2018 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds - Top Derby Contenders

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144th Running of the Kentucky Derby

2017 Kentucky Derby Betting OddsTriple Crown Betting Online: Horse racing takes on a life of its own in the Spring. Bettors who don't pay a lick of attention to the Sport of Kings for the entire year all of a sudden try to become expert handicappers for the Kentucky Derby. Each year, the Derby provides great hope for the next Triple Crown winner, and no matter who ultimately wins the race, the question which is immediately asked is if that pony can go on to win both the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

The 2018 Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 5. As is the case every year, the action at Churchill Downs can be seen live on NBC.

2018 Kentucky Derby At a Glance

Race Distance: 1 1/4 Miles

Record: 1:59.40 (Secretariat, 1973)

Purse: Approximately $2 million

Qualification: 3-year olds (colts and fillies)

The qualification process just to get into the Kentucky Derby is an extensive one for sure. Horses amass Derby Points over the course of their two- and three-year old seasons, and the ones who ultimately reach at least 40 points or so end up finding their way into the field at Churchill Downs if their connections choose to race them there.

The closer the Kentucky Derby gets, the more Derby Points each race is worth. The biggest races, the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, Arkansas Derby, Wood Memorial, Louisiana Derby, UAE Derby and Florida Derby are all worth 100 points to the winner and 40 points to the second place finishers, and all of the colts which finish first or second are essentially granted automatic entry into the Run for the Roses.

A maximum of 20 horses run in the Kentucky Derby each year, and for the most part, the slots are always filled, though 2016 was an exception to the rule due to an abnormally high amount of defections the week before the race.

The horses which end up as the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby are the ones which win major Grade 1 races held in March and April. The only exception is the UAE Derby winner who almost always ends up being one of the longer shots on the board. To this day, no horse which won the UAE Derby has come anywhere near winning the Kentucky Derby.

List of Kentucky Derby Winners (Since 2000)

Year Winner Odds Jockey Trainer Time
2017Always Dreaming4.70John VelazquezTodd Pletcher2:03.59
2016Nyquist2.00Mario GutierrezDoug O'Neill2:01.31
2015American Pharoah2.50Victor EspinozaBob Baffert2:03.02
2014California Chrome2.50Victor EspinozaArt Sherman2:03.66
2013Orb5.00Joel RosarioShug McGaughey2:02.89
2012I'll Have Another15.00Mario GutierrezDoug O'Neill2:01.83
2011Animal Kingdom20.00John VelazquezGraham Motion2:02.04
2010Super Saver50.00Calvin BorelTodd Pletcher2:04.45
2009Mine That Bird8.00Calvin BorelBennie Woolley Jr.2:02.66
2008Big Brown3.50Kent DesormeauxRichard Dutrow2:01.82
2007Street Sense4.50Calvin BorelCarl Nafzger2:02.17
2006Barbaro6.00Edgar PradoMichael Matz2:01.36
2005Giacomo50.30Mike SmithJohn Shirreffs2:02.75
2004Smarty Jones4.10Stewart ElliottJohn Servis2:04.06
2003Funny Cide12.80Jose SantosBarclay Tagg2:01.19
2002War Emblem20.50Victor EspinozaBob Baffert2:01.13
2001Monarchos10.50Jorge ChavezJohn Ward Jr.1:59.97
2000Fusaichi Pegasus2.30Kent DesormeauxNeil Drysdale2:01.00

Fastest Times in Kentucky Derby History

Year Horse Time
1964Northern Dancer2:00.00
1985Spend A Buck2:00.20

Running the Kentucky Derby in anything less than 2:01 or so is really considered to be blazing. Last year's winner of the race, Nyquist only finished up in 2:01.31. That's fast for sure, but it's nowhere near the fastest time in the history of the Derby.

Secretariat holds that mark for sure at 1:59.40. The only horse who truly came anywhere near threatening that mark was Monarchos back in 2001, and his 1:59.97 paled in comparison to what the horse they called Big Red pulled off three decades earlier.

There have only been four examples of three-year olds who have completed the Kentucky Derby in less than 2:01, none of which have come since 2001. Nyquist's 2:01.31 was the fastest Derby finishing time since Funny Cide covered the distance in 2:01.19 in 2003.

Longest Odds To Win the Kentucky Derby

Year Horse Odds
2010Super Saver50

The odds of a horse like Donerail winning the Kentucky Derby again are slim and none, but with the way these prices play themselves out, you really just flat out never know. Though the last three winners of the Run for the Roses were all favorites, history tells you that there are more double-digit dogs who win the race than favorites.

Three different horses have won this race at a price of 50 to 1 or better, two of which have come in the last dozen years.

Most Jockey Wins in Kentucky Derby History

Jockey Kentucky Derby Wins Years Won
Eddie Arcaro51938, 1941, 1945, 1948, 1952
Bill Hartack51957, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1969
Bill Shoemaker41955, 1959, 1965, 1986
Angel Cordero Jr.31974, 1976, 1985
Calvin Borel32007, 2009, 2010
Earl Sande31923, 1925, 1930
Gary Stevens31988, 1995, 1997
Isaac Murphy31894, 1890, 1891
Kent Desormeaux31998, 2000, 2008
Victor Espinoza32002, 2014, 2015

It's becoming tougher and tougher for modern jockeys to really have success in a race like this one, but there are a few who are really standing out. Calvin Borel has made a living out of winning the Kentucky Derby with late-charging horses who love running on the rail. However, it's Victor Espinoza who is getting the most run now. He's easily got the most victories in recent history at the Derby with three, and he was beaten in 2016 after winning it in both 2014 aboard California Chrome and in 2015 with American Pharoah.

Most Trainer Wins in Kentucky Derby History

Trainer Kentucky Derby Wins Years Won
Ben Jones61938, 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952
Bob Baffert41997, 1998, 2002, 2015
D. Wayne Lukas41988, 1995, 1996, 1999
Herbert Thompson41921, 1926, 1932, 1933

If you thought it was tough to try to figure out which jockey was going to win the Kentucky Derby year in and year out, trying to pick the trainer is even harder. Of this list of four men who have won the Run for the Roses at least four times, only one is relatively modern in Bob Baffert. Even he has only trained one winner since 2002, that being American Pharoah in 2015.

When Doug O'Neill won the race with Nyquist in 2016, that ended a stretch of 13 consecutive years in which a different trainer won the Kentucky Derby. O'Neill also trained I'll Have Another in 2012.

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