The draw is done. The morning line odds are out. Who else is ready for the fastest two minutes in sports?
What: 2017 Kentucky Derby
When: May 6, 2117
Post Time: 6:34 PM ET
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
Stadium: Churchill Downs
Stream: NBC Sports Live
After the the Kentucky Derby draw this morning, pulling into post No. 14, Classic Empire is a 4-1 favorite. The field of 20 will run on Saturday at 6:34 PM ET in a $2 million showdown of three-year-olds over 1&1/4 miles (2km) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Rounding out the top three oddsmakers choices are Always Dreaming and McCracken (pictured) who are both listed at 5-1.
With a full field of 20 and two alternate entries this race is ripe for an upset. Should you bet the favorite? Is there a smarter bet? Who are the sharps picking to win? Is there a dark horse pick to put a few bucks on? Keep reading to find out answers to those questions and more.
2017 Kentucky Derby Morning Line Odds & Picks
Post-position – Runner – Odds – Jockey
- Lookin At Lee 20-1 (Lanerie)
- Thunder Snow 20-1 (Soumillon)
- Fast and Accurate 50-1 (Hill)
- Untrapped 30-1 (Santana Jr.)
- Always Dreaming 5-1 (Velazquez)
- State of Honor 30-1 (Lezcano)
- Girvin 15-1 (Smith)
- Hence 15-1 (Geroux)
- Irap 20-1 (Gutierrez)
- Gunnevera 15-1 (Castellano)
- Battle of Midway 30-1 (Prat)
- Sonneteer 50-1 (Desormeaux)
- J Boys Echo 20-1 (Albarado)
- Classic Empire 4-1 (Leparoux)
- McCraken 5-1 (Hernandez Jr.)
- Tapwrit 20-1 (Ortiz)
- Irish War Cry 6-1 (Maragh)
- Gormley 15-1 (Espinoza)
- Practical Joke 20-1 (Rosario)
- Patch 30-1 (Gaffalione)
- AE: Royal Mo 20/1 (Stevens)
- AE: Master Plan 50/1 (Velazquez)
The Odds-On Favorite To Win The Kentucky Derby: No. 14 Classic Empire (4-1)
Just the other day, Classic Empire refused to train. It’s a new trend among horses. They decide to throw in the towel and not train even though there’s nothing wrong with them. Tepin’s connections had to retire her because she didn’t want to train.
Is that a problem? Heck, yeah, it’s a problem! If a horse doesn’t want to train, what’s to say that horse doesn’t want to run on race day? Sure, Classic Empire is the most accomplished in this field. Yes, he’s the 2016 two-year-old champ. But, if he doesn’t want to pick his feet up in the morning, I can’t trust he’ll pick his feet up on Sunday afternoon.
The Smart Pick To Win The Kentucky Derby: No. 17 Irish War Cry (6-1)
Post 17 isn’t as bad as it first appears to be. The reason it’s not a disaster is because, between Battle of Midway in post 11 and Irish War Cry in post 17, there isn’t a single front runner or presser capable of floating Irish War Cry wide around the first turn.
I think Irish War Cry gets the perfect trip about a length behind Battle of Midway. The Graham Motion trainee should get the jump on his opponents. It’s going to be tough for anyone to run down the son of Curlin on May 6.
The Sharp Pick To Win The Kentucky Derby: No. 5 Always Dreaming 5-1, No. 15 McCraken 5-1
Before post positions were drawn and the morning line set, Always Dreaming was the favorite in future books. His odds, 5 to 1, were the exact odds that Mike Battaglia assigned to him on the morning line.
I’m not sure if the sharps end up bailing on Always Dreaming. He’s been overly excited in the mornings. That’s not a good sign. He’s been so overly excited that trainer Todd Pletcher worked him in draw reigns earlier this week.
If the sharps bail on Always Dreaming, their next horse is likely to be McCraken, who is also at 5/1. McCraken has been ultra-impressive in the mornings over the Churchill dirt. He figures to get a lot of play on Saturday.
The Dark Horse Pick To Win The Kentucky Derby: No. 2 Thunder Snow 20-1
Saeed Bin Suroor has been one of the best trainers in the world for over 20 years. We never hear about Suroor because he trains for Godolphin in the United Arab Emirates. Godolphin is universally considered one of the greatest racing outfits of all time.
If Godolphin entered Thunder Snow into the Kentucky Derby, which they did, he should have a shot to run a big race. The post-position won’t hurt, and unlike American jockeys, Christophe Soumillon is used to riding horses in huge fields.