The 141st Kentucky Derby is just days away, with the post position draw coming up on Wednesday afternoon and the two most exciting minutes in sports on tap Saturday at historic Churchill Downs.
It is not too early to get a wager in, with Bodog offering fixed odds on the Run for the Roses, giving horseplayers an opportunity to lock in their price on their Derby pick.
The one to beat is the Bob Baffert trained American Pharoah, who is the early pick among many horseplayers and is currently the betting favorite at Bodog at 9-4.
The colt heads to Louisville riding a four race winning streak and won his last two Derby preps by a combined 14 ¼ lengths, stamping his ticket to Churchill Downs with his wins in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1), both at Oaklawn Park.
The undefeated Dortmund, who also is trained by Baffert, is the second choice in Derby betting at odds of 9-2 at Bodog. The colt won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his last outing, his sixth consecutive victory to start his career.
With the Baffert duo taking plenty of early betting action for the Kentucky Derby, there are plenty of other contenders in the field that are going to offer good value.
One such contender is the Todd Pletcher trained Materiality, who is currently the fourth choice in wagering at Bodog at 12-1.
The colt is undefeated in three career starts, earning his way into the starting gate on the first Saturday of May by winning the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park. He earned 100 points, which moved him up to seventh in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings.
His main knock is the fact that the last Kentucky Derby winner that did not race as a juvenile was Apollo way back in 1882.
International Star may end up offering solid betting value. The colt is currently at odds of 18-1 despite coming into the race having swept the three key Derby preps at Fair Grounds this year. His last victory was in the Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 28.
In the last two editions of the Kentucky Derby, the runner up exited the Louisiana Derby, and both at big prices. Golden Soul ran second in 2013 at odds of 34-1 and last year Commanding Curve rallied late to finish second at odds of 37-1.
Michael Dempsey will be providing full analysis of the Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day cards at turfnsport.com.