Three Longshots to Consider in Kentucky Derby

Matt Bernier
·3 min read


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Everyone enjoys picking a winner, but especially so in a race like the Kentucky Derby. Something that is just as fun as trying to identify the winner, however, is finding a longshot who may very well outrun their odds in the “Run for the Roses”. While these longshots may not represent likely win contenders on the first Saturday in May, they could offer a thrill as the field of three-year-olds stampedes down the homestretch beneath the twin spires at Churchill Downs. Below are three longshots to consider if you are playing exotic wagers – or simply do not like the favorites – in Saturday’s 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.

MIDNIGHT BOURBON

- Midnight Bourbon (#10, 20/1 morning line odds) has been a bit of a “steam” horse in the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby, and it is entirely understandable why that is the case. A combination of his connections (Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith, Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen), his profile (never taken a step backward in his career) along with the way in which he has trained over the Churchill Downs main track creates the perfect storm for a live longshot. The son of Tiznow is a colt who is likely to be forwardly placed throughout, putting him in prime position to take advantage if he is good enough on Saturday. While not a likely win contender, Midnight Bourbon represents the kind of runner who could easily stick around and grab a piece of an exacta, trifecta or superfecta at a juicy price.

DYNAMIC ONE

- Exiting what many perceive to be the weakest of the last round of major Kentucky Derby prep races, Dynamic One (#11, 20/1 morning line odds) came up a head short in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 3, but his placing does not illustrate how well he ran that day. One of four horses in Saturday’s Derby trained by Todd Pletcher, Dynamic One was close to an extremely fast pace in the Wood Memorial while racing wide throughout. These facts combined result in a performance that, despite looking unimpressive on paper, is not nearly as bad as the numbers may suggest. The Wood represented a significant step forward for the son of Union Rags, and he gives off the impression that he will relish the additional real estate in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

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KING FURY

- While the previous horses mentioned genuinely seem like underneath types in exotic wagers, it is not out of the realm of possibility that a horse like King Fury (#16, 20/1 morning line odds) is a complete no-hoper on the win end in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby for trainer Ken McPeek. A son of Curlin, King Fury did not make his three-year-old debut until the Grade 3 Lexington against much weaker on April 10 at Keeneland, and although he did have an intense pace scenario in which to close into, the way he finished gives off the impression that he is a quality animal who will be heard from this season. McPeek’s barn excels with horses making their second start of the form cycle, and with what is likely to be another relatively swift pace to close into, King Fury will surely be flying late.

(UPDATE: King Fury will scratch from Saturday's race after spiking a fever on Friday afternoon)