2024 Kentucky Derby Update: Contenders, Long Shots, & Betting Favorites

2024 Kentucky Derby Vegas Odds: Favorites, Contenders & Long Shots

The Kentucky Derby celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. On Saturday, May 4, the top three year olds in the world not trained by Bob Baffert, who is once against suspended from running horses for the roses, will step into the starting gate at Churchill Downs in Louisville for a chance at winning the most popular horse race of the year.

Which three year olds have what it takes as we head into April?

See below for this year’s favorites, contenders and longshots so you can place your bets against the Kentucky Derby Vegas odds


2024 Current Kentucky Derby Odds: Favorites, Contenders & Long Shots | MyBookie Horse Racing Preview: Build up that Exacta for the Races

2024 Kentucky Derby | 150th edition of Kentucky Derby
Last Week | Saturday, March 4th, 2024 | NBC
Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky


Favorites To Win

Sierra Leone +600
Dornoch +900

Chad Brown trained Sierra Leone won the Risen Star, which is one of the reasons to like the Brown trainee heading into the Bluegrass at Keeneland on April 6. But although Sierra Leone appears to have the talent to win the Derby, Brown isn’t known as a Kentucky Derby trainee. Not only that, but the speed ratings are light.

So at +600, Sierra is a pass. Dornoch is also a pass. Sure, +900 are decent odds, but the Danny Gargan charge changes leads in the stretch late, which is a bad sign. Timing is everything in horse racing and if the equine doesn’t figure out how to change leads on time, it won’t matter what else happens in the race.

Betting Pick: None | Current Kentucky Derby Odds MyBookie Betting Lines for the Race


Contenders Worth Your Time

Forever Young +1200
Timberlake +1200
Fierceness +1400
Track Phantom +1400

Trainer Yoshito Yahagi will take the UAE Derby route with runner Forever Young. Breeding, Sunday Silence on top and A.P. Indy on the bottom, suggests Forever Young will relish longer distances. The UAE Derby is two turns, which means this one for sure could be a force if he puts in a big time run at Meydan on March 30.

Timberlake won the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn in the last. Trainer Brad Cox is pointing Timberlake to the March 30 Arkansas Derby. For sure, Timberlake is a solid Kentucky Derby contender.

Fierceness bombed in the Holy Bull. But if the Todd Pletcher runner wins the Florida Derby, watch out. Pletcher is terrific at getting horses ready to peak on Derby Day. So Fierceness must be taken seriously.

Track Phantom is a throw out. The Steve Asmussen runner finished fourth in Saturday’s Risen Star. When updated odds land later this week, Track Phantom will jump from +1400 to at least +2500.

Of the other contenders on this list, Timberlake deserves the longest look. Cox knows how to win Kentucky Derbies and the Into Mischief sired colt is trending in the right direction with ascending speed ratings.

Betting Pick: Timberlake | Current Kentucky Derby Odds MyBookie Betting Lines for the Race


Remeber the Longshots Win

Conquest Warrior +2000
Deterministic +2000
Hades +2000
Mystik Dan +2000
Catching Freedom +2500
Encino +2500
Stronghold +2500

Catching Freedom won the Louisiana Derby by going from eleventh to first. The Brad Cox trainee is sired to be a champion. Tapit is the grandsire, Constitution is the sire, and the bottom Pioneerof the Nile and Empire Maker. If you can still get 25-to-1, consider for sure.

Of the other longshots, backing Mystik Dan makes sense. The Kenny McPeek trainee was aided by a rail bias in the Southwest, which is part of the reason for the lofty Beyer figure, but we shouldn’t hold that against. The breeding is there, McPeek is one of the best trainers in the U.S., and Dan did beat the field while striding out and looked like he wanted to run further. Consider at the odds.  

Betting Pick: Catching Freedom and Mystik Dan | Current Kentucky Derby Odds MyBookie Betting Lines for the Race


Stay tuned for current Kentucky Derby odds for the horses in this year’s race.


Updated Odds to Win 2024 Kentucky Derby

Horses Odds
Top Tier
Fierceness +450
Sierra Leone +600
Forever Young +800
Dornoch +900
Catching Freedom +1000
Deterministic +2000
T O Password +2000
Track Phantom +2000
Conquest Warrior +2000
Stronghold +2500
Encino +2500
Domestic Product +2500

Kentucky Derby Future Odds

Horses Odds
Bottom Tier
Tuscan Gold +2500
No More Time +3300
Uncle Heavy +3300
Honor Marie +3300
Snead +3300
Epic Ride +4000
Hades +4000
Speak Easy +5000
Common Defense +5000
The Wine Steward +5000
Victory Avenue +5000
West Saratoga +5000

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2023 Kentucky Derby Update: Contenders, Long Shots, & Betting Favorites

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The Kentucky Derby field is set. Oddsmakers have made Todd Pletcher trained Forte the top choice. Second choice on the morning line is Todd’s second runner, Tapit Trice. Practical Move and Angel of Empire also qualify as favorites.

