The 2011 Kentucky Derby odds have been released, and now that we know of the 19 horses that are going to be in the field, we're all set to take our stab on the race for whom we think will be crossing the finish line first to earn the bed of roses.
What we have to remember about this race is that some of the top three-year-old colts in the world aren't running in it. Horses like The Factor and Jaycito were taken out of consideration awhile ago, but the biggest name that won't be at Churchill Downs on Saturday is Uncle Mo.
This was the crème de la crème, per se, especially after he absolutely romped to a 4 1/4-length victory at the Breeder's Cup Juvenile last year.
The second issue that is going to change the course of this race is Mother Nature. Kentucky Derby betting lines will inevitably be all over the place on Saturday depending on how the weather ends up closer to post time. It has been wet in Lexington all week long, and though the track for the Kentucky Oaks on Friday is expected to be good, there is a big time question about the Derby on Saturday.
Temperatures should be relatively low in the mid-to-high 60s, and there are thunderstorms expected.
If this is the case, a horse like Soldat, who will start out of the No. 17 position on Saturday, might be worth watching. We know that we are getting solid odds on jockey Alan Garcia's horse (plus 1215). The 103 speed rating that this horse had in the slop at Gulfstream Park in January is one of the best in the field regardless of track conditions.
That race was also 1 1/8 miles and was won by over 10 lengths.
The elimination of Uncle Mo from the field gets to move one of the other favorites, No. 19 Nehro, into a better position. Nehro just missed winning both the Louisiana Derby and the Arkansas Derby this year, and many think that this is the race when Nehro stops being a bridesmaid and becomes a bride instead.
A pedigree which includes the likes of Mineshaft, AP Indy and Afleet is absolutely fantastic, and this is going to be the horse to watch out for on the outside. You can find Nehro at plus 745.
The favorite of this race has a great position though, and it's going to be awfully, awfully hard to take down Dialed In. With Uncle Mo out, this is the head and shoulders favorite on the Kentucky Derby odds (plus 325).
Not only did Dialed In get a great post position at No. 8, but he is suited to come out of the parking lot and come away with a big time victory. He closed from 10 lengths back at the halfway point of the Florida Derby in April and should be the colt to beat at Churchill Downs on Saturday if he can avoid too many traffic issues.
One of the best props on the board for this year's Derby is there to not be a wire-to-wire winner. There really isn't a heck of a lot of speed in this race in terms of the favorites, and with so many horses having so many question marks in this field, we know that someone is going to nip whomever comes out of the gate.
The Kentucky Derby odds are minus 900 for this prop at Bodog.com, but we know that there isn't a 1-in-9 chance that one of these 19 horses gets the job done.