2015 Kentucky Derby Preview and Pick

By: Tony Karpinski     Date: Apr 28, 2015

The famous race for the roses on Saturday is one of the most favored traditions in American sports. The Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, is a huge game changer for 3 year olds racing on a 1.25 mile dirt track. It has been held proudly since 1875, and is the first leg of the Triple Crown, followed up by the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. It looks like Bob Baffert is the man to beat on Saturday May 2nd, as he not only sends out the favorite American Pharaoh, but he also has the likely second-favorite in Dortmund. The average odds on the winning horse all-time are just under 8-to-1 and the favorites normally dont win, so it's usually best to look for a bit of a price and not get too carried away because it's the first Triple Crown race of the year.

Many horses are hoping to make that trot, only one will lay claim to that victory. There are 20 spots at the starting gate, and that means 19 horses that won't win. We all expect to see folks dropping top-dollar bets on season-favorites such as American Pharaoh and Dortmund. Granted, American Pharaoh has had the benefit of being at Churchill Downs for a while and every day he seems even better. Some may feel that American Pharaoh and Dortmund are the only two horses with true genuine speed to go all the way. But I disagree. Although American Pharaoh is the favorite on paper, bottom line is, when it comes down to it, the Derby isn't run on paper. But a hardcore 1.25 mile, 2 minute heart pounder on dirt.

It's easy to see why the public likes American Pharaoh, as he's won his last four races and is 4 of 5 lifetime, failing only to win his debut. He romped to victory in the Arkansas Derby and now has three Grade 1 victories among his four wins. Carpe Diem is the other remaining horse at odds of less than than 10-to-1, as he checks in at 7-1. John Velasquez is expecting to ride him in the Kentucky Derby, choosing him over Materiality. He is 4 for 5 lifetime, finishing second in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile last year to Texas Red. Todd Pletcher is his trainer. He'll likely be the third favorite in the race and I'll take him in this field. And for the horse to play down on with the longshot, keep an eye out for Ocho Ocho Ocho.

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