Check updated Kentucky Derby betting lines and analysis for the favorites, contenders, and long shots.

Kentucky Derby Update Contenders, Long Shots, & Favorites | MyBookie Horse Racing Betting Preview

149th Kentucky Derby | Grade I stakes race
When: Saturday, May 6, 2023
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
Distance & Surface: 1 ¼ miles on dirt

2023 Kentucky Derby Updated Favorites

Forte +300 | Tapit Trice +500 | Angel of Empire +800

Forte can win the Derby but the odds make the Pletcher runner an underlay. Not only that, but Forte may have peaked in the Florida Derby. Also, this is by far the toughest field he’s ever faced.

Tapit Trice can also win the Derby. However, the son of Tapit offers low odds. Not only that, but there’s a chance Tapit Trice goes off the chalk on Derby Day.

No doubt, the top play among the three favorites is Angel of Empire. The Brad Cox trained runner shows ascending speed ratings, has a wicked turn of foot, and shouldn’t be lower than +600 when they break from the gate.

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2023 Kentucky Derby Updated Contenders

Derma Sotogake +1000 | Practical Move +1000 | Kingsbarns +1200 | Verifying +1500 | Two Phil’s +1500

If Derma Sotogake is as good as advertised, the Japanese runner can lead these gate to wire. But Derma can also rate behind Kingsbarns.

Kingsbarns would have to take a massive leap forward to lead these gate to wire. The Pletcher trained runner could, but it’s not likely. Horses prepping in the Louisiana Derby usually don’t show their best on the First Saturday in May.

Practical Move may struggle to get the distance. The Santa Anita Derby winner should get a decent trip behind the speed, but Move struggled home the final eighth in the SA Derby. He’s got to go another eighth on Saturday.

Verifying will run up front and should get toasted. Two Phil’s will run behind. So if you don’t like Derma Sotogake and want a different contender offering excellent odds, Two Phil’s is the play.

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2023 Kentucky Derby Updated Long Shots

Long Shots:
Skinner +2000 | Hit Show +3000 | Lord Miles +3000

All three listed longshots have a chance. The top pick among the three is Hit Show. The Brad Cox trained runner has 3 firsts and a second from 5 races.

The second came by a nose to Lord Miles in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Derby. Hit Show appeared to have the win in the bag. If Manuel Franco can make a decent trip from post-position 1, for sure, Hit Show has a chance. Candy Ride on top and a Tapit broodmare suggests this one will get better with distance.

Consider Skinner and Lord Miles only if you don’t like Hit Show. Lord Miles breaks from post-position 19 and will have a lot of work to do to win the Kentucky Derby. Skinner shouldn’t be good enough. If you want to back a high-priced dog, Hit Show is the play.

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2023 Kentucky Derby Field: Post Positions, Betting Odds, Jockeys, Trainers

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2022 Kentucky Derby Betting Picks Updated: Dark Horses and Longshots Options

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The 2022 Kentucky Derby draw is in the books, Churchill Downs morning line maker John Battaglia has set odds and trainers and jockeys have given their two cents. The only thing left to do is handicap Saturday’s Run for the Roses. See below for this year’s top three dark horses and top three longshots running in the Kentucky Derby so you can place your bets against the Kentucky Derby Odds

Horse Racing Odds and Picks | 2022 Kentucky Derby Dark Horses & Longshots

2022 Kentucky Derby

When: Saturday, May 7
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
TV/Streaming: NBC / Peacock

Top 3 Dark Horses 

Top Dark Horse: Mo Donegal +1000

The Todd Pletcher and Wood Memorial winner has the turn of foot required to catch up to speed horses like Messier and Epicenter. 

Not only that, but Mo Donegal got post-position 1. In past Derby’s, post-position 1 was the death knell, but not this year. Horses will break from a single starting gate, which means Mo will be three to fourth paths off the rail. The Pletcher runner is dangerous. 

Second Best Dark Horse: Taiba +1200

If the Derby was Taiba’s fifth race instead of his third, he’d be the favorite. Most horseplayers don’t believe an equine can win the Kentucky Derby in just their third lifetime start.

But Taiba is no normal three-year-old. The son of Gun Runner ran past Messier in the Santa Anita Derby like his barn mate was standing still. 

Messier should go off around +500 to +600. Taiba could get lost in the betting and go off at around +1500.

Third Best Dark Horse: Cyberknife +1600

The Brad Cox trained runner put it all together in the Arkansas Derby. If Cyberknife takes another move forward, he can win the Kentucky Derby. Three-year-olds mature at their pace. Trainers can’t force a three-year-old to take a giant leap on Derby Day, which is one of the reasons Cyberknife offers 16-to-1 odds even though he won one of the most prestigious prep races of the year. So if Cyberknife takes a step forward on May 7, watch out.

