Kentucky Derby 2016

Now that the field for the 2016 Kentucky Derby have been announced, it’s time to start thinking about who has the best chances of bringing home the roses.

Nyquist is the early favorite, with odds of 10-3. Nyquist is a perfect 7 for 7 so far in his career, and according to the experts, no other horse has yet run a race that’s comparable to his best. Of course, Nyquist hasn’t run against the best in the world yet, so it’s fair to say that he hasn’t been challenged like he’s going to be on Saturday. He also hasn’t raced at this length yet, and the extra distance that the Kentucky Derby presents almost always proves to be problematic for early speed horses.

However, when it comes to points, Nyquist is only number two in the field. Gun Runner has 21 more points than him, but the current odds being offered are far worse than what Nyquist is seeing with his 10-1 payout. If he wins, that extra advantage will help bettors out a lot more though. Still, Gun Runner is a strong racer, and even though his trainer Steve Asmussen has publicly commented that Nyquist has shown stronger races so far, there’s a lot of confidence in his horse’s skill.

An outside favorite often does well at the Kentucky Derby, and one of the biggest names here is Mohaymen. Nyquist beat Mohaymen by over 3 lengths at the Florida Derby earlier this year, but Mohaymen had a bad track positioning, travelling a lot further on poor terrain. If Mohaymen can get a good trip, he has the capability of staying ahead of Nyquist. This will be the most interesting matchup of the race for us, simply because of the history between these two horses and the apparent handicap that Mohaymen faced in round one. Round two begins with Mohaymen’s team knowing exactly what they need to do to win this.

Keep an eye on Whitmore, while you’re at it. Jockey Victor Espinoza won the last two Kentucky Derby races. In 2014, he was aboard California Chrome, and last year, he rode American Pharoah for all three legs of the Triple Crown. Whitmore isn’t a favorite here, having won only 2 of 6 starts, but Espinoza clearly has the experience to pull off a huge upset. This could be a great value bet, if you are looking for alternative opportunities. And, if Espinoza somehow does pull out a win here, he would be the first jockey to ever win three Derbies.