Churchill Downs will be filled with celebrities and horse racing fans from all over the world on Saturday, May 2, to watch and bet on the 141st Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby, which is also the most popular horse racing event in the world, is the first leg of the Triple Crown which consists of three thoroughbred horse racing events that take place annually between May and June, followed by the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
One of the things that sets the Kentucky Derby apart from other events is the fact that the favorites generally don’t do very well in it, which provides a better opportunity for people to get big payouts taking Kentucky Derby betting lines for underdogs.
In 2013, Orb won it as the favorite and California Chrome did the same last year, but only six favorites have won the event since 1979, which is something to keep in mind if you intend to place a wager on this year’s Kentucky Derby.
In Depth Look at Early Favorites on Kentucky Derby Betting Lines
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Going into this race, there are clear favorites to win, but none as overwhelming as American Pharoah. The three year old is favored to win the Derby at 2-1. The biggest reason he is the favorite is the performance he gave at the Arkansas Derby where he got off to a fast start, relaxed a bit during the final stretch and was still able to win the race by eight lengths, which is pretty amazing. Trainers and other experts who witnessed the performance don’t believe any other horse stands a chance against him.
He is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert and will have Victor Espinoza, who won the race last year with California Chrome as his jockey.
Dortmund is the second favorite going into this race and might have a better chance at winning it than the odds he’s been given (9-2.) He is sired by Big Brown, the thoroughbred that won both the Derby and Preakness in 2008, so he has pretty good genes.
Apart from his lineage, Dortmund has also been dominating his peers on the track. He has won four straight events and will be difficult to defeat at the Kentucky Derby. He is also trained by Bob Baffert and will be jockeyed by Martin Garcia, who won rode Lookin at Lucky to the Preakness title in 2010.
The third favorite in this race is Carpe Diem and under the right circumstances, he might just seize the day.
Unlike American Pharoah and Dortmund, he is not a fast starter out of the gates, but he is very resilient and capable of catching up to the faster horses.
He has won three of the last four races he was entered in and finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be jockeyed by John Velazquez, who has won three Triple Crown events including the Kentucky Derby in 2011 riding Animal Kingdom.
Carpe Diem’s odds of winning the race are 6-1.
The Bottom Line
These are the three horses that most experts believe will win the 141st Kentucky Derby. But, while they probably have the best chances of winning, history has shown us that anything can happen at the ‘fastest two minutes in sports.’