Top 3 Longshots 

Top Longshot: Charge It +2000

Another trained by Todd Pletcher, Charge It could end up the wise guy choice. The horse looked like he was going to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby by at least 4 lengths.

But the Tapit sired runner raced greenly in the stretch. If Todd has taught Charge It to race in a straight line, the overlay can get it done. The pure talent is there and Charge It is the best bred horse in the race. 

Second Best Longshot: Zozos +2000

There’s a chance Zozos, the second place finisher behind Epicenter in the Louisiana Derby, gets hung out to dry around the first turn. Or the Brad Cox trainee could take the lead out of the gate and wire the field.

Or, and this is a real possibility, Zozos breaks well and ends up tracking Epicenter throughout the entire race. If that happens, Zozos could win the Kentucky Derby. The Run for the Roses will be Zozo’s fourth lifetime race. 

Improvement is expected. So don’t knock this dude’s chances just because he breaks from post 19. 

Third Best Longshot: Pioneer of Medina +3300

Pioneer of Medina is another Todd Pletcher starter. The Pioneer of the Nile sired runner finished second in the Louisiana Derby. 

Pletcher has won the Kentucky Derby multiple times. This one shows a fantastic work on April 25. So if the others fail, who knows? At 33-to-1 odds, you can do worse than back an American Pharoah half brother trained by one of the greatest in history.

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2022 Triple Crown Betting Predictions: Kentucky Derby Odds Favorites and Picks

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One of the rarest occurrences in all of sports is for a three-year-old horse to win the Triple Crown. A Triple Crown has happened just 13 times in thoroughbred racing history. The last couple of TC winners were both trained by Bob Baffert. Because Baffert can’t run horses on the First Saturday in May, the chances of a TC winner in 2022 have taken a hit. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. If it does, the following four horses have the best chances of becoming Triple Crown winners. Let’s take a closer look at them so you can bet against their Triple Crown Odds.

Will We Have a Triple Crown Champion in 2022? | Horse Racing Odds & Picks

Triple Crown of Horse Racing

When: May 7 – June 11

Top 4 Horses With Triple Crown Potential

** Odds listed to win Kentucky Derby 

Top Pick: Taiba +1000

After stunning stablemate Messier and beating Forbidden Kingdom to take the Santa Anita Derby, Taiba is 2-for-2. It’s difficult for an experienced horse to win the Kentucky Derby, the Triple Crown’s first leg. 

It’s very difficult for a horse to win the Derby without experience. But, once in a while, a brilliant horse, a once in a generation talent, succeeds in the Derby.

Taiba could be that horse. If Taiba wins the Kentucky Derby, the Gun Runner sired horse out of a Flatter mare will have a big shot to win the Triple Crown. Taiba’s turn of foot is breathtaking. So we shouldn’t look past the Tim Yakteen runner.  

Second Pick: Epicenter +600

Steve Asmussen saddles his best Derby prospect since Gun Runner. Epicenter, the Louisiana Derby winner, might be the best Derby prospect Asmussen has ever had.

Giant’s Causeway on the top and Candy Ride on the bottom means Epicenter has the speed to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and the lungs to take the Belmont.

Should Epicenter win the Kentucky Derby, he’d be difficult to keep from winning the TC. We shouldn’t forget that Epicenter, because he prepped in the Louisiana Derby, will have had an extra week of rest to prepare for the Triple Crown.

Third Pick: Zandon +1000

Chad Brown’s Bluegrass Stakes winning runner should have no trouble with the Belmont distance. Upstart, Zandon’s sire, calls Touch Gold, a Belmont winner, a grandsire on his broodmare’s side.

Flatter, A.P. Indy, and Giant’s Causeway are all in Zandon’s line. The horse easily handled his foes in the Bluegrass, coasting home to victory, which tells us he can run much further than 1 1/8 miles.

Brown has this guy right where he wants him. Zandon is another that can take the TC. 

Fourth Pick: Messier +1200

Yakteen trains Taiba and Messier. Both have the breeding and talent to win the Triple Crown.

Messier has an experience advantage over Taiba. However, after overtaking Forbidden Kingdom in the Santa Anita Derby, Messier seemed to run one-paced, which is how Taiba overtook the son of Empire Maker.

However, Messier has the look of a serious TC contender. The key will be a Kentucky Derby victory. If Messier can take the Run for the Roses, the horse has the speed to wire the Preakness. Empire Maker won the Belmont. So we know Messier won’t have an issue at Big Sandy.

The problem? Messier may not have enough points for a Derby start, which is why he’s fourth on our TC list and not first.  

