The 144th “Run for the Roses” is almost upon us. The 2018 Kentucky Derby is set to open its gates Saturday, May 5th at Churchill Downs racecourse. For me, horse race betting is a year-round affair but for most the Derby kicks off the horse race betting season. Local OTB’s will draw the biggest crowds of the season on Saturday, as it is the most wagered-upon race of the year. I’m here to provide all bettors with betting details and odds for the big race.
The field this year is pretty wide open, with Justify as the current favorite heading into the race. As per usual, the Derby field sits at 20 three-year-old thoroughbreds. Such a large field makes the Derby the most difficult of the three triple crown races to wager on. I’ll provide you with some info on the favorites and a few sleeper picks.
Justify trained by legendary trainer Bob Baffert will come out of the 7th spot. The horse did not race at all as a two-year-old but is 3-0 in his career. Justify is coming off a victory at the Santa Anita Derby in April. Mike Smith will jockey the horse and has not reached the winner’s circle at the Kentuck Derby since 2005. With such a large field Justify could have trouble maneuvering for position down the stretch.
Magnum Moon is another horse who did not race as a two-year-old. The horse will be ridden by Luis Saez and is trained by Todd Fletcher who won last year’s derby with Always Dreaming. The horse is one of four of Fletchers’ in the 20 horse field. Magnum Moon won the Arkansas Derby last month.
Betting Tip – A horse who did not race as a two-year-old has not won the Kentucky Derby since 1882, so keep that in mind when placing your bets on Justify and Magnum Moon.
Another horse to keep an eye on is Audible, trained by Fletcher. Audible is coming off a big win at the Florida Derby and comes out of the 5th post. If the horse gets out of the gates smoothly, he will have the inside track on Justify. Javier Castellano is the jockey.
Mendelssohn is another favorite, but be wary of the horse, as it has had traveled from Europe to get to the Derby. Historically horses who travel over the Atlantic perform poorly and fade down the stretch.
My Boy Jack is a horse you’ll want to throw in on a few combination bets. The three-year-old is the most experienced horse in the race. He is trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by veteran jockey, brother Kent Desormeaux. Kent is a three-time Derby winner and last won in 2008.
Bolt d’Oro is ridden by hall of fame jockey Victor Espinoza, and if there is any jockey in the field that knows how to win, it’s him. Espinoza will be seeking his fourth Derby victory. He recently completed the triple crown feat with American Pharaoh in 2015, which was the first time since Affirmed in 1978.
Hofburg sits at 20-1 and could make some real noise in the Derby. The horse finished 2nd to Audible at the Florida Derby. He only has three career starts but has the speed and stamina to be in great position down the homestretch.
Betting Tip – Stay away from Firenze Fire and Free Drop Billy as their inside post positions at 1 and 2 all but eliminates them from the race. It takes a special horse and some luck to win the Derby from those spots.
Place: Bolt d’Oro
Superfecta: Audible, Bolt d’Oro, Justify, My Boy Jack
2018 Kentucky Derby Viewing Details:
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018
Start Time: 6:34 P.M. ET
TV Channel: NBC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
Kentucky Derby 2018 Odds:
The odds are via SportsLine
Magnum Moon (6-1)
Bolt d’Oro (8-1)
Good Magic (12-1)
Vino Rosso (12-1)
My Boy Jack (30-1)
Noble Indy (30-1)
Free Drop Billy (30-1)
Promises Fulfilled (30-1)
Lone Sailor (50-1)
Firenze Fire (50-1)
Instilled Regard (50-1)