Classic Empire Kentucky Derby Favorite
- Updated: April 19, 2017
After racing to a victory in a major prep race over the weekend, Classic Empire sits as the betting favorite on the odds to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May.
Classic Empire was first in the 1 1-8 mile Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, beating Conquest Mo Money, Looking At Lee, and Sonneteer across the finish line. That result boosted Classic Empire up to second in the updated 2017 Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with 132 points; Girvin leads the way in the standings, having earned 150 points.
And Classic Empire now sits as the +425 favorite on the odds to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Owned by John C. Oxley and trained by Mark Casse, Classic Empire was the American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse of 2016, thanks to wins in both the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, along with the Bashford Manor Stakes.
Overall, Classic Empire has five wins in seven career races, including a maiden race at Churchill Downs last May. The horse pulled up lame in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga last September and did not finish, and was third at the 2017 Holy Bull Stakes back in February.
Always Dreaming is then the second-favorite on the 2017 Kentucky Derby odds at +500. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Always Dreaming won the AlwOC at Gulfstream Park in March and then followed that up with a victory in the Florida Derby at the same track April 1. State of Honor and Gunnevera were second and third in the Florida Derby behind Always Dreaming.
Irish War Cry, Gunnevera Trailing Leaders
Always Dreaming is seventh in the updated 2017 Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with 100 points, while Gunnevera is eighth with 84 points, and State of Honor is 11th with 62 points. Irish War Cry sits fifth with 110 points and is listed at +700 on the 2017 Kentucky Derby odds.
Irish War Cry won the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 8 and the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park back in February, but was seventh behind winner Gunnevera at the Fountain of Youth in March. Gunnevera is tied with McCracken at +1000 on the odds to win the Kentucky Derby.
Irap and Tapwrit are both at +1400 on the 2017 Kentucky Derby odds, with Gormley and Battalion Runner at +1600, Thunder Snow at +1800, and each of Malagacy, Girvin, and Practical Joke at +2000. Conquest Mo Money sits back at +2500 on the odds, with J Boys Echo and Hence at +2800, and Lookin At Lee and State of Honor both farther back at +5000.
*Odds as of April 19, 2017