Verrazano favorite in early Kentucky Derby odds

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Verrazano moved to the top of the Kentucky Derby future odds list with an impressive win in the Tampa Bay Derby. Several challengers can make up ground on the betting board at Derby prep races this weekend.

Verrazano figures to be the early betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby for at least the next few weeks after his impressive win in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 9.

The Todd Pletcher trainee dropped to 6-1 in Kentucky Derby future odds, as tracked by OddsShark.com.

The colt already was taking plenty of action, closing at 11-1 in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) on Feb. 10 and closing at 9-1 in Pool 2, which concluded on Mar. 3.

The colt will be trying to buck a long standing trend, as no horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Run for the Roses without making a start as a juvenile. Verrazano only missed by a day, his debut effort coming on New Year's Day at Gulfstream Park, a 7 ¾ length romp.

Pletcher announced that the colt's final prep for the Kentucky Derby would come in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on Apr. 6.

Itsmyluckyday is the second choice in Derby future wagering at betting odds of 10-1. The Ed Plesa trainee is perfect in two starts this year, winning the Gulfstream Park Derby and the Grade 3 Holy Bull.

His final tune-up for the Run for the Roses will come in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on Mar. 30.

The biggest recent mover was Hear the Ghost, who was not even on most top Derby contender lists until he pulled off the upset on Mar. 9 in the Grade 2 San Felipe. The colt beat a couple of highly regarded runners in Flashback (12-1) and Goldencents (25-1).

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the colt is currently at 12-1 in Derby future wagering, a co-third choice with Flashback.

The colt's next start will come in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on Apr. 6 where he will likely face both Flashback and Goldencents again.

After this Saturday's Rebel there are still five key Derby preps in March:

Mar. 23: Turfway Park: Spiral Stakes

Mar. 24: Sunland Park: Sunland Derby

Mar. 30: Gulfstream Park: Florida Derby, Meydan: UAE Derby, Fair Grounds: Louisiana Derby

Current Kentucky Derby future odds as of March 15, 2013 provided by KentuckyDerbyOdds.ca:

Verrazano 6/1

Itsmyluckyday 10/1

Flashback 12/1

Hear The Ghost 12/1

Revolutionary 14/1

Normandy Invasion 16/1

Orb 16/1

Shanghai Bobby 16/1

Super Ninety Nine 16/1

Vyjack 16/1

Dice Flavor 20/1

Uncaptured 20/1

Frac Daddy 25/1

Goldencents 25/1

Archwarrior 33/1

Capo Bastone 33/1

Falling Sky 33/1

Ive Struck A Nerve 33/1

Power Broker 33/1

River Seven 33/1

Tesseron 33/1

Bern Identity 40/1

Fortify 40/1

Hes Had Enough 40/1

Overanalyze 40/1

Oxbow 40/1

Dynamic Sky 50/1

Palace Malice 50/1

Title Contender 50/1

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