Sizing up the field at the 2013 Kentucky Derby

kentucky-derbyHorse racing season is ready to kick off in America with the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Get your programs out, fellas. The “Run for the Roses” at Churchill Downs is ready for another year of action-packed horse racing.

Last year’s winner and Triple Crown hopeful I’ll Have Another won’t be in the field of thoroughbreds that will be competing this weekend, which means that there’s going to be a new champion crowned and, as far as horserace betting is concerned, plenty of intriguing options on which horse you’re going to lay some money on. Curiously, last year’s winning jockey and the man who piloted I’ll Have Another to wins at the Derby and the Preakness, Mario Gutierrez, also won’t be in the field this year.

Having said all of that, it’s a new year and with plenty of new horses in the field, it’s going to make for a pretty exciting weekend at Churchill Downs. The early odds for the race feature two co-favorites sitting at 4/1 odds: Verrazzano and Orb with jockeys John R. Velasquez and Joel Rosario, respectively.

The early odds are pretty telling and indicative of how bookmakers see the race unfolding, which in their minds will end up being a two-horse race between Verrazzano and Orb with an outside chance of Goldencents (Kevin Krigger) taking the victory at 11/2 odds. Why’s that? Well, the next two short odds are Normandy Invasion (Javier Castellano) and Revolutionary (Calvin Borel) yet both of them have been penciled in at 9/1 odds to win the Derby.

From there, the lines shoot up higher with Itsmuluckyday (Elvis Trujillo) at 12/1 odds, followed by Vyjack (Garrett Gomez) and Overanalyze (Rafael Bejarano), both of which currently sit at 14/1 odds. Two other horses – Java’s War (Julien Leparoux) and Mylute (Rosie Napravnik) – sit at 16/1 odds and moving down the list are some long shot hopefuls at 20/1 for Will Take Charge (John Court), 25/1 for both Palace Malice (Mike Smith) and Charming Kitten (Edgar Prado), 33/1 for Lines of Battle (Ryan Moore), and Oxbow (Gary Stevens), 40/1 for Frac Daddy (Victor Lebron), and four 50/1 long shots, including Onyx (Joe Bravo), Golden Soul (Rosie Napravnik), Giant Finish (Jose Espinoza), and Falling Sky (Luis Saez).