins in the Belmont Stakes. Always Dreaming’s pedigree includes Bodemeister, who was the runner-up in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 2012. Ironically, Bodemeister was a Baffert-trained horse and now Pletcher has the proverbial rains with the offspring.

McCraken’s odds in our first write-up were +800 at DSI, so you got a little bit of value if you hit some of the early numbers. The price is now 6/1. McCraken won at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Jockey Club race back on November 26. His other win came at the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 11. In McCraken’s final tune-up, he finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes, behind Irap, who is lined at 20/1 and Practical Joke, who is also 20/1. That doesn’t seem to bode well for McCraken or trainer Ian Wilkes, but this is a horse that has shown good speed in most races.

Irish War Cry is also right there at 6/1. Lineage plays a big role here in this price and a big role in a lot of prices as you start to look back and see which famous horses the world’s top three-year-olds have come from. Irish War Cry is a product of Curlin, who won the 2007 Preakness Stakes and also the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Irish War Cry has done a lot of winning, including the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct back on April 8, but it seems to be the disappointing seventh-place effort at Gulfstream Park in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on March 4 that has some skeptics out there. Irish War Cry also won the Holy Bull on February 4 at Gulfstream, so the upside is definitely there.

One really compelling mid-range shot for this race is Guennevera at 15/1 and in slot #10. A Kentucky Derby win has evaded both jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Antonio Sano, but this horse has a good shot. Castellano has one Triple Crown win back at the 2006 Preakness Stakes atop Ghostzapper. He also won the Breeders’ Cup Classic that year and has several other Breeders’ Cup triumphs. Interestingly enough, McCraken’s father is Ghostzapper, adding a nice little wrinkle to this race. His win in the Kentucky Oaks last year on Cathryn Sophia was his first big win at Churchill Downs. A win for Sano would make for a tremendous story. Sano was kidnapped on two separate occasions in 2009 and was released when the captors got the ransom money that they were asking for. Guennevera had a pretty strong run in Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream on April 1 in his final tune-up. He finished third, as Always Dreaming won. Guennevera won the Fountain of Youth in March and finished second to Irish War Cry in the Holy Bull in February.

As far as some of the other medium and long shots, J Boys Echo has had some nice runs, but those mostly came in Grade 3 Stakes races, so context is important in terms of his speed numbers. Irap beat Practical Joke and McCraken at the Blue Grass Stakes last month and could be a real sleeper with a great trainer in Doug O’Neill and a talented jockey in Mario Gutierrez. This is the tandem that won last year’s Kentucky Derby with Nyquist and also the Kentucky Derby in 2012 with I’ll Have Another.

The favorites are fairly spread out for this race. Always Dreaming should be in pretty good shape in the #5 post, with Classic Empire and McCraken possibly running into some trouble trying to get to the rail. It certainly feels like Always Dreaming, with a good start, can get out in front and could make that count. Irap and Gunnevera also got terrific draws, although they are side-by-side. Something with the 5, 9, 10 or 5, 9/10, 14 looks good for setting up a box trifecta, with some win money on Always Dreaming and Classic Empire. McCraken has the most experience at Churchill Downs and has shown some strong speed numbers, but there is some dead weight to move through to get out into open ground and Classic Empire has the inside track.

Post time for the 2017 Kentucky Derby is 6:46 p.m. ET.

 

 

-END OF 2017 PREVIEW-

 

Horse racing seems to captivate the American public once a year for about a month. It will be interesting to see if there is as much buzz this year as there was for last year’s Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby is the opening race of the Triple Crown and this year’s running will be held on May 7, 2016 at world-famous Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

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It will be hard to top last year’s Triple Crown. American Pharoah became the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in the same year since 1978. The 37-year drought was the longest in history. For good measure, American Pharoah went and dominated the Breeders’ Cup Classic, cementing his legacy as one of the best horses of all time.

However, the focus shifts now to 2016. The Road to the Kentucky Derby has been underway since October and there are some interesting competitors in this year’s field.

