It’s almost Kentucky Derby betting time to say Goodbye Horses, but until then let’s become better acquainted with some of the horse racing betting contenders for the 143rd Run of the Roses.
McCraken This colt by Ghostzapper (who you gonna call? Ghostzapper!) and Ivory Empress has made Whitham Thoroughbred $410,848, which in horse racing terms is a modest figure. However, as the fourth horse racing betting favorite to win the Kentucky Derby and with it the $1,240,000 awarded to the first place, he could become ‘Big Earn’ McCraken. This Ian Wilkes-trained colt broke his maiden at Churchill Downs, where he also won the Street Sense Stakes and the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes – so he knows what is like to be victorious in that particular track, at least as far as a horse can grasp concepts such as victory and defeat. McCraken’s three-year-career got off to an auspicious start, winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes, but he then missed the Tampa Bay Derby with a ankle strain, from which he didn’t appeared to be fully recovered when he finished 3rd in the Blue Grass Stakes.
The lovechild of Tale of Ekati (a 2008 Wood Memorial winner and fourth place at that year’s Kentucky Derby) and Catch the Moon (who dropped stakes winner Cocked and Loaded) finished first in the 2017 Road to the Kentucky Derby with 150 points, 18 ahead of Kentucky Derby betting fave Classic Empire. Fair Grounds is this colt’s yard, where he broke his maiden and has won three out of four starts – including the Risen Star Stakes and the Louisiana Derby. He finished 2nd at the Keith Gee Memorial Overnight Stakes , which is run on turf and may have motivated his switching back to dirt. Girvin went five furlongs in :59.60 in his final major workout on Saturday, but has been spotted wearing bar shoes – which could be a sign of hoof problems. If that’s the case, he will have to work through those issues to remain a strong horse racing betting proposition.
This is a colt by Street Boss and Floating Island – not to be confused with Laputa, the flying island – who could very well fit the definition of a dark horse. Hence only broke his maiden in his fourth try, finally popping his cherry at Oaklawn Park in January, but then he was defeated by 13 lengths and finished 7th at the Rebel Stakes in February. Furthermore, his last prep race before the Run of the Roses was the Sunland Derby. On the plus side, Hence won it. On the downside, Sunland is not a traditional Derby prep race. On the plus-plus side, the Sunland Derby has produced at least one runner-up (Firing Line) and one winner of the first leg of the Triple Crown – Mine That Bird, who in 2009 pulled a massive Kentucky Derby betting upset. Hence is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen whose best finish in 15 Derby starts was a second place by Nehro in 2011.