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2022 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds and Picks: Contenders and Longshot

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It is the most prestigious horse race in the world and on the first Saturday of May, 20 thoroughbreds will make the “Run for the Roses” in the 148th Kentucky Derby. The ‘fastest two minutes in sports’ is once again, wide open. From 2013 to 2018, every Derby winner was 6-to-1 or less, including 4 odds-on favorites. Since then, we’ve seen a 30-1 (2019 – Country House), 8-1, (2020 – Authentic), and 12-1, (2021 – Medina Spirit would be stripped of his Derby title after a positive drug test) win the first leg of the Triple Crown. So which colts have the best chance on Saturday? Check out updated Kentucky Derby Betting Odds.



After finishing an impressive second in the Lecomte Stakes, EPICENTER (+400) won two Stakes races including the Louisiana Derby where he won off the pace, proving he didn’t need to be on the front, like his previous 3 victories. EPICENTER has already won at Churchill Downs breaking his maiden last November. The downside? The colt is trained by Steve Asmussen, who has a Hall of Fame career but is 0-23 with Derby starters. But EPICENTER has shown continued improvement, looks like he’s in excellent form and easily beat stiff competition. The 3-year old has proved he is the horse to beat.

TAIBA (+600) has been perfect, 2 for 2 in his young career after taking down two Derby contenders in Forbidden Kingdom and Messier on his way to winning the Santa Anita Derby. TAIBA has been able to stalk the pace in both wins and put up big Beyer Speed Figures of 103 and 102. But no horse has won the Kentucky Derby in his 3rd career start since 1883. The last horse to start with so little racing experience was China Visit, who finished 6th in 2000.

ZANDON (+800) comes off an impressive win at the Blue Grass Stakes where he was able to navigate from the back of the pack to pull off the win. In fact, both of his career victories ZANDON has closed from well back. He’s finished no worse than 3rd in four career races. The colt’s Blue Grass trip gave him the right type of preparation needed for the Derby, where he’ll have 19 other challengers. One thing to keep in mind, a deep closer has only won the Kentucky Derby twice, since 2009 (Orb 2013, Mine That Bird 2013).

WHITE ABARRIO (+900) comes in off an impressive come from behind win in the Florida Derby. The white colt swept up outside the leaders entering the turn and charged to the front, and didn’t look back. WHITE ABARRIO has won twice in 2022, and 4 of 5 career races. In the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) last November, he finished 3rd after traffic problems. WHITE ABARRIO has tactical speed meaning he can sit off the front end, and stalk the pace. Which will be vital in a race that will likely have a handful of speed at the front and could set up nicely for WHITE ABARRIO.

CHARGE IT (+1100) could literally be a dark horse in the Derby. He has one win and 2 seconds in 3 career starts including running second in the Florida Derby. That race was the colts’ stakes debut, and first try versus winners and still managed to outrun a handful of more experienced competitors. CHARGE IT is also trained by 2-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Todd Pletcher. This horse still has some room to improve and could prove it, at long odds, on May 7th.

MESSIER (+1200) has never finished worse than 2nd in 6 career races, 3 wins, and 3 second place finishes. The colt looked poised to win the Santa Anita Derby only to lose in the final 100 yards to TAIBA. MESSIER, named after the NHL great, ran a speed rating of 103, best among 3-year olds this year when he crushed a 5-horse field in February by 15-lengths. But MESSIER has moved from Bob Baffert’s barn to Tim Yakteen, a former Baffert assistant, who, has zero career Kentucky Derby start and also trains TAIBA.


BARBER ROAD booked his spot for the Derby with a 2nd place finish in the Arkansas Derby. While he hasn’t won in 2022, BARBER ROAD has picked up 3 second place finishes and a 3rd, and in every race, he’s come from way back to hit the board. If the pace is quick in the Kentucky Derby, and BARBER ROAD doesn’t get into traffic problems, he could be flying, late, down the stretch. And with the added distance, it could be exactly what the colt needs. At long odds, he’s definitely worth a play in all exotic bets.


Epicenter with Zandon, White Abbario, Barber Road
Taiba with Messier, Charge It, Epicenter

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Horse Racing Betting Update: 2022 Kentucky Derby Odds – Early Contenders

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It’s never too early to think Kentucky Derby, which is why this week we list out the Top 20 based on MyBookie odds with a shot to win the 2022 Run for the Roses. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Corniche leads the pack at +1200, Chad Brown trained Jack Cristopher is second choice at +1400, and Steve Asmussen filly Echo Zulu is a co-third choice along with 3 other equines at +2000. 

Check out top plays and early Horse Racing Odds from Kentucky Derby for Saturday, May 7. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks. 

Early Contenders in the Next Kentucky Derby Race | Horse Racing Odds & Picks

2022 Kentucky Derby

When: May 7, 2022

2022 Kentucky Derby to Win Odds – Top 20

Between Corniche and Jack Cristopher, which is the better play?

