Eskendereya could actually go off as a bigger favorite in Kentucky odds than Big Brown did two years ago.
Kentucky wagering on a big favorite is not always successful so you have to keep that in mind. Eskendereya looks great but in a 20 horse field anything can happen. The decision to make in this year’s Kentucky Derby is whether to take the favorite or consider a longshot. If you think that Eskendereya is going to win then you plan your wagers based around him. If you think he is beatable then you have to find the horse or horses you think can spring the upset. Two years ago that was the situation with Big Brown. He was the horse that got all of the hype and he actually delivered with a big win in the Kentucky Derby.
Eskendereya is by far the most impressive horse this year in Kentucky odds. The best horse doesn’t always win the Derby though. 11 of the last 15 Derby favorites have lost. Trainer Todd Pletcher actually believes this will be the toughest of the three Triple Crown races for Eskendereya. There has not been a Triple Crown winner since Seattle Slew in 1977 but if Eskendereya can navigate a 20 horse field in the Derby we could break that drought this year. Then again, the same thing was said two years ago with Big Brown and he did not come through.
There is no question that people want to see a Triple Crown winner. The Kentucky Derby hype surrounding Eskendereya is going to be huge. The horse has a ton of talent though and he could live up to the advance billing. He has a great trainer in Todd Pletcher who is way overdue to win the Derby and a veteran jockey in John Velasquez. All signs point to Eskenderya duplicating what Big Brown did two years ago and winning in Kentucky wagering as the favorite.
Eskendereya earned a 109 Beyer Speed Figure in the Wood Memorial and a 106 in the Fountain of Youth. Pletcher said Eskendereya would work out twice before the Derby. His first workout will be on Sunday at Palm Meadows with the second workout the following Sunday at Churchill Downs.