Kentucky Derby: Orb, Verrazano lead strong field of contenders
The Triple Crown season begins Saturday with the first of the jeweled races, the 139th edition of the Kentucky Derby, from Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Saturday's Run for the Roses, the 11th race on the Churchill Downs card, is expected to start at around 6:24 pm ET, and will be televised by NBC.
Florida Derby champion Orb was officially installed earlier this week as a 7/2 favorite for Saturday's $2 million Derby. Orb gets Joel Rosario as rider, but the two will have to overcome starting from the 16 post in this 19-horse field.
However, Orb's team can take some solace in the fact that I'll Have Another won from the 19 post last year, Animal Kingdom won from the 16 spot two years ago and Big Brown won from the 20 spot five years ago.
Verrazano, who's four-for-four in his career with wins in the Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood Memorial, was the early second favorite at odds of 4/1, coming out of the 14 post with Johnny Velazquez aboard.
Goldencents, winner of the Santa Anita Derby, was the early third choice at 5/1, starting from the eight post with Kevin Krigger up top.
Revolutionary, coming out of the three spot with Calvin Bo-Rail on board, was listed at 10/1 on the early Derby line.
Normandy Invasion, with Javier Castellano riding, coming from the five post, was an early 12/1 choice.
Mylute, Overanalyze, Itsmyluckyday, Java's War, and Vyjack, starting from the six, nine, 12, 19 and 20 posts, respectively, were each priced at 15/1 on the early line.
And Palace Malice from the 10 spot, Charming Kitten from post No. 15 and Will Take Charge from post 17 were all getting 20/1 on the early official Kentucky Derby betting board.
Black Onyx, who was to start from the rail, was scratched Friday morning, leaving the field for Saturday's big event at 19 entrants.
In early line moves Revolutionary got bet down to 5/1 and Itsmyluckyday to 10/1, while Verrazano got bumped to 8/1 and Goldencents to 10/1.