We have edited the lines from our original March 21 post to include the post positions and the new odds:

 

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Trojan Nation Gryder Gallagher 50/1
2 Suddenbreakingnews Quinonez Von Hemel 20/1
3 Creator Santana Jr. Asmussen 10/1
4 Mo Tom Lanerie Amoss 20/1
5 Gun Runner Geroux Asmussen 10/1
6 My Man Sam Ortiz Brown 20/1
7 Oscar Nominated Leparoux Maker 50/1
8 Lani Take Matsunaga 30/1
9 Destin Castellano Pletcher 15/1
10 Whitmore Espinoza Moquett 20/1
11 Exaggerator Desormeaux Desormeaux 8/1
12 Tom’s Ready Hernandez Jr. Stewart 30/1
13 Nyquist Gutierrez O’Neill 3/1
14 Mohaymen Alvarado McLaughlin 10/1
15 Outwork Velazquez Pletcher 15/1
16 Shagaf Rosario Brown 20/1
17 Mor Spirit Stevens Baffert 12/1
18 Majesto Jaramillo Delgado 30/1
19 Brody’s Cause Saez Romans 12/1
20 Danzing Candy Smith Sise Jr. 15/1

Before diving into the contenders for this year’s race, it’s important to look at some historical trends at Churchill Downs. Victor Espinoza won atop American Pharoah last year and was also the champion while riding California Chrome in 2014. In this race, dating back to 1875, there has never been a three-time reigning champion. Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack share the record with five wins each. Espinoza also won on War Emblem in 2002.

In terms of other successful jockeys here, Calvin Borel won three out of four races from 2007-10, riding atop Street Sense, Mine That Bird, and Super Saver. Kent Desormeaux is also a three-time winner here, with wins atop Real Quiet, Fusaichi Pegasus, and Big Brown. Surprisingly, Borel is not part of this year’s group of riders.

As far as trainers go, Bob Baffert got a lot of publicity last year, but it was actually his first Derby win since 2002. He had back-to-back wins in 1997 and 1998 with Silver Charm and Real Quiet. That’s the last time a trainer has picked up consecutive wins in this race.

At 15/1, Danzing Candy could be worth a few shekels. Danzing Candy was victorious at the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, which is one of the more prestigious races to date in the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Only six horses were in the starting gate, so there wasn’t a whole lot of traffic to navigate, but Danzing Candy outlasted Exaggerator and Mor Spirit, who are both expected to make the cut for the Derby on May 7. He’ll get another crack on April 9 at Santa Anita and will face another stiff test.

Speaking of Exaggerator, it’s easy to see why people are interested in this horse. The odds were pretty long a few weeks ago at +2500, but the horse is now at 8/1. The bloodline is there. This horse is an offspring of Curlin, who also sired Palace Malice, the 2013 winner of the Belmont Stakes. Curlin was the 2007 Preakness Stakes winner and also the Breeders’ Cup Classic champion. Kent Desormeaux is a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby and a two-time Preakness champion. Could his experience be the deciding factor for Exaggerator?

The heavy favorite back in March was Mohaymen, one of Kiaran McLaughlin’s trainees. McLaughlin hasn’t had a lot of success lately and has only one Triple Crown race to his name, the 2006 Belmont Stakes, but he is a well-known name in the world of horse racing. He is from the D. Wayne Lukas trainer tree. Lukas was a four-time winner of the Kentucky Derby from 1988-99. Mohaymen won the Remsen at Aqueduct back in late November and has added two more wins since, including a triumph at Gulfstream in late February.  Mohaymen also has the requisite bloodline, a descendent of Seattle Slew and Secretariat, and a sibling of Tonalist.

Bob Baffert’s only horse in the mix is Mor Spirit. The #17 post position has never won the Kentucky Derby, but it’s impossible to count any horse trained by Baffert out, regardless of history. Mor Spirit was eighth in the points chase in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which was a pretty disappointing showing overall. People will back Baffert, but this may be a losing horse here this weekend.

All eyes are on Nyquist, who got a favorable post position and is currently the race favorite by a pretty wide margin. Nyquist was the winner in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and he also grabbed a win in the Florida Derby. Amazingly, Nyquist is named after NHL player Gustav Nyquist of the Detroit Red Wings and comes from the same ownership group that helped I’ll Have Another to the 2012 Kentucky Derby victory. Nyquist may close an even bigger favorite drawing the 14 spot, which is a very good place to be at Churchill Downs.

Another horse that could get some love from the bettors this weekend is Shagaf. It’s a long way to the inside from that 16 position, but Joel Rosario won the 2013 Kentucky Derby atop Orb and was the winner of the 2014 Belmont atop Tonalist. He’s a well-known name in the industry and had a huge win in 2013 in the Dubai World Cup while riding Animal Kingdom. People flock to names that they know and Rosario is certainly up there.

Speaking of jockeys that influence money, Whitmore is sure to get some attention in the lead-up to the race. Victor Espinoza did some great things with American Pharoah last year, though it’s up for discussion whether or not that was just a world-class horse or the jockey had something to do with it. Espinoza also won the 2014 Preakness and the 2014 Belmont on California Chrome. He’s been an excellent bet lately in the Triple Crown races.

The horses are expected to be off at 6:34 p.m. ET on Saturday night.

 

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