Can Justify make it six straight years of the favorite winning in the Kentucky Derby? To do so, Justify will have to overcome the so-called “Apollo Curse,” as no horse has won the Kentucky Derby without having raced at 2-years old since Apollo in 1882. Justify is listed as the 3-1 favorite on the morning line but you can get a better price than that right now at BookMaker, as Justify is listed with odds of more than 4-1. Let’s look at Saturday’s race and Kentucky Derby picks.
2018 Kentucky Derby
PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Firenze Fire Jason Servis Paco Lopez 50-1
2 Free Drop Billy Dale Romans Robby Albarado 30-1
3 Promises Fulfilled Dale Romans Corey Lanerie 30-1
4 Flameaway Mark Casse Jose Lezcano 30-1
5 Audible Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 8-1
6 Good Magic Chad Brown Jose Ortiz 12-1
7 Justify Bob Baffert Mike Smith 3-1
8 Lone Sailor Tom Amoss James Graham 50-1
9 Hofburg Bill Mott Irad Ortiz Jr. 20-1
10 My Boy Jack Keith Desormeaux Kent Desormeaux 30-1
11 Bolt d'Oro Mick Ruis Victor Espinoza 8-1
12 Enticed Kiaran McLaughlin Junior Alvarado 30-1
13 Bravazo D. Wayne Lukas Luis Contreras 50-1
14 Mendelssohn Aidan O'Brien Ryan Moore 5-1
15 Instilled Regard Jerry Hollendorfer D. Van Dyke 50-1
16 Magnum Moon Todd Pletcher Luis Saez 6-1
17 Solomini Bob Baffert Flavien Prat 30-1
18 Vino Rosso Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 12-1
19 Noble Indy Todd Pletcher Florent Geroux 30-1
20 Combatant Steve Asmussen R. Santana Jr. 50-1
21 Blended Citizen Doug O'Neill Kyle Frey 50-1
Kentucky Derby Handicapping
In recent years you haven’t needed to do much handicapping, as you could have taken the favorite and cashed for five straight years. That was not always the case, as the favorite lost 20 straight years from 1980 to 2000. Will the recent trend of the favorite winning the Kentucky Derby continue? If you think so, then taking Justify to win at odds of more than 4-1 is a good bet. It would also be a good plan to put Justify on top in exotic wagers. That strategy worked really well last year when the trifecta paid more than $4,000 for a $1 ticket and the superfecta paid out over $75,000. It didn’t work out as well two years ago when the $1 trifecta paid out less than $90.
There are five main contenders to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby but each has their question marks. We know already about the “Apollo Curse” and that applies to both Justify and Magnum Moon. Bolt d’Oro was beaten by Justify in the Santa Anita Derby, Mendelssohn is a shipper and they never win and Audible really hasn’t faced a ton of great horses in his career.
Kentucky Derby Picks
There is no question that history is eventually going to be broken and a horse will win the Derby after being unraced as a 2-year old. The problem for me is bucking that history until it is actually broken. The same kind of thing applies to Mendelssohn who looks like a great horse, but International horses simply don’t win the Derby. Audible seems to be the “trendy” pick of many Kentucky Derby handicappers and I am always leery of going with the so-called hot pick. That really leaves Bolt d’Oro as the pick to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby. The horse has definitely faced the best competition of any of the Derby contenders. The problem is that he hasn’t always beaten those horses. Perhaps everything will come together and Bolt d’Oro will finally show his potential. I think he has the most value of any of the contenders at odds of 8-1. I am not really excited about any of the longshots, and I don’t even know that Vino Rosso would qualify as a longshot. I will take Bolt d’Oro as my top choice and put him in some exotic tickets with Justify, Audible and Vino Rosso.
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