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Horse racing betting fans, head to the mutuels and get ready to bet the Kentucky Derby! Now that the Kentucky Derby odds have been posted, we are going to be taking a look at each of the horses in the Kentucky Derby post positions and the ones that have some tremendous value. Finally, we’ll be set to make our Kentucky Derby trifecta picks and Kentucky Derby superfecta picks for the biggest race of the entire year!
Kentucky Derby Post Positions & Kentucky Derby Odds
1: Black Onyx (50 to 1)
2: Oxbow (30 to 1)
3: Revolutionary (10 to 1)
4: Golden Soul (50 to 1)
5: Normandy Invasion (12 to 1)
6: Mylute (15 to 1)
7: Giant Finish (50 to 1)
8: Goldencents (5 to 1)
9: Overanalyze (15 to 1)
10: Palace Malice (20 to 1)
11: Lines of Battle (30 to 1)
12: Itsmyluckyday (15 to 1)
13: Falling Sky (50 to 1)
14: Verrazano (4 to 1)
15: Charming Kitten (20 to 1)
16: Orb (7 to 2)
17: Will Take Charge (20 to 1)
18: Frac Daddy (50 to 1)
19: Java’s War (15 to 1)
20: Vyjack (15 to 1)
All year long, we’ve been watching the Kentucky Derby prep races and have been monitoring all of the best horses in the field. We think that the value has been sucked out of some of these horses thanks to their morning line odds, and that includes the favorite, Orb. We just aren’t a believe in this horse at this point. Orb is going to try to run a similar race to the one that Verrazano is going to run (more on him in a second), and he is coming from the far outside in post No. 16 to try to do it. We love the fact that this is a horse that is undefeated as a three year old, but without a single Beyer Speed Rating of 100+, we are pessimistic of Orb’s chances of running the 105+ that will be required to win this race.
Similarly, we think that both Goldencents and Revolutionary are just overrated at this point as well. Goldencents is one of the top three-year old colts in the world, no doubt, but 5 to 1 on the Santa Anita Derby winner is just far too cheap of a price. Revolutionary has been an impressive favorite for his entire career, but there is a real question as to who he has run against. The Grade II Louisiana Derby is the best that he’s got, and that wasn’t a fantastic field by any stretch of the imagination.
So where does the value lie on the Kentucky Derby lines? As we see it, the far outside. Vyjack is a horse that has only been beaten once in his career, and that came in a game effort against Verrazano. Java’s War is the biggest closer in the field and one of the biggest closers that we have seen in years, and though we hate the fact that it is going to be a slow and potentially muddy track, we also know that this will be an uncomfortable position for a number of horses to be in. That 15 to 1 price tag is a heck of a number on a colt that is arguably a furlong at the Tampa Bay Derby away from beating Verrazano.
Further on the inside, the horses that we are going to be keeping an eye on are Normandy’s Invasion and Palace Malice. Palace Malice has been running some great workouts of late, and we have to remember that he was a 5 to 1 favorite at the Blue Grass Stakes, which turned out to be one of the most competitive of the Kentucky Derby prep races. Normandy’s Invasion ran second at the Wood Memorial, also one of the most competitive of the races in the Spring, and we know that this is a horse that has a ton of fight in him. He fought off Vyjack for second at the Wood, and he darn near gave Verrazano a scare in the final strides as well.
However, we have saved the best for last. We hate the fact that Itsmyluckyday has been run 10 times in his career, as that is generally a sign of weakness in a horse. However, he was second in the Florida Derby to Orb, and he had a shot to nail him in the final furlong before being outkicked. There might be a little something more in the tank, though. If Itsmyluckyday, a horse that is better bred for the distance than the speed anyway, can make it that extra eighth of a mile and something happens that Orb can’t make it, we definitely want the 30 to 1 on our side. We don’t see that much difference between Orb and Itsmyluckyday.
In the end though, this is a race for Verrazano to lose. We think that the undefeated three-year old champion should have been installed as the morning line favorite on the Kentucky Derby odds, and we think that post position No. 14 is the perfect one for him. When we look at this horse, we see Big Brown, the colt that was probably the best three-year old that we have seen in the sport in quite a few years. Big Brown wasn’t able to win the Belmont Stakes, but he came darn close, and had he had a jockey that was willing to push him all the way through that 1 1/2 mile run instead of pulling him up with an eighth of a mile to go, history might look upon him very differently.
We know that Verrazano is going to be getting out of the blocks quickly, but he’ll let Falling Sky get past him on the inside and tuck right next to him. There’s a great chance that he is going to be able to keep Orb to his outside for this whole race, and that will make things very difficult for the Florida Derby champ, as he will be required to run a longer race than most if he has to stay to the outside of Verrazano for the majority of the run. We know that Vyjack, Normandy’s Invasion, and Itsmyluckyday are going to be right there as well. Java’s War will fade to the back of the pack early, and though closers don’t generally do well in the slop, we think that he is going to have a chance to get the job done. The key is going to be what happens in these final two furlongs when these horses are pushed harder than they have ever been pushed before. Verrazano has shown the heart of a champion, and he has already knocked off one of the previously undefeated horses in Vyjack with a great duel to the wire. Vyjack backed down and finished third in that race, allowing Normandy’s Invasion up for second. Will the same happen to Orb if he ends up in a duel with Verrazano? We tend to think so, and the punishment at the Derby is going to be falling off of the board.
That’s where Java’s War comes into play. There legitimately could be a six- or seven-wide scramble off of the far turn, and we think that all of these horses are going to get caught up in what they are all doing against each other. They’re not used to running in duels like this, while Java’s War is comfortable coming all the way up from the outside (or wherever on the track he has to go) to reach the wire in front of the field.
For the purposes of betting at the window, we are going to put Java’s War and Verrazano together boxed on top of Palace Malice, Itsmyluckyday, Normandy’s Invasion, and Vyjack in trifectas. We will probably also bet some win/place/show money on both Java’s War and Itsmyluckyday in case both Orb and Verrazano fall out of the top. For the purposes of making a superfecta pick though, we’re going to put Java’s War on top with Verrazano coming in a close second.
2013 Kentucky Derby Picks (Superfecta Pick)
#19 Java’s War