Early Kentucky Derby Betting Tips
One of the world’s most famous races is still over six months away, but the road to the Kentucky Derby is firmly underway.
The brightest three-year-olds in training in the United States will all be looking to land the first race of the Triple Crown season at Churchill Downs in May, and there are more than a few leading selections already available in the betting.
Don’t forget, to visit TwinSpires.com to see today's horse racing results.
Could The Baffert Saga Have An Impact?
An important note to consider before examining some of the leading contenders is the situation regarding Bob Baffert. At present, none of the horses in his care can pick up Kentucky Derby points, which means that they won’t be able to line up for the first Triple Crown race of the season.
This comes after Churchill Downs revealed that Baffert would be banned from entering horses for the Kentucky Derby following the failed drug test provided by 2021 winner Medina Spirit. It certainly looks to be an interesting sub-plot as the horses look to earn their spot, as two of the top selections in the betting are trained by Baffert.
It was always likely that the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was going to slot right in at the top of the betting for the Derby. However, he would have likely been much shorter had it not been the fact that he is trained by Baffert. Corniche has done absolutely nothing wrong on the track to this point, and looked very dominant when winning in Juvenile at Del Mar.
However, the decision to pull out Jack Christopher likely had a big impact on his successful run in California, and many will be counting down the days until they can see the two potential superstars go head-to-head.
Jack Christopher looks the outstanding ante-post selection for the Kentucky Derby at present. He had been the favourite for the Juvenile up until his scratch through a minor injury, and it isn’t hard to see why based on his two dominant performance on track this season.
The two-year-old won a very straightforward maiden special weight at Saratoga, before stepping up in quality for the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, and looked like he had more to give from that first huge success despite hitting a speed figure of 104. The big concern is whether he returns at the same standard, but there’s no denying that Chad Brown will only send this potential superstar back on track once he is perfectly conditioned.
Tiz The Bomb
Tiz The Bomb could a very interesting contender on the Derby trail for Kenneth McPeek. The two-year-old was involved in the very controversial Juvenile Turf at the Breeders’ Cup, where he eventually finished second behind Modern Games, who was scratched before being re-enlisted for the race.
The most interesting factor is what McPeek opts to do with this horse. To date, he has run mainly on the turf, and won the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile Stakes and Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes. A trip on the dirt may go a long way in helping to see what the future may hold, but he has potentially leading claims.
Pappacap could almost be like the Hot Rod Charlie for the three-year-olds. He has proven staying power already as a two-year-old, and was second in the G1 American Pharoah behind Corniche.
He was second again behind the same horse in the Juvenile, but had already landed a graded victory this season. His biggest win to date came in the G2 Best Pal Stakes in August. Churchill Downs could suit this horse down to the ground, as Mark Casse looks for a first Kentucky Derby winner.