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Kentucky Derby Betting: Justify is the oddsmakers’ favorite coming into this year’s Kentucky Derby. It’s hard to argue with that assessment after seeing the horse race earlier this year. After winning his first two races at Santa Anita, he was the favorite coming into the Santa Anita Derby and routed the competition. He led the race wire to wire and even distanced himself from a hard charging Bolt d’Oro at the end. It was a great performance and winning in that manner has to have Bob Baffert feeling good heading into the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby will go to post on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 6:34 p.m. ET at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Catch the Kentucky Derby live on NBC.
Career Record: 3-0-0
Career Earnings: $666,000
Kentucky Derby Points: 100
Kentucky Derby Odds at BookMaker.eu: +365
Justify was sired by Scat Daddy and his dam was Stage Magic. Scat Daddy was a solid racer during his career, winning the Champagne Stakes and the Florida Derby. His career as a sire was more prolific though, and he has already sired 69 stakes winners.
His trainer is the illustrious Bob Baffert. Baffert has had four horses go on to win the Kentucky Derby, with the last of those being American Pharaoh in 2015. His win broke a 13-year streak for the trainer after having three horses win in a six-year span.
Justify will be jockeyed by Mike Smith. This will be Smith’s 24th time competing at the Kentucky Derby, but he has only been into the Winner’s Circle once before. That came on the longshot Giacomo in 2005.
Why Justify Will Win the Kentucky Derby
It’s hard to go against a horse that is undefeated. Justify has looked the part of the favorite through three races. His win over Bolt d’Oro was awfully impressive, as he finished three lengths ahead of another one of the favorites at the Kentucky Derby. It’s obvious that he has a lot of raw talent, as he didn’t race as a two-year old and only made his debut in February.
Why Justfiy Won't Win the Kentucky Derby
We haven’t seen a horse with so little experience win the Kentucky Derby in a decade. While you don’t want to back a horse that has had to travel the country in search of points to make it to the Kentucky Derby, racing just three times leaves a lot of question marks.
Additionally, Justify has only raced at one track in his career. All three of his races came at Santa Anita and that has limited the competition he has faced. The only other quality horse he has raced against was Bolt d’Oro, and he hasn’t faced another real contender. This will also be a much larger field than what he has seen in the past, as his three prior races had five, five, and seven entrants.
The Final Verdict
I think Justify is good enough to win, but I wouldn’t bet on him at this price. There are too many question marks for me to back him at +365. We have not seen him run in rain, and with the initial forecast indicating there will be showers late in the day, I’ll pass on Justify.
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2018 Kentucky Derby Contenders