Exploring the lives of Kentucky Derby Betting Horses

July 26th, 2019 Horseracing, Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby betting is reaching fever pitch as the date of the 143rd Run of the Roses draws nearer. Below we’ll get to know three of the contenders in more depth, for the benefit of sportsbook fans who enjoy betting on horses.

Classic Empire

This horse was sired by Pioneer of the Nile – who also sired the most recent Triple Crown winner American Pharoah – with mare Sambuca Classic, whose progeny includes stakes winners Anytime Magic and Uptown Twirl. Classic broke his maiden in his debut and then won the Bashford Manor. The Mark Casse-trained colt won four of his five juvenile starts, including the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

His only loss as a two-year old came at the Hopeful where he threw Irad Ortiz, in spite of which he won the 2016 Eclipse Award. Jockey Julian Leparoux has ridden Classic Empire in all his other starts and wins. Perhaps he’s a one-person horse? Classic lost brownie points in the estimation of fans betting on horses when he finished third in the Holy Bull, his first race as a three-year-old (it was later discovered that he had a foot abscess), but won them back with a win at the Arkansas Derby.

Always Dreaming

This horse’s mare was Above Perfection, who dropped stakes winners Yo Soro and Hot Dixie Chick, and was a stakes winner herself. Always’ sire was Bodemeister, who won the Arkansas Derby and came in second at the Run of the Roses in 2012. Always Dreaming is the co- Kentucky Derby betting favorite along with Classic Empire.

Always broke his maiden at Tampa Bay Downs and went on to win the Florida Derby in his in his stakes debut – which people betting on horses might want  to keep in mind, seeing as how the Florida Derby has produced the most Kentucky winners in the past 15 years (Barbaro, Big Brown, Orb, and Nyquist). This colt will be trainer Todd Pletcher’s best bet out of three contenders to win his second Run of the Roses; Pletcher won the 2010 edition with Super Saver.


This colt by Dialed In  – who won the Florida Derby and placed 8th in the Kentucky Derby and 4th in the Preakness in 2011 – and Unbridled Rage – who has dropped six winners – won the Saratoga Special and the Delta Jackpot, and was fifth in the Breeders’ Futurity as a juvenile. Gunnie started his career as a three-year-old with a second place at the Holy Bull, which he followed up with a win at the Fountain of Youth. Gunnevera finished 3rd in the Florida Derby but that didn’t seem to affect his Kentucky Derby betting odds.

All told, this colt has wonfour of his nine starts, which includes three graded stakes. More importantly, Gunnie has provided a great ROI, earning Peacock Racing Stables more than $1.1 million on their $16,000 inve4stment. Gunnevera is trained by Antonio Sano, who will be starting his first Kentucky Derby runner this Saturday. This colt tends to settle well off the pace before releasing a strong staying finish, a style that should help him put a strong showing.

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