Among the two, Jack Cristopher, by far, is the better play. Corniche has a ton of talent and at the end of the day, he might be the only horse that can win the Triple Crown because Bob Baffert trains.

But Baffert faces a 2-year ban from running horses at Churchill Downs, which means Corniche may have to race for another trainer if his owners want to enter him on the First Saturday in May.

Jack Cristopher, by contrast, goes for Chad Brown. Not only that, but Cristopher won the Champagne with a fantastic speed rating.

Ah, but the second-choice has a major flaw. His damn, Rushin No Blushin, didn’t win around 2-turns. Munnings, who sired Jack Cristopher, ran his best race around 2-turns when finishing third behind Rachel Alexandra and Summer Bird in the 2009 Haskell Invitational.

Jack Cristopher might be a brilliant horse. But he might also want to run at 7 furlongs or less. The bottom line? Don’t back either of the favorites yet.

Name horses offering odds of +2000 to +2500 which look best to win the Kentucky Derby?

At +2000, Pappacap is worth a long look. The BC Juvenile second-place finisher won the Grade 2 Best Pal last summer. Pappacap also finished second in the Grade 1 American Pharoah last October 1. 

Trainer Mark Casse will enter Pappacap in this Saturday’s Lecomte Stakes at the Fair Grounds. If you like Pappacap consider backing before the Lecomte. He could very well win the race, sending odds below +2000.

Echo Zulu is another to consider. Steve Asmussen may not run Zulu in the Kentucky Derby. If Steve’s past actions are any indication, he will try for the Kentucky Oaks and then run Zulu in the Preakness Stakes.

However, Echo Zulu could be too talented to leave out of the Run for the Roses. She’s undefeated and is bred to dominate at 6 furlongs to 1 ¼ miles. Her sire, Gun Runner, finished his career with 5 Grade 1 wins, including taking the Breeders’ Cup Classic at 1 ¼ miles. 

Grandsire Menifee finished second behind Charismatic in the 1999 Kentucky Derby. One of the few races missing from Asmussen’s resume is a Derby win. Echo Zulu gives him arguably the best shot of his career. So expect Steve to really consider entering the fantastic filly. 

Is there a horse at +3300 to +4000 odds that looks primed for a Derby victory?

Dale Romans trained Giant Game is worth a look. The third-place finisher in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has the breeding to run 1 ¼ miles for sure.

Giant’s Causeway sired while broodmare Game for More calls More Than Ready her sire. Giant Game must improve and Romans doesn’t often saddle Derby contenders. But at +3300, the horse is worth a look. 

Steve Asmussen might have a colt contender in Epicenter. If you believe Asmussen sends Echo Zulu to the Oaks, then Steve will concentrate on running Epicenter in the Kentucky Derby. The Gun Runner Stakes winner has the breeding, Not This Time sired and from a Candy Ride broodmare, to get the Kentucky Derby distance.

Both Epicenter and Giant Game are worth looks. Also consider Mark Casse trained God of Love. Belmont Stakes winner Cupid sired the Grade 3 Grey Stakes winner. So God of Love will have no trouble running 1 ¼ miles.

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2022 Kentucky Derby Betting Update: Odds Favorite and Top Contenders

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Only one Kentucky Derby prep race remains. On Saturday, April 16, three-year-olds race in the Grade 3 Lexington in one, final desperate attempt to secure a spot in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. But the Lexington almost never produces a true Derby contender, which is why we’re confident no matter which horse wins the Lexington, the equine won’t show up as one of the favorites to take the Derby. Check out updated Kentucky Derby Betting Odds and picks for the favorites and top contenders to win this year’s Run for the Roses. 

Kentucky Derby Contenders Odds & Favorites to Win the Run for the Roses

2022 Kentucky Derby

When: Saturday, May 7
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
TV/Streaming: NBC / Peacock

Favorite: Epicenter +600

The Louisiana Derby victory was fantastic. Not only that, but Steve Asmussen’s runner gets an extra week of rest because he ran in the LA Derby and not in this past Saturday’s Derby preps.

Still, the Louisiana Derby has produced a single Derby winner, Grindstone, and that was back in the early 1990s. Pass on the Asmussen runner because the profile doesn’t scream roses. 

Top Contender: Zandon +1000

It’s impossible to find fault with this Chad Brown trained contender. Zandon easily handled his competition in the Bluegrass Stakes. He could have run much faster.

He should in the Kentucky Derby. Only Taiba has the same turn of foot that Zandon possesses. Give the Upstart sired runner a massive shot to wear the roses. 

Second Choice Contender: Taiba +1000

If he had more seasoning, he’d be the top pick. But it’s difficult to win the Kentucky Derby with just 2 lifetime races. Horses react differently when going from 1 1/8 miles to 1 ¼. Some start breathing fire and decide to fight through it.

