No Clear Favorite, Rain Make for Unpredictable Kentucky Derby

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This horse has never run in the states.

In a race without an overwhelming favorite such the last three years as California Chrome, American Pharaoh and Nyquist were - Classic Empire, the morning-line pick at 4-1, is an underwhelming favorite at best, lacking speed and lightly raced and well-beaten by Irish War Cry in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream - the quality of Irish War Cry stands out. "Of course, it bothers me, but the numbers are a little bit skewed because we have multiple starters a lot of years".

Each year, several kindergarten teachers get together and plan out Derby-related lessons to get their students involved. Depending on how "favorite" is defined, the betting favorite either has never been the victor in five consecutive Kentucky Derbys or it hasn't happened since 1896.

Classic Empire was idle for three months after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and being named 2-year-old champion last year.

But no Blue Grass Stakes victor has won at the Kentucky Derby since 1991. He responded, however, with a most-impressive 3 1/2-length win in the Grade II Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 8. It's the first time the historic farm, which once produced Triple Crown winners Whirlaway and Citation, will enter three horses in the starting gate of the Derby.

Irish War Cry is listed at 6-1 odds and drew the No. 17 post.

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If that's the case, eliminate Lookin at Lee, Thunder Snow and Fast and Accurate. With the post positions of the horses recently announced, it has become clear to some horseracing experts what the odds of each horse will be in winning the competition.

Eliminate Battle of Midway and Patch for not racing as 2-year-olds. Over the years, the Kentucky Derby has been a race that longshots have come through quite regularly. Always Dreaming is the son of Bodemeister, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 2012. Todd's horse has brilliance, Always Dreaming. Sharp is married to retired jockey Rosie Napravnik, who exercises the colt and is her husband's assistant.

The 143 running of the Kentucky Derby does not feature mega stars in this race. Irap's Mario Gutierrez has won the race twice.

It is expected to rain Friday, which could bring a sloppy track, which means the Oaks could have an upset.

When it comes to placing the wagers proposed here, it requires some knowledge in the language of betting on horse races. In fact, only two of the 20 entries are considered more of a long shot, but how could a one-eyed horse going against one of the strongest fields in horse racing not be the sentimental favorite? Impressive victor of April 1 Louisiana Derby, he then didn't work for 20 days. Trainer Graham Motion won the Derby with Animal Kingdom in 2011; jockey Rajiv Maragh has never won it. "Before he ran, I was coming off maternity leave and saw him at the track and how he galloped, and he was just handsome". I think you have to have an ownership group that's comfortable doing that.

That dollar and one more will get you a bet at this year's Kentucky Derby, which is forecast to be run on an off track, as the rain started to hit Churchill Downs on Thursday night and isn't expected to stop for any extended period of time until about two to three hours before the 6:34 p.m. post time. NBC will televise the race.

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