Home Sports Expert Picks: Who Will Win the Kentucky Derby

Expert Picks: Who Will Win the Kentucky Derby

The horses for the 147th working of the Kentucky Derby are listed so as of put up place, with feedback by Joe Drape and Melissa Hoppert of The New York Times. The morning-line odds have been set by Mike Battaglia of Churchill Downs.

How to look at: Coverage begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Eastern time, on NBC Sports Network and can proceed on NBC at 2:30 p.m. It can even be streamed on NBC Sports Live.

Post time: 6:57 p.m.

Purse: $Three million assured

Distance: 1¼ miles

Track report: 1:59⅖ (Secretariat, 1973)

Weight: 126 kilos

Joe Drape’s win-place-show picks: King Fury, Mandaloun, Essential Quality

Melissa Hoppert’s picks: Known Agenda, Essential Quality, Midnight Bourbon

Here’s how we see the sector:

Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr. Odds: 6-1

Drape: The Florida Derby winner was a significant contender till he drew the No. 1 put up. He’s going to wish luck and knowledgeable dealing with to beat it.

Hoppert: He has received two straight races by a mixed 13¾ lengths since including blinkers, and he’ll have the No. 1 jockey in North America on his again. I’ll take my probabilities on an upset.

Trainer: Wesley Ward Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke Odds: 50-1

Drape: This colt confirmed a late burst to seize the Jeff Ruby Steaks. He is in far deeper right here and likewise pulled a tricky put up place.

Hoppert: Ward, finest identified for his success at Royal Ascot, has set his sights on including a Derby victory to his résumé, however this colt’s prime performances have come on an artificial floor.

Trainer: Danny Velazquez Jockey: Umberto Rispoli Odds: 50-1

Drape: This gelding was three of 4 as a 2-year-old, however an sickness delayed his coaching, and his 3-year-old debut was a fifth-place dud within the Wood Memorial.

Hoppert: This late addition to the sector will not be in prime type, however he positively has top-of-the-line story traces: He was bought for less than $5,000, and his coach is recovering from a freakish coaching accident.

Trainer: Robertino Diodoro Jockey: David Cohen Odds: 50-1

Drape: He was crushed by 16 lengths by the morning-line favourite within the Blue Grass. Next.

Hoppert: Another late addition, he has received solely as soon as in six profession begins and sadly goes backward.

Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Corey Lanerie Odds: 50-1

Drape: This might be solely the fourth lifetime begin for this gifted colt. He completed second within the Jeff Ruby after an adventurous journey. Look for him to be a power in the summertime.

Hoppert: He’s most likely the least gifted of Pletcher’s 4 Derby starters. Pass.

Trainer: Greg Foley Jockey: Marcelino Pedroza Odds: 20-1

Drape: This late runner acquitted himself nicely within the powerful Louisiana prep races. He may hit the board.

Hoppert: A son of the Derby winner Orb, he has seemed sharp throughout coaching and figures to enhance at this distance, stamping his repute as a “wiseguy” decide.

Trainer: Brad Cox Jockey: Florent Geroux Odds: 15-1

Drape: If you possibly can overlook a sixth-place clunker within the Louisiana Derby, this colt stacks up with the favorites. He has labored lights-out within the morning right here.

Hoppert: He’s positively gifted however an excessive amount of of a query mark. I’ll put my cash elsewhere.

Trainer: Bob Baffert Jockey: John Velazquez Odds: 15-1

Drape: The Santa Anita Derby runner-up has completed first or second in all 5 begins and has seemed good doing so.

Hoppert: Never rely Baffert out: He is tied for probably the most Derby victories with six, and his most up-to-date got here final 12 months with Velazquez aboard.

Trainer: Doug O’Neill Jockey: Flavien Prat Odds: 8-1

Drape: The Louisiana Derby champion just isn’t precisely bred for the mile-and-a-quarter distance.

Hoppert: He ran second to Essential Quality within the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and had two spectacular Derby preps. His versatile working fashion bodes nicely for this race.

