In addition to being an elite race, the Kentucky Derby offers a buffet of wagering options. You can play straight bets, exotics and even a daily double off the Oaks on Friday and the Derby on Saturday.
The Oaks is the filly version of the Run for the Roses. It will have 14 3-year-olds in the starting gate and this year’s race is wide, wide-open, much like the Kentucky Derby itself.
So, what’s a bettor to do? Well. the second half of the wager, the Run for the Roses, has appeal with Florida Derby winner White Abarrio, the 1-2 finishers in the Santa Anita Derby Taiba and Messier, and the Louisiana Derby winner, Epicenter.
A cautionary note on Epicenter. His trainer, Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen is in a drought in Kentucky that dates to Nov. 28. White stats freaks are varying on the precise number, the 0fer is somewhere around 67-to-72 races.
Will Asmussen break out by sweeping the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby? He’s got big shots but those stats are scary bad.
In the Oaks, Asmussen has Echo Zulu and she brings a daunting mark into the contest. She has run five times and won five times. She is a must include in any Oaks-Derby double.
That does not mean she will waltz through the race, which could be contested over a wet track if the weather forecast remains soggy. Echo Zulu is the 4-1 second choice from post 7.
The favorite in the race is Nest from the Todd Pletcher barn. She has created quite the buzz and is 5-2 on the morning line. Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride the winner of four starts out of six.
Then there is Katheleen O. and Secret Oath.
Wayne Lukas tried the boys with Secret Oath in the Arkansas Derby. She had the trip from hell and was unable to notch a strong enough finish to earn enough points to start in the Kentucky Derby.
Lukas does have eyes on the Preakness Stakes on May 21 at Pimlico if Secret Oath is able to rebound from the Arkansas Derby performance and capture the Oaks.
Kathleen O breaks from post 10 and is running for Patrick Kearney. The owner is all of 84 years old and has handed the training over to Shug McGaughey. She is undefeated and has won a pair of stakes.
Notre Dame fans might go in on a hunch play for Kathleen O, named for Kearney’s wife whose maiden name was O’Boyle.
Her father played football for the Fighting Irish and Green Bay Packers. He played at ND under Knute Rockne. That’s quite a tradition to follow.
If you are looking for a play on the Oaks-Derby double, we suggested tossing Secret Oath off her tough trip in the Arkansas Derby.
The Oaks horses to play are Nest, Echo Zulu, and Kathleen O. Team them up with Epicenter, Taiba, Messier and White Abarrio in the Derby.
While the Oaks fillies don’t figure to light up the tote board, anything is possible in the Derby so the payoff could be juicy.
And make sure to play all the races all the time at BetUS, America’s Favorite Sportsbook.
Kentucky Derby Post Positions, Horse, Trainer and Jockey
- Mo Donegal, Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz Jr.
- Happy Jack, Doug O’Neill, Rafael Bejarano.
- Epicenter, Steve Asmussen, Joel Rosario.
- Summer Is Tomorrow, Bhupat Seemar, Mickael Barzalona.
- Smile Happy, Kenny McPeek, Corey Lanerie.
- Messier, Tim Yakteen, John Velazquez.
- Crown Pride, Koichi Shintani, Christophe Lemaire.
- Charge It, Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez.
- Tiz the Bomb, Kenny McPeek, Brian Hernandez Jr.
- Zandon, Chad Brown, Flavien Prat.
- Pioneer of Medina, Todd Pletcher, Joe Bravo.
- Taiba, Tim Yakteen, Mike Smith.
- Simplification, Antonio Sano, Jose Ortiz.
- Barber Road, John Ortiz, Reylu Gutierrez.
- White Abarrio, Saffie Joseph Jr., Tyler Gaffalione.
- Cyberknife, Brad Cox, Florent Geroux.
- Classic Causeway, Brian Lynch, Julien Leparoux.
- Tawny Port, Brad Cox, Ricardo Santana Jr.
- Zozos, Brad Cox, Manny Franco.
- Ethereal Road, D. Wayne Lukas, Luis Contreras.
- Rich Strike, Eric Reed, Sonny Leon.
- Rattle N Roll, Kenny McPeek, James Graham.