Race time: 8.34 (AEST) Sunday, May 7. Local time of 6.34pm, Saturday May 6
THE Kentucky Derby is one of the highest grossing horse racing races in the world and we have a full form guide with the field, post positions and free tips.
The Run to the Roses is a huge hit with punters with many following the form since the thoroughbreds were juveniles, but we’re here to help make a selection on Sunday morning as racing from the U.S. isn’t widely publicised in Australia.
The post positions have been made and the final field has been confirmed. America’s biggest race is all set and punters with Bet365.com can find the best Kentucky Derby odds for the 143rd edition this Sunday.
2017 Kentucky Derby post positions and odds
1. Lookin’ At Lee – $34
2. Thunder Snow – $17
3. Fast And Accurate – $51
4. Untrapped – $26
5. Always Dreaming – $5
6. State Of Honour – $26
7. Girvin – $21
8. Hence – $15
9. Irap – $17
10. Gunnevara – $21
11. Battle Of Midway – $41
12. Sonneteer – $41
13. J Boys Echo – $34
14. Classic Empire – $6
15. McCraken – $8
16. Tapwrit – $26
17. Irish War Cry – $8
18. Gormley – $15
19. Practical Joke – $17
20. Patch – $41
Top 2017 Kentucky Derby tip – Always Dreaming
It’s not often we go against our original thoughts, but the amount of money coming for Always Dreaming is worth taking note of.
The Todd Pletcher-trained colt is well-bred by Bodemeister and it comes into the Kentucky Derby having won the Group 1 Florida Derby in good style.
It has been heavily-backed into +400 with CrownBet.com.au throughout the week and drawing barrier five will likely give it every chance to win. Drawing a good barrier doesn’t always mean instant success in this race, but it beat some handy race-rivals last start and that form should translate to Churchill Downs.
It hasn’t lost a race since being transferred to Pletcher’s champion stables and it posted a sizzling trackwork gallop late last month on this track.
The Derby is wide open this year, but Always Dreaming looks a safe bet for punters.
Next best Kentucky Derby pick – Classic Empire
Classic Empire brings in great form having won the Group 1 Arkansas Derby, which is typically a good form race for the Kentucky Derby.
The Mark Casse-trained colt also won the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the noted “bad boy” of racing. Classic Empire has notoriously thrown riders off and refused to do any work at home, but it has been on its best behaviour since winning the Arkansas Derby and punters should expect a professional effort.
Owner John Oxley is looking to secure his second Derby win and although seeing his colt draw barrier 14 hurt its chances significantly, it should have enough time to find a good position towards the rear of the field before making a big run late.
It’s currently the second elect with punters at $6 and we think it could run the quinella with Always Dreaming which should pay a handy result with bookmakers.
Best Kentucky Derby value pick – Girvin
It’s tough to doubt the form of Girvin which brings three wins from four starts and it finished second in the other.
The Joe Sharp-trained colt is a unique type which wears “special shoes” when it runs, but Sharp has told media that there are no concerns with Girvin’s feet.
The best aspect of backing Girvin on Sunday is that Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has accepted the ride. Smith has ridden some of America’s best thoroughbreds and he’s known as one of the best big race riders in the world.
Girvin was at shorter odds earlier in the futures betting markets, so the +1400 available at CrownBet is great value and we think it’s slipping under the radar.
Kentucky Derby blowout chance – Irap
The connections of Irap are no strangers to Kentucky Derby success. The owners, trainer and jockey linked up with I’ll Have Another in 2012 and the owner and trainer scored with Nyquist last year.
The three-year-old colt by Tiznow won the Group 2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last start over some Kentucky Derby race rivals and there’s nothing wrong with that form.
That was its second win from eight starts and it was clear that the rise in distance was suitable. Trainer Doug O’Neill has signalled the intent for Irap to be ridden on the speed and we think it could have the field off the bit around the turn.
If it gets a big enough lead it could spring a surprise result at +1600 with Bet365.com.