Article published on 29 April 2013

Punters Prepare for 2013 Kentucky Derby

Orb Having a Great Season
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On Saturday, May 4, horse race betting fans all over the world will tune in to watch the 2013 Kentucky Derby (Gr 1) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, where a host of quality three-year-olds will compete over 1 1/4 miles on dirt in arguably the most prestigious annual race in the US.

A field of 23 runners are expected to line up at the start of this Kentucky Derby, the first of the US Triple Crown races, which precedes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The runner that everyone seems to be talking about is Orb, which will be one of the biggest betting favorite in this race.

Top 2013 Kentucky Derby Contenders

The reason is a simple one - Orb has run like a well-oiled machine this year, eating up rivals wherever he has raced. Consider how last time out he romped home first in fine style in the Florida Derby (Gr 1) last month at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. Before that, he won a Gr 2 trip at the same venue.

Trained by the venerable Shug McGaughey - who was inducted in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2004 - Orb seems like he has a lot more victories in him. And if there is one person who is capable of extracting another from the colt on Saturday, it is his regular rider, Joel Rossario.

Another contender to watch out for is Verrazano, who like Orb, has also had a very successful racing season so far. For instance, the Todd Pletcher-trained runner racked up wins in the epic Wood Memorial as well as Tampa Bay Derby, proving to racing fans that he has what it takes to triumph in the Derby.

Pletcher Has High Hopes for Verrazano

It won't be lost on betting fans that Pletcher - who is considered to be one of America's greatest living trainers - is no stranger to the Kentucky Derby, having won the big race in 2010 with Super Saver, and like his rivals, will be champing at the bit to win it again. Top-rated jockey John Velazquez has the mount.

An third on our list of runners to watch in this year's Kentucky Derby is Goldencents, who may have lost a little form here and there this season, but then shut his detractors up with a solid victory in the recent Santa Anita Derby (Gr 1) in California, where he breezed to the front and stayed there until the line.

Trained by Doug O'Neill - who won the Derby last year with I'll Have Another - Goldencents may be a slightly riskier proposition, than Orb and Verrazano, but should not be underestimated. Last time out he kept favorite Flashback at bay, showcasing his strength and longevity, two criteria necessary to win the Derby.

William Hill has published the latest Kentucky Derby betting lines:

2013 Kentucky Derby Winner Odds

Verrazano - 7/2
Orb - 6/1
Goldencents - 8/1
Normandy Invasion - 10/1
Overanalyze - 10/1
Revolutionary - 10/1
Itsmyluckyday - 12/1
Java's War - 14/1
Lines of Battle - 16/1
Vyjack - 16/1
Will Take Charge - 20/1
Black Onyx - 25/1
Oxbow - 25/1
Palace Malice - 25/1
Charming Kitten - 33/1
Mylute - 33/1
Frac Daddy - 40/1
Falling Sky - 50/1

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