Who are the Kentucky Derby’s favorites?

Who are the Kentucky Derby’s favorites?

The Kentucky Derby is still months away and won’t be run until the first weekend of May. Yet, the anticipation for the United States’ biggest horse race is growing. The Run for the Roses is the first jewel in the Triple Crown and a favorite race for bettors and race fans. Last year’s winner, Justify, who become the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown, was retired due to injury after last year’s successes. The colt won’t be back for another attempt, leaving the field open at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby 2018 saw $200 million from betting on horse racing at the track or sports bookies. As the U.S.’s biggest horse race, the turn of the year means top-level horses are preparing for the most exciting two minutes in sports. With a few months to go, which horses are the favorites in the Run for the Roses?


Game Winner

Bob Baffert has trained five Kentucky Derby winners. Game Winner could be his sixth. Baffert watched Justify scamper to victory last year before going on to win the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes. Game Winner was four for four in 2018 and goes into 2019 as the early favorite.


Another horse trained by Baffert, Improbable is looking good for Churchill Downs this year. He won his three races including the Street Sense Stakes. That race in particular has produced Kentucky Derby contenders in each of the last five years.


Trained by Kenny McPeek, Signalman has already found success at Churchill Downs. Signalman won the Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. McPeek has been known for taking horses bought at lower prices (Signalman cost just $32,000) and turning them into top-class race horses. Signalman had two wins from five starts in 2018.


Another Baffert trained horse, Coliseum won his debut race at Del Mar in November. Coliseum should go into pre-Derby warm-up races as the favourite to win.

Maximus Mischief

Maximus Mischief was trained by Robert “Butch” Reid and has been in fine form. The colt has won his three previous races by an incredible 17 lengths combined. Maximus Mischief has recorded high speeds and has been consistent in his racing.

Code of Honor

Code of Honor is a Shug McGaughey trained horse and wears the green and yellow of Lane’s End Farm. Code of Honor will begin running once more the first weekend of January, but prior to his race, the horse will have gone three months without racing. His previous race came at Belmont Park’s Champagne Stakes. After a slow start, Code of Honor managed a second-place finish.


Trained by George Weaver Vekoma won his maiden race in September followed by a win at the Nashua Stakes in November. Since winning in November, Weaver has been training Vekoma for the Kentucky Derby.

Epic Dreamer

Epic Dreamer is dreaming of a Kentucky Derby win, but had his hopes hit with a loss to Vekoma at the Nashua Stakes in November. Trained by Kelly Breen, the horse trainer has seen three previous horses make the cut for the Derby. 

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