Others give up. Because we don’t know how Taiba will react, it’s tough to place him ahead of Zandon. However, he’s got talent for days and easily beat our third choice, Messier. So there’s that. 

Third Choice Contender: Messier +1200

He’s worth a long look to get it done, but, he should have held off Taiba in the stretch when finishing second to that stablemate in the San Anita Derby. The Beyer figure came back big.

Beyers tend to mean something on Derby Day. But Messier, like Taiba, must run for Tim Yakteen a second time. So it’s difficult to know if the terrific SA Derby performance was lingering training from Bob Baffert or if Yakteen had anything to do with it.

Messier doesn’t have the turn of foot that either Taiba or Zandon possess. So he may be a better play to win the Belmont or Preakness where he can extend his speed after grabbing a lead before the turn.

In any case, the Empire Maker sired equine is worth a look. Also, the odds make Messier more than playable.

Fourth Choice Contender: Charge It +1200

The Todd Pletcher trained runner ran greenly in the Florida Derby stretch. If he hadn’t, he would have held off White Abbario for the win.

The Tapit sired colt is talented enough to win the Kentucky Derby for sure. But its tough to place him on top because, yeah, the Derby isn’t the race where you want to learn how to run in a straight path.

Who knows, though? If any trainer can get a horse to learn a skill like running straight in between a prep and the Kentucky Derby, it’s Todd Pletcher. So keep this one on your radar leading up to the big race.

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2021 Kentucky Derby: New Contender & Prospect Showing Up

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One of the hottest Derby prospects last year finally showed up and ran a good race. Mandaloun displayed the type of talent that Derby winners show. But he wasn’t the only impressive runner from this past week. Godolphin unveiled yet another roses contender. Check out what happened this week on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Also, check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds from Kentucky Derby for Saturday, May 1. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks

Mandaloun Finally Shows Up, Godolphin Unleashes Prevalence

2021 Kentucky Derby

Mandaloun and Proxy show up in Risen Star

After Mandaloun’s less than inspiring third-place finish in the Lecomte Stakes, trainer Brad Cox put blinkers on the son of Into Mischief. The equipment change worked.

Mandaloun tracked the speed in the Risen Star, ranged up to the leaders going around the turn, and then took his time before passing the front-runners and pulling away for an impressive victory. The Risen Star is a 1 1/8 mile race, meaning Mandaloun must get another 1/8 of a mile if he wishes to win the 1 ¼ Kentucky Derby.

Based on how he finished, 1 ¼ miles is no issue. Neither is 1 ½ miles, which means like half-brother Life Is Good, Mandaloun has the breeding to win the Triple Crown.

First thing’s first, though. Mandaloun must bring his A-game in the Louisiana Derby on March 20. He must also run a triple-digit Beyer speed figures. Horses that run triple-digit Beyers have the best shot of winning on the first Saturday in May.

The other impressive runner from the Risen Star is second-place finisher Proxy. Before writing off Proxy’s chances of taking the roses, consider that the greyish-white equine calls Tapit his sire.

Tapit has sired 3 Belmont Stakes winners but no Derby winners. Often, Tapit’s progeny improve in late-May and early June. 

Proxy is improving in February, which makes him a solid future pick to win the roses. If he busts out with a triple-digit Beyer in the Louisiana Derby, move him up big time. 

Prevalence adds to Godolphin’s Derby winning hand

Prevalence, a son of Medaglia d’Oro, was so impressive winning his first lifetime race, that he showed up on MyBookie at +1600. That makes him a co-second choice with Greatest Honour and Medina Spirit.

Prevalence is bred to be a monster. And to be sure, he dominated. The knock? The Godolphin runner broke his maiden in the impressive race. Going from maiden, to Derby prep, and then to the Kentucky Derby is a tough feat.

Then again, few three-year-olds show the professionalism that Prevalence displayed in the victory. He ran along the rail, didn’t blink while taking over from a front-runner in the two-path, relaxed while a horse came up to him and challenged, and then drew off.

It was as impressive of a three-year-old debut as any contender currently in the Top 10. Trainer Brendan Walsh is excellent with horses of any age and Prevalence’s mother is a Ghostzapper mare. All signs point to Prevalence being a special horse. 

Essential Quality makes 2021 debut on Feb. 27 in the Southwest Stakes

Goldophin’s top 3-year-old, BC Juvenile winner Essential Quality, must wait until Feb. 27 for his first race this year.

Due to freezing weather, Oaklawn Park has canceled racing until next week. Hopefully, the sun will shine, and Quality can get onto the racetrack. If the Brad Cox trained equine can get a prep in soon, he may have to settle for a single prep before the Derby.

