Ten Horses Not to Bet For The 2018 Kentucky Derby Win
Handicapping the Kentucky Derby
After seven months of qualifying races, the top 20 horses that started on the road to the Kentucky Derby last September will go to the gate at Churchill Downs looking for immortality as the Derby winner, and the chance to capture all three legs of the US Triple Crown of racing.
Despite the unique aspects of the Derby – the largest field in a North American race, and the fact none of the horses has yet to run the Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles – all the usual handicapping rules apply, including the idea of first tossing out the horses that can’t win.
With that in mind, here are the 10 we don’t think will be getting to the wire first, listed in post position order. Odds courtesy of Bovada racebook.
#1 Firenze Fire (66-1)
There were a lot of high hopes for this colt after he won the (G1) Champagne Stakes last October. He won the Jerome Stakes against a small, weak field in January, but has been a non-factor in his last two starts against better competition.
#2 Free Drop Billy (33-1)
Similar to Firenze Fire, he won the (G1) Claiborne Futurity in the fall, but hasn’t won since. Although he has been in the money in his last three, he wasn’t a threat in any of those, and four of the five horses that finished ahead of him in those races are in this field.
#3 – Promises Fulfilled (40-1)
He got into the Derby on the strength of winning the (G2) Fountain of Youth Stakes with an easy lead in a wire-to-wire victory. With a much faster pace – as he’ll likely have to deal with at Churchill – he was ninth in the (G1) Florida Derby.
#8 – Lone Sailor (50-1)
Late-runnning horses rarely win the Derby, and he’s not only a late runner, but he only has a single maiden win to his name in eight lifetime starts. He took the lead in the shadow of the wire last out in the (G1) Louisiana Derby and still finished second.
#9 – Hofburg
He’s a very talented colt but lacks experience with only three lifetime races, two of those at the maiden level. This is a tough ask, but if he runs even half decent, he could be a factor in the Belmont Stakes in five weeks.
#10 – My Boy Jack (33-1)
For some reason he’s a lot of people’s longshot pick, but we don’t see it. Another late runner, he had to go to the very last-chance qualifying race to get into the Derby field, and then could only just win by a head against a field with no other Derby qualifiers.
#12 – Enticed (25-1)
He had every chance to win the (G1) Wood Memorial in his final prep at Aqueduct, but couldn’t close the deal, and gave up fairly easily to Derby runner Vino Rosso in the stretch drive. Strong suspicion 1 1/4 miles is further than he wants to go.
#13 – Bravazo (33-1)
He caused a big stir when the won the (G2) Risen Star Stakes at odds of 21-1, but was brought back down to earth when he ran ninth next out as the second favorite in the Louisiana Derby, more than 20 lengths behind the winner.
#15 – Instilled Regard (50-1)
Gained a second-place finish after a controversial DQ in the (G1) Cash Call Futurity in late 2017. Started 2018 with a win in the (G3) Lecomte Stakes, but none of the horses he beat in that race qualified for the Derby, and he’s been a non-factor in two races since then.
#20 – Combatant (100-1)
Both him and Instilled Regard drew into the field when Gronkowski and Quip pulled out. Perhaps the most unlucky horse in the field, he’s drawn the outside post now in four straight races. He has no wins in his last five races, and seems to be dropping back as the competition gets tougher.
Kentucky Derby Betting
While none of the horses listed above strike us as serious contenders for the win on Saturday, it’s likely that at least one or two high-priced runners will be able to crack the top four and key big payouts on trifecta and superfecta wagers. Of these, Hofburg, My Boy Jack and Combatant are the three most logical choices.
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