The biggest news in Kentucky Derby betting this week was the loss of Quality Road, arguably one of the top four contenders, from the field. If you’re wondering why many of the Kentucky Derby lines have been taken down across various racebooks, it probably happened because Quality Road was just removed from the race after suffering a crack in his right front hoof. That leaves the door open for some hot racebook sleepers to join the fray.
Before we dig for the underdog picks, though, let’s discuss the big names. I Want Revenge is a runaway favorite at the racebook right now at about 3 to 1. He’s the complete package, with a great Tomlinson Distance Rating and Beyer Speed Figure. All that stands in his way is experience, as he’s new to Churchill Downs. Could that be the tiny crack in the door that lets another horse in?
Friesan Fire Is almost on his own as the No. 2 Kentucky Derby odds favorite. He’s a strong horse and looked great at the Louisiana Derby. The knock on his odds to win the Kentucky Derby? He hasn’t raced in seven weeks. No horse has won the Derby after a seven-week layoff since 1956.
Dunkirk and Pioneerof the Nile are also right in the thick of this horse race betting affair. Dunkirk is nicely suited to this distance while Pioneer has a great trainer in Bob Baffert and has looked very good in drills this week.
Among the sleepers, stablemates Desert Party and Regal Ransom are generating a bit of buzz. Party seems to be the more popular pick but Ransom deserves more respect, as he bested his buddy Party at the UAE Derby.
Like a team on a winning streak in basketball betting, horses with momentum entering the Kentucky Derby odds can’t be ignored either. Both Chocolate Candy and Papa Clem are on fire of late, with Candy winning four of six races while Clem won the Arkansas Derby and hung with the big boys with second-place finishes in his last two races.
The most exciting racebook pick for those betting online this week may be General Quarters. His trainer is a former high-school principal and teacher in Louisville, so a win for this hometown tandem would touch horse race betting fans’ hearts. It’s tempting to take a flier on this guy, isn’t it?