One prep is not optimal. Horses usually require a couple of preps. Three preps with at least three weeks before the Kentucky Derby has also proven a winning strategy.

Keepmeinmind and Jackie’s Warrior are also probable for the Southwest. The Southwest is at 1 1/16 miles. It will be interesting to see if Jackie’s Warrior tries to the steal the race or if trainer Steve Asmussen gives instructions to rate the speedy McLean’s Music sired colt.

The lone Derby prep this weekend is the Hyacinth at Tokyo Racecourse in Japan. Don’t expect a true Kentucky Derby contender to come out of that prep. 

2019 Kentucky Derby Dark Horses and Longshots

Previous Betting News

The 2019 Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, May 4. As is almost always the case, 20 horses will enter the starting gate. Because so many three-year-olds run for Derby glory, it helps to handicap favorites and then handicap dark horses and longshots. Check out Kentucky Derby betting odds for dark horses and longshots to win on the first Saturday in May!

2019 Kentucky Derby Dark Horses and Longshots

2019 Kentucky Derby Odds

War of Will

He owned the prep races in Louisiana until the big one, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. There’s a reason for the bad performance, though. War of Will lost action after getting hurt during the race. He’s been training lights out and Mark Casse is one of the best in the business. Still, he’s got to run much faster to win the Derby than he’s ever before run.

Cutting Humor

The Todd Pletcher trainee gets in due to his victory in the Sunland Derby. Sired by First Samurai, his owners purchased him for $400,000. There are some things to like, but he didn’t beat much in the Sunland Derby and could be a cut below these right now. Pletcher doesn’t often prep them in New Mexico. So we must question what he really thinks about this runner.

Win Win Win

He made a furious rally to get up for second in the Blue Grass Stakes. He wasn’t going to catch Vekoma even if he had started his rally earlier, though. He might be too far behind the front runners to win, but he could get up for third or fourth. So, use him in your exotics.

Plus Que Parfait

The UAE Derby has yet to produce a competitive Kentucky Derby horse, much less one that wins. Trainer Brendan Walsh decided to go for it in Dubai after watching War of Will put a beat down on Plus Que Parfait in both the Risen Star Stakes and the LeComte. Because he won in Dubai, Walsh will run him in the Derby even though he’d have to improve big time to have any say.


Heading into the Wood Memorial, the big question was whether Haikal’s closing kick could be as effective at 1 1/8 miles as it was at 1 mile. Because he couldn’t beat Tacitus or Tax even though he chased the same fast pace, the answer must be that his closing kick isn’t as effective at any distances longer than a mile.

By My Standards

Talk about a dark horse with a shot. By My Standards, a Goldencents sired runner trained by Bret Calhoun, broke his maiden on February 16. Then, he won the Louisiana Derby in his next race. He’s talented, no doubt, and a lot of times when they get good, they stay good. Pay attention to this guy on Derby Day.


He’s never run a bad race. Not only that, he might have held off Tacitus if jockey Junior Alvarado had kept him closer to the front runners. He’s bred to run all day. So, he won’t get tired in the stretch. There’s a lot to like about Tax. He’s another dark horse with a real shot at Derby glory.


Spinoff is trained by Todd Pletcher, just like Cutting Humor. That alone means we must take him seriously. He’s already the wise guy choice with at least one well-known horseplayer providing reasons to back him. He hung in the stretch and that’s the reason By My Standards beat him, but Spinoff is a talented colt that could surprise on Saturday. If you like him, bet him right now because you’re not going to get 20/1 on Derby Day.

Long Range Toddy

He beat Improbable by a nose in the Rebel Stakes, but then he failed miserably in the Arkansas Derby. He’ll be a good horse because he’s trained by Steve Asmussen. He probably won’t be good enough to win on May 4, though.

Gray Magician

Finishing second to Plus Que Parfait in the UAE Derby provided enough points for Gray Magician to get into the starting gate. It’s hard to see him having much of an impact. Peter Miller’s a good trainer, but the Kentucky Derby could be too much for him.

Country House

Tacitus’ trainer Bill Mott also saddles Country House. Although he ran well to finish third behind Omaha Beach and Improbable in the Arkansas Derby, he’d have to improve big time to hit the board on Saturday. It could happen. It’s almost impossible to see it happening.

Master Fencer

In Churchill Downs’ quest to get more international runners into the Kentucky Derby, they decided to give an invitation to Master Fencer’s connections. He does have some dirt breeding with Deputy Minister on the bottom, and he did win a 1 1/8 mile stakes, but the competition he’s faced in Japan is no where near as talented as what he faces on Saturday. The only reason we can’t say that he has no shot is because the Derby is a horse race, and anything is possible once the gates open.

