Kentucky Derby Picks
While there are many fascinating aspects of the Kentucky Derby, none are more thrilling than picking the winning horse. Almost everyone that watches the race will be predicting which contender will take down the Run for the Roses. While some do it for pride, others do it to try and win some serious money. That just adds to the thrill each year.
Before you can make your Derby picks, you must first put in the necessary research to narrow down the field to the horses that you actually believe have a chance to win the race. I have narrowed it down eight horses that I believe have at least a chance to finish first in “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”.
I’m going to go through and list these eight horses that will be in the field for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. I’m also going to give reasons why each has a shot to win on Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs. I have listed the betting odds on each horse as of this writing as well. Now, it’s your job to take in this information and use it to your advantage to pick the winner.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is expected to have as many as five horses in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. While he hasn’t fared the best in the Run for the Roses, he did break through with his first Derby win in 2010 with Super Saver. Verrazano’s final prep was a win at the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, which was his fourth win in four tries to start his career.
Trainer Shug McGaughey has an excellent chance to get his first Derby win with the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and Grade 1 Florida Derby winner. Orb has won four straight races coming in. He is an off the pace type with a long-winded pedigree, which fits perfectly for the Kentucky Derby.
While it took four tries for Todd Pletcher’s trainee to break his maiden, Revolutionary will be a serious threat on Derby day. He has come back to win two stakes races in the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. What was most impressive about that Louisiana Derby win was how Revolutionary came from 12 lengths back and had to go wide around both turns. The colt is of the stakes winner Runup the Colors, who won the Grade 1 Alabama and is by A.P. Indy, giving him the perfect pedigree to handle 1 1/4 miles.
Goldencents was not impressive in the Grade 2 San Felipe, but he rebounded nicely with an impressive win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby last time out. Trained by Doug O’Neill, whose I’ll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 2012, Goldencents is clearly in good hands.
Normandy Invasion (10/1)
While winless in two starts this year, Normandy Invasion has as much upside as any horse in the field. A tough trip cost the colt a fifth place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star, though he was only beaten by 1 1/2 lengths for the top spot. However, he rebounded with a second place finish at the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, finishing just 3/4 lengths back of Derby favorite Verrazano and was closing fast. An extra 1/8 mile would have made the difference, and Normandy Invasion will get that extra 1/8 mile in the Kentucky Derby.
One of two Derby contenders to run two triple digit Beyer Speed Figures, Itsmyluckyday could have what it takes to go wire-to-wire if he can get the early lead. He earned those numbers en route to winning the Gulfstream Park Derby and the Grade 2 Holy Bull.
Java’s War (16/1)
Trained by Ken McPeek, Java’s War went from last to first to win the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland last time out. He also ran a decent third in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby where he was beaten by three lengths by Verrazano. The only knock is that while he’s a stakes winner on turf and polytrack, he’s 0 for 2 on dirt surfaces.
Governor Charlie (50/1)
My favorite long shot in the field, Governor Charlie is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who has won the Derby three times. Baffert last captured the Run for the Roses back in 2002 with War Emblem. In his first start against winners, Governor Charlie won impressively in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby.
My Kentucky Derby Picks
- Win – Orb
- Place – Revolutionary
- Show – Normandy Invasion