Kentucky Derby Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, Churchill Downs, 5th May 2018
Heading into May and we see the flat season really beginning to take off with the first domestic Classics of the season taking place. The action is pretty hot stateside at this time of year too, as Churchill Downs plays host to the world renowned Kentucky Derby Here we take a look at the best odds and offers and provide our betting tips for the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sport”.
This 1m2f Grade 1 contest was first run at Churchill Downs back in 1875. Open to three year olds, victory here brings both prestige and the lion’s share of $2million in total prize money.
Kentucky Derby Betting Tips
- Mendelssohn to win at 9/2 with Bet365
- Bolt D’Oro each way at 11/1 with Ladbrokes
NB – odds correct at time of publication and subject to change
Kentucky Derby Betting Offers
Free horse racing bets, enhanced odds and other offers for this race will be listed in due course.
Kentucky Derby 2018 Preview and Betting Tips
As said, the flat season really gets going in Britain this weekend with 2018’s first two Classics, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas. The top quality action isn’t confined to this side of the Atlantic though as there’s the small matter of the Kentucky Derby to enjoy. Held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, the Kentucky Derby is a Grade 1 race for three-year-olds run over one and a quarter miles. It is among the biggest sporting events in America and attracts a massive global audience. As ever there are a plethora of storylines going into the race but where should your money be going?
Competitive Renewal in Prospect
It takes a special horse just to get a place in the Kentucky Derby but this year’s renewal looks as competitive as ever. The bookies are struggling to pick a favourite with both Justify and Mendelssohn available at around 4/1 while Audible, Magnum Moon, Bolt d’Oro and Good Magic have attracted plenty of action in the early betting.
The competitive nature of this year’s race gives punters more viable options than they’d probably like but it could be as simple as backing an Aidan O’Brien-trained horse in a big race.
Mendelssohn and Moore to Team Up for Huge Success
Aidan O’Brien is the undisputed king of the flat in Great Britain and Ireland. With his incredible string of horses at Ballydoyle, O’Brien broke the record for the number of Group 1s won last season and is in line for yet another successful year. The Kentucky Derby has so far alluded O’Brien but that may be about to change thanks to Mendelssohn.
The Coolmore House Stud have owned some wonderful horses over the years and they went out of their way to purchase Mendelssohn for $3 million to give themselves the best chance of winning the Kentucky Derby. He is certainly beautifully bred for the race as he’s sired by 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, Scat Daddy, and has more dirt pedigree from his dam’s side.
Mendelssohn’s journey didn’t go to plan as his plane was forced to divert due to a paperwork issue and he now won’t get to Churchill Downs until a few days before the race while he clears quarantine. However, O’Brien has reported that everything is good with his charge and that he should improve even from his stunning 18 and a half length win at the UAE Derby.
It’s all systems go for Mendelssohn who looks a very good price at 9/2 with Bet365.
Bolt D’Oro the Each Way Pick
The biggest trainers in America and beyond do all they can to win the Kentucky Derby but we’ve seen less well known names saddle the winner before and that may be the case again with Mick Ruis’ colt, Bolt D’Oro.
The low key nature of his yard, his lack of travelling experience and the way he was beaten by Justify last time out have all combined to inflate Bolt D’Oro’s price to 11/1 with Ladbrokes. That looks too big for a horse of his undoubted ability with three time Kentucky Derby winner Victor Espinoza on board. A place looks likely and a win possible so back Bolt D’Oro each way.
- 2017 – Always Dreaming – jockey John Velazquez, trainer Todd Pletcher
- 2016 – Nyquist – jockey Mario Gutierrez, trainer Doug O’Neill
- 2015 – American Pharoah – jockey Victor Espinosa, trainer Bob Baffert
- 2014 – California Chrome – jockey Victor Espinosa, trainer Art Sherman
- 2013 – Orb – jockey Joel Rosario, trainer Claude McGaughey III
- 2012 – I’ll Have Another – jockey Mario Gutierrez, trainer Doug O’Neill
- 2011 – Animal Kingdom – jockey John Velazquez, trainer Graham Motion
- 2010 – Super Saver – jockey Calvin Borel, trainer Todd Pletcher
- 2009 – Mine That Bird – jockey Calvin Borel, trainer Bennie L.Woolley, Jr.
- 2008 – Big Brown – jockey Kent Desmoreaux, trainer Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.
- 2007 – Street Sense – jockey Calvin Borel, trainer Carl Nafzger
Kentucky Derby History
Run every year since 1875, this contest which acts as the culmination of the two week long Kentucky Derby Festival is one of the most historic events in the American calendar year. The event which has come to be known as, “The Run For The Roses”, due to the wreaths bestowed upon the winner, was the brainchild of Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. who had been inspired by a visit to the historic Epsom Derby. Hence the Derby of this races title.
Acting as the first leg of the American Triple Crown, which is completed by the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, the list of previous winners here is littered with legends of American racing.
12 horses have completed the Triple Crown, with American Pharaoh being the most recent in 2015. The Bob Baffert trained star won eight times at the highest level during his eleven-race career and confirmed his superiority by also claiming the Breeders’ Cup Classic in what was a glittering three year old campaign.
The name of Secretariat is famous not only in US racing circles, but is also one of the most recognisable names in the racing world. And with good reason. Simply one of the greatest racehorses of all time. The colt known as “Big Red”, used his monstrous stride to land the Triple Crown in 1973, and still holds the track record both for this race and the Belmont Stakes which he won by an inconceivable 31 lengths.
The names of War Admiral, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and California Chrome, will all feature prominently on many a list of the greatest ever racehorse, and all also prevailed here.
The records for both the top trainers and jockeys are each around 50 years old now. Eddie Arcaro with five wins between 1938 and 1952, and Bill Hartack with the same total between 1957 and 1969 lead the way amongst the riders. Ben A. Jones went one better with six triumphs between 1938 and 1952 to put himself at the top of the trainers’ tree.
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