As the clock ticks down to post time of the 144th edition of the Kentucky Derby it has become a two-horse race on the Kentucky Derby odds, with Justify edging out Mendelssohn as a narrow +350 favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Justify wasted no time emerging as the class of this year’s field of three-year-olds, going undefeated in three races since starting his career in February 2018, including a narrow come-from-behind win at the Santa Anita Derby.
That fast start also positions Justify to end the Apollo Curse and become the first horse since 1883 to win the Run for the Roses without having competed as a two-year-old when he leaves from the No. 7 post in Saturday’s running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Trained by four-time Kentucky Derby winner, Bob Baffert, Justify will face a serious challenge from Mendelssohn, who makes his North American debut as a +400 bet on the Kentucky Derby odds.
Mendelssohn emerged as a legitimate Kentucky Derby contender following his stunning win by 18 lengths at this year’s UAE Derby. However, the European dynamo will start Saturday’s race far from the rail after claiming the No. 14 post in this week’s Kentucky Derby draw.
A quartet of colts round out the top of the odds ahead of this year’s Kentucky Derby, with Audible listed at +550, ahead of Magnum Moon at +700, while Good Magic joins Bolt d’Oro at +900.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, who picked up his second career Kentucky Derby win last year with Always Dreaming, Audible will be aiming to become the third straight horse to follow up a victory in the Florida Derby with a trip to the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs.
Audible’s Florida Derby triumph extends his win streak to four races, which also includes a gutsy victory by four lengths at the Holy Bull.
The progeny of legendary Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, Magnum Moon is unbeaten in four career races, including recent wins at the Arkansas Derby and the Oaklawn Rebel Stakes.
Good Magic has posted wins in two of his past three outings, including a victory at last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which featured five horses scheduled to race on Saturday, while Bolt d’Oro followed up a win in the San Felipe Stakes with a thrilling second-place finish behind Justify at the Santa Anita Derby.
Sitting well back of the favorites in Kentucky Derby betting, Vino Rosso leads the middle of the pack at +1400, followed by Hofburg at +1600, Solomini at +2000, and My Boy Jack at +2200, while this year’s Gotham Stakes winner, Enticed, trails at +2500.
Thumbnail photo via Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports Images