Trainer: Steven Asmussen Jockey: Mike Smith Odds: 20-1

Drape: This is a battled-tested colt who might be there within the stretch and at a good value.

Hoppert: He has hit the board in all seven of his races, and he picks up a Hall a Fame rider. Plus, this horse has spunk: He was the discuss of the bottom when he broke free making an attempt to keep away from taking a shower.

Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Jose Ortiz Odds: 20-1

Drape: The runner-up within the Wood has a single victory on his résumé. He won’t get his second right here.

Hoppert: He’s making progress, however he’s in over his head right here.

Trainer: Mark Casse Jockey: Julien Leparoux Odds: 50-1

Drape: The Tampa Bay Derby winner is undefeated in three begins, and he runs higher each time he begins. Not quite a bit to go on, however value a $2 flier.

Hoppert: Two of these wins got here on an artificial floor. I’ll cross.

Trainer: Vicki Oliver Jockey: Rafael Bejarano Odds: 50-1

Drape: Another who appears to be like out of his league after ending a well-beaten fourth within the Blue Grass.

Hoppert: He has received on this monitor, however he’s a step slower than the highest contenders, and sadly we’ll have to attend a bit longer to see a feminine coach win the Derby.

Trainer: Brad Cox Jockey: Luis Saez Odds: 2-1

Drape: The Blue Grass victor and 2-year-old champion is a deserving favourite after successful all 5 of his races. The solely query is, how a lot did the Blue Grass take out of him?

Hoppert: He received his first race on the rescheduled Derby day in September and has not stopped since, incomes victories at three racetracks, on quick and sloppy surfaces, whereas using quite a lot of working types. Certainly the one to beat.

Trainer: John Sadler Jockey: Joel Rosario Odds: 5-1

Drape: He seemed like a worldbeater successful the Santa Anita Derby to go three for 3. The first two, nevertheless, have been on grass, the place he could also be higher.

Hoppert: This late bloomer went wire to wire within the Santa Anita, and having beforehand raced on turf, he’s actually not ready for the filth kickback from a 20-horse area. But Rosario is among the hottest jockeys within the recreation, and if anybody can put him in place, it’s him.

Trainer: Ken McPeek Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr. Odds: 20-1

Drape: He received right here as a 2-year-old and seemed terrific successful the Lexington Stakes, his debut as a 3-year-old. His coach and jockey are underrated. My decide.

Hoppert: His Lexington Stakes rating got here on a moist monitor, and the climate in Louisville on Saturday is predicted to be image excellent. I don’t see it.

Trainer: Chad Brown Jockey: Javier Castellano Odds: 10-1

Drape: This colt gave Essential Quality all he may deal with within the Blue Grass earlier than dropping by a neck. Does he have the gasoline to show the tables?

Hoppert: He has hit the board in all 5 begins and can try to provide Brown his first Derby victory in six tries. The added distance, nevertheless, may show an element.

Trainer: Asmussen Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. Odds: 30-1

Drape: The Arkansas Derby winner took benefit of a velocity duel in entrance of him. Here, there’s quite a lot of visitors to navigate.

Hoppert: Asmussen’s father is part proprietor, and his son rode him to his first victory, however the feel-good story ends there.

Trainer: Casse Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione Odds: 30-1

Drape: Great title. Look for this Florida Derby runner-up to guide into the primary flip. His solely probability is a gate-to-wire rating, and that might be exhausting to do.

Hoppert: Owned by the granddaughter of Campbell Soup’s founder, this speedy however flippantly raced colt is most probably in sizzling water right here.

Trainer: Pletcher Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche Odds: 30-1

Drape: This colt is a deep, deep nearer. He received the Wood at odds of 72-1 with a last-to-first burst. He will attempt to make one once more.

Hoppert: He has steadily improved with blinkers, and what a narrative if Carmouche, in his first begin within the race, turns into the primary Black jockey to win the Derby since 1902.


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