Kentucky Derby Predictions
The 2013 Kentucky Derby is set to be held on Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs. This is a Grade 1 stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, and it’s held annually in Louisville, Kentucky. This is a 1 1/4-mile race that is known in the United States as “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” as well as the “Run for the Roses”.
It is the first leg of the Triple Crown, which is followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The Kentucky Derby has been run every year since 1875, making 2013 the 139th running. The attendance at the event ranks first in North America and surpasses that of all the other stakes races, including the Breeders’ Cup.
Because of it’s popularity, the Kentucky Derby draws millions of fans and bettors around the world. I’m going to take a look at the wagering side of it and go through and give my picks for this year’s race. I correctly had I’ll Have Another winning last year at 12/1 odds, though I missed on Union Rags and Gemologist as my place and show choices, respectively.
The 2013 Kentucky Derby is wide open, making it very tough to predict. However, with the right amount of research into all of the contenders, you can give yourself a great chance to come out a winner on May 5th. Without further ado, here is my Trifecta prediction, which is picking the 1-2-3 (win, place, show) finishers in the correct order. If you Box these horses together, they can finish 1-2-3 in any order, but it costs more.
Win – Orb (6/1)
I believe that Orb should be the favorite for a number of reasons. A winner in four consecutive races, Orb will give Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first win in the Run for the Roses. His two most impressive wins have come at the Grade 1 Florida Derby and the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. There really isn’t one thing that I do not like about this horse.
My biggest reason for backing Orb is his blood line, where he was bred by Stuart S. Janney III & Phipps Stable. He was bred on the A.P. Indy – Unbridled Cross, which means he’s more ready for this 1 1/4 distance than any other horse in the field. He doesn’t do a lot of running early in races as he prefers to come from several lengths off the pace in the final furlongs.
That running style is perfect for the Kentucky Derby. It allows a rider like Joel Rosario, who is one of the top jockeys in the world, to position the horse in the early stages rather than battling to run toward the front. It makes post position draw almost a non-factor. Orb is the best closer in the field, and that will be on display when he comes off the pace to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
Place – Revolutionary (8/1)
Trained by Todd Pletcher, and ridden by Calvin Borel, Revolutionary is the horse that has the best shot to beat Orb in the Kentucky Derby. This is the same trainer, jockey and owner combination that won the 2010 Derby with Super Saver. A three-time Kentucky Derby winner, Borel will make sure that this horse is positioned perfectly to make a hard, closing finish.
Revolutionary has won three straight races coming in, including the Grade 3 Withes and the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. His performance at the Louisiana Derby is what makes me believe he can overcome almost anything. Revolutionary came from 12 lengths back heading into the first turn, went wide into both the first and second turns, and still pulled away at the finish line by a couple lengths.
Like Orb, Revolutionary has the running style and pedigree that suggests he’s built to run the mile and a quarter distance in the Derby. His Sire is War Pass and his Dam is Runup the Colors, while his Damsire is A.P. Indy. That’s a pedigree that is only rivaled by that of Orb.
Show – Normandy Invasion (10/1)
The betting favorite is Verrazano, which is a big reason why I’m taking Normandy Invasion to show in the Kentucky Derby. That’s because at the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, Normandy Invasion was only beaten by 3/4 lengths by Verrazano. He was closing hard and just came up short.
Considering the Wood Memorial was a 1 1/8-mile race, and the Derby is a 1 1/4-mile track, I believe that extra 1/8 of a mile will allow the hard-charging Normandy Invasion to overtake Verrazano for the third-place finish.
This young colt also has an excellent pedigree and is built for this distance as he loves to stock the early leaders, and then explode over the final few furlongs. I believe Normandy Invasion is being undervalued due to a mediocre track record, but his performance at the Wood Memorial shows what he’s capable of.