The 2015 Kentucky Derby’s Early Contenders & Best Bets

The 2015 Kentucky Derby's Early Contenders & Best Bets

The 2015 Kentucky Derby’s Early Contenders & Best Bets

All it takes is a strong showing at the Kentucky Derby and it can make a horse a household name. Last year it was California Chrome (pictured). Is there a horse out there that can one-up Chrome’s success?

Chrome, of course, won the first two Triple Crown races before coming up short in the Belmont Stakes.

The early inside Kentucky Derby betting scoop is that famed owner/trainer Bob Baffert has the Derby’s winning circle cornered by his two horses: American Pharaoh and Dortmund.

Don’t mistake the early chatter on Baffert’s duo for a weak field, his two horse are so dominant most analysts believe it will be a coin-flip to pick for which of his two horses will win. Everyone knows today’s betting favorite to win the 2015 Kentucky Derby could easily be tomorrow’s scratch.

As it stands now, Dortmund is the short favorite at 9/2 odds and neck and neck with American Pharoah at a tidy 2/1. For the non-Bob Baffert trained thoroughbreds, the early Kentucky Derby Betting field includes:

  • Carpe Diem (6/1)
  • Mubtaahji (9/1)
  • Materiality (9/1)
  • Firing Lane (14/1)
  • Upstart (16/1)
  • International Star (16/1)

An Early Look At the Kentucky Derby’s Best Bets

American Pharaoh

His sensational Arkansas Derby victory might be setting this Bob Baffert trainee up for a special Kentucky Derby run. Before the Arkansas Derby, horseplayers could have gotten American Pharaoh at odds of 5 to 1 in the future book. Not anymore. His off odds are going to be 8/5 or less on Derby Day. What’s crazy is that he could be so good that swallowing low odds might be the way to go.


The undefeated Baffert colt is no second stringer. Sure, there are those who look at Dortmund and say that American Pharaoh is better, but Dortmund is undefeated and has shown the ability to run from off the pace or take the lead. Also, based on all of the popular speed ratings out there, American Pharaoh has yet to run faster than Dortmund. This guy was going off at 6/1 odds before the Santa Anita Derby. Now? Expect him to be a solid 2 to 1 to 5/2 second choice to win the Kentucky Derby by Derby day. Like American Pharaoh, 2 to 1 or 5/2 will be fair odds.

Carpe Diem

His Bluegrass win showed that he still has a lot to learn. For some reason, this $1.6 million buy trained by Todd Pletcher prefers to hang in the stretch. Who knows why, but if he can ever put it together, he’ll be as good, if not better, than either American Pharaoh or Dortmund. He should be a solid third choice at around 9/2 to 6/1 on Derby Day. Those are the fair odds on Carpe Diem. Don’t hesitate betting him at those odds if you’ve done your handicapping and you still like him.


Yes, it’s impossible to win the Derby if you didn’t race as a two-year-old, but has there ever been a two-year-old quite like Materiality? This horse has the highest last race Beyer speed figure, the figures that most professional horse bettors use. He won the Florida Derby by taking the lead and continuing over a tough, tiring, track. He’s also bred to easily handle the distance. His odds should be north of 10 to 1 on Derby Day. Bet him with confidence if you believe he can break the two-year-old jinx.