Kentucky Derby 2019 Racing News

3 Kentucky Derby Betting Longshots to Consider

Previous Betting News

The Kentucky Derby is far and away the most famous horse race in the world, and we are now just a few days away from the 142nd  running of this great race. This is a race that has been labeled “The most exciting 2 minutes in sports,” and for very good reason. Every year seems to throw up some great story line, with many of those coming from long shots that have seemingly come out of nowhere to win the Run for the Roses. It is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and draws in hundreds of thousands of bettors who might ordinarily not give horse racing a second look. A large number of those bettors go in search of a live long shot that will help them cash a huge winning ticket, and this race certainly had a history of delivering those big winners. We will have a better idea on how to handicap this race when the post-position draw is made on Wednesday night, but for now, let’s take a look at 3 horses that might just be able to spring the horse racing odds upset, r which should at least be considered as part of your exotics.

3 Kentucky Derby Betting Longshots To Consider


There are a ton of things to consider when choosing a horse to win the Kentucky Derby, and it’s a lot more than just looking at their career record. At 10 furlongs (1 ¼ miles) the Derby is a long race, and is not a distance that every horse in this field is used to running on a regular basis. This is why it’s always a good idea to look at the pedigree of the horses when choosing. Suddenbreakingnews is out of A.P. Indy and Mineshaft, a pair of horses who excelled at longer distances. This is a horse that builds momentum and makes a late run, which should keep him out of any potential problems in the early jockeying for position. If the pace gets hot up front, he may just be able to mow them down in the stretch, just as he did in the Southwest Stakes, where he eclipsed a field of 14 to win by 2 ¼ lengths.

My Man Sam

This is not a horse who has been raced very often, and he in fact only has 4 starts under his belt. That will scare a lot of people away, but it really shouldn’t. This is another horse that will be making a late run, and with Julien Leparoux in the irons, he will have a jockey who can almost certainly pick any his way through any holes that open up coming down the stretch. My Man Sam has a pair of second place finishes in his 4 races, the most impressive of which was rallying to finish behind Brody’s Cause in the Bluegrass Stakes in early April.


There are many bettors who will scratch this horse off their racing form immediately, based solely in the fact that he is a Japanese import. What they will not be seeing if they do that is a horse that has experience at the distance, as well as racing against larger fields, both of which are positives in the Kentucky Derby. The owners of Lani brought the horse to Churchill Downs much earlier than we are used to seeing, and he should have a good handle on the course by the time the ace comes around. There is also talk that he will be given Lasix before the Derby, which could improve his performance in the big race. Probably the biggest outsider of the 3 horses mentioned here, but a threat nonetheless.

Kentucky Derby 2017 Bold Picks, Dark Horses & Non-Favorites

Previous Betting News

The buzz and excitement that always surrounds the Kentucky Derby starts weeks before the actual running of the race, but the fervor really starts to ramp up when the post-position draw is made. It’s tough to make any sort of decent selection without knowing where each horse is going to start from.

This is especially true for the horses who get the inside post slots, as those have been an almost instant guarantee that they are not going to win the race. The draw for those positions will be made on Wednesday, at which time we will all have a better idea of which horses should be considered the favorite. While we wait, let’s take a look at some of the dark horse selections that might be worth adding to your betting tickets, keeping in mind that these picks could change after the post draw has been made.

Analyzing The Kentucky Derby 2017 Bold Picks, Dark Horses & Non-Favorites

Gormley (16/1)

Horses from the west coast have a history of doing well in the Kentucky Derby, and this horse should be no different. Gormley first big win came at the FrontRunner Stakes, where he went wire to wire for an impressive victory. He did not show well at the Breeders Cup, but that can be attributed to the fact that he stumbled out of the gate in that one. As a 3-year old, he has big wins at the Sham Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby, and his pedigree suggests that he should have no problem with the 1 ¼ mile trip at Churchill.

Girvin (16/1)

This horse started his racing life at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana, where he quickly got in the habit of winning. He has big wins at the Risen Star Stakes and the Louisiana Derby, both Grade II races, under his belt, and he has made a habit of winning against quality fields. His best efforts have come at a mile, so there is some concern that the extra distance in the Kentucky Derby may be an issue. Still one to watch, though.

Thunder Snow (16/1)

There is still some question as to whether this Irish-bred horse will race in the Derby, as he is also entered into an event in England on the same day. The winner of the UAE Derby already has over $1.5 million in earnings, but it can be argued that his best efforts have come on dirt tracks, which suggests he may be making the trip to Churchill Downs. Probably the biggest risk in this group we are discussing here, but worth a look, nonetheless.

Irap (25/1)

This horse made a habit of getting in the money in big races, but never quite doing enough to get across the finish line with the lead. That all changed at the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, where he stunned a field of very talented horses to take the wire and book his ticket to the Kentucky Derby. This race could well play to his strength, as he likes to sit just off the pace and duel coming down the stretch. This is a gutsy horse that could pass many others by coming home.

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