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Justify the Favorite on 2018 Kentucky Derby Odds

2018 Kentucky Derby: Odds of Justify Winning

Landing the favorable No. 7 post position in Tuesday’s Kentucky Derby draw, Justify will be aiming to remain undefeated as the Bob Baffert-trained colt looks to Saturday’s race as a +350 favorite on the 2018 Kentucky Derby odds.

With Mike Smith as his mount, Justify powered to a dominating victory at last month’s Santa Anita Derby, outclassing second-place Bolt d’Oro down the stretch to win by three lengths. That marked his third win in as many career races going into Saturday evening’s 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Each of those three wins have come over the past three months, setting the stage for Justify to become the first horse in 135 years to win the Kentucky Derby after not competing in a race as a two-year-old.

Justify can also extend a more recent trend if he can maintain the strongest Kentucky Derby betting odds until post time. Each of the past five editions of the Run for the Roses has been won by the betting favorite, eclipsing a record previously set when favorites raced to victory in four straight years between 1972 and 1975.

The Kentucky-bred colt could also benefit from Baffert’s solid record at the Kentucky Derby, where his horses have claimed victory on four previous occasions, including American Pharoah, who opened his epic march to Triple Crown glory with a thrilling victory at Churchill Downs three years ago.

 

Mendelssohn Second on Kentucky Derby Betting Odds

However, Justify faces no shortage of competition from a deep field in this year’s race, including Mendelssohn, who closely trails with +400 odds to win the Kentucky Derby, while Audible follows at +650.

Mendelssohn makes his North American debut riding a three-race win streak after destroying the field with a spectacular win by over 18 lengths at the UAE Derby, in the longest race of his career. The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt was equally dominant in his two previous wins, racing to a victory in the one-mile Patton Stakes after torching the field with an impressive stretch run at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Trained by Baffert’s archrival, Todd Pletcher, Audible arrives in Louisville on a four-race win streak, capped by a victory at the Florida Derby in late March. The last two Kentucky Derby winners