2017 Kentucky Derby Preview

The field for the 2017 Kentucky Derby is set. Big names in the field include Classic Empire, Always Dreaming, and a few others. With this year’s race, there’s no clear favorite going into it, and that has set the stage for an exciting race.

The field might be ready to race, but do you know who you are betting on yet? If not, we’ve looked at a few of the top candidates for this year’s Run for the Roses. We’ve given our opinion on three of the top rated horses below.

Always Dreaming has a morning line of 5-1, and he could very well be a top contender, but his true odds of winning are probably a touch worse than this. While he has a realistic chance, it ends up being a long term losing bet thanks to the fact that his true odds of winning are probably closer to 7-1 or 8-1. We like him; he’s posted a Beyer of 97 and has a big win at the Florida Derby backing him up. But in this large of a field he looks outclassed.

Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby

Classic Empire is looking like the strong favorite here. After a bad trip at the Arkansas Derby, he was more than strong enough to pull out a convincing win. The downside with Classic Empire is that he has very little racing experience over the last five months or so. That could harm his endurance in this case as most of the other horses entered have been building up toward the Derby their whole lives. On the other hand, Classic Empire might be rested and ready to breakout. It’s hard to say. If you can get 5-1 odds or better on him, this is a strong horse with a lot of potential.

Finally, McCraken is worth taking a look at. He is primed for a great race and has shown great potential with his win at the Sam F. Davis, but a third at the Blue Grass Stakes really hurt his odds. That should help you to get a good bet on him, but that bet is going to be a hard fought victory. With a top Beyer of 95, McCraken will need to have the best race of his life to have a shot here.

Our favorite outside shot? Tapwrit. He has a top Beyer of 96, and with a morning line of 20-1, he’s in a decent place for an upset. His post position is far to the outside, so a smart early race will determine his outcome. Like McCraken, he had a weak Blue Grass finish. That’s his only downside.