Will the Kentucky Derby see a third-straight upset today and is Itsmyluckyday the best longshot bet in the field?
Over the last eight years, we have seen a pair of Kentucky Derby winners pay over $100 for a $2 wager and we are coming off back-to-back years where we have seen upsets.
Last year, I'll Have Another paid $32.60 and Animal Kingdom returned a hefty $43.80 when he pulled off his upset in 2011. [ Kentucky Derby Picks ]
This year's Run for the Roses is a wide open affair with no dominant runner and the threat of rain to muddy the track and add more uncertainty. Who are the longshots on the Kentucky Derby odds menu with a good shot of pulling off the upset this year?
Here is a trio of runners that could be right in the mix at a price, according to Michael Dempsey of US Racebook. Vyjack and Itsmyluckyday are the only runners to win stakes races over a wet track, which is possible today. Both are 15-1 choices on the morning line.
Itsmyluckyday (15-1) is coming off a runner-up finish in the Florida Derby (G1) where he held the lead in the stretch but could not hold off the late charge of Orb, who is the 7-2 morning line favorite in the Run for the Roses.
The Edward Plesa trainee won his two previous starts, taking the Gulfstream Park Derby and then the Holy Bull (G3).
The colt is going to be close to the lead and when they turn for home he figures to be right in the mix. The question mark is whether he can get that last furlong, as his pedigree is just a bit light to be able to handle 1 ¼ miles.
His sire, Lawyer Ron, was best up to 1⅛ miles and his dam side does not add much in the way of stamina. The colt does have a solid enough off-track pedigree and it does not appear the pace is going to be as fast as in recent runnings of the race, which could mean he has enough energy left late to grab a share.
Will Take Charge (20-1) is one of two in the race sent out by four-time Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The colt is coming back off a seven-week break, which is a bit of a concern.
The colt won the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park in his last outing, beating his stablemate Oxbow by a head. Oxbow came back to finish fifth in the Arkansas Derby (G1).
The Rebel has not been a productive race, as the best performances coming out of the race were thirds by Carve in the Arkansas Derby and Super Ninety Nine in the Santa Derby (G1). The colt earned a career top in his Rebel win and figures to be a solid price.
The colt has a very appealing pedigree, by Unbridled's Song out of the Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady, who earned over $2.4 million. She also dropped last year's Florida Derby (G1) winner Take Charge Indy ($891,824).
Revolutionary (10-1) has won three straight, the most recent of which featured a strong late rally to win the Louisiana Derby (G2) by a neck. The colt was last away from the gate, came with a five-wide bid on the far turn, got to the lead in the upper stretch and had to fight off a game Mylute, edging clear late to win by a neck.
The Beyer for the win came back light at 93, while the BRIS number of 105 is only topped by the BRIS earned by Goldencents (106) in his Santa Anita Derby (G1) victory. The win was flattered when the third-place finisher Departing came back to win the Illinois Derby (G3) by 3¼ lengths on April 20.
He is by War Pass, who was a solid juvenile winning the Champagne (G1) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and only had two crops as a sire before he passed away in 2010. The mare Runup the Colors was a stakes winner who earned $555,024 and won the Alabama (G1) at Saratoga at 1¼ miles.
It certainly does not hurt to have three-time Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel in the irons. Pletcher is just one for 33 with his Derby starters, but this guy looks like he has a good shot and his 10-1 morning line looks fair enough.