On Saturday May 5th, sports fans and lovers of horse racing will enjoy the 144th renewal of the world-famous Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs racecourse. With a purse of 2 million USD on offer, the biggest and brightest in the game will be out to shine.
This grade one race decided over 10 furlongs was inaugurated in 1875 and enjoys a glittering past but this year’s field will be hoping to be the names of the future as they aim to secure the crown worn by Always Dreaming last year.
Who is going to win the race? There is certainly no lack of horse racing tips as we approach the off but below you’ll find three runners bookmakers expect to go close…
The runner that has been picked as the most likely winner of the race in the ante-post betting by odds-makers is Mendelssohn, who has been chalked up as an early favorite. The three-year-old bay colt brings an impressive CV not to be taken lightly with highlights including a victory in Ireland and America, including a maiden at Curragh in the summer of 2017.
The Aidan O’Brien trained hopeful won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last year over a mile, beating nearest finisher Untamed Domain and added the Patton Stakes at Dundalk before heading over to Meydan and picking up the UAE Derby earlier this year. The well-travelled sort went off favorite that day and lived up to the hype, destroying a chasing pack led by Rayya.
Another three-year-old colt, you’ll find Justify as second favorite in the list and it’ll come as no surprise to followers of this hopeful that the experts want to keep on the right side of him. Doesn’t boast quite as many air miles as his main rival for the Derby but brings enough form to suggest he’s capable of causing a stir.
He won early in his career at Santa Anita over seven furlongs and used the confidence from that to kick-on, bagging a one-mile contest at the same venue a matter of weeks later before moving up in trip again to score over 1m 1f when sent off an odds-on favorite. A horse heading in the right direction but with plenty more still to give.
Not one that can easily be written off by those shrewd enough to crack the Kentucky Derby puzzle. Audible is third in line and arrives on a hot-streak of form, having banked the prize money for connections at the Florida Derby in March. A race run over 1m 1f, he had Hofburg back in second but never looked like losing the race.
Another who seems to improve with every run, this three-year-old has been making headlines in all the right places and, if owners get the kind of progress out of him they are expecting at Churchill Downs, he’ll land the winner’s pot. He’s a speedster with stamina to burn and the stomach for a fight. He certainly won’t be friendless in the betting ring as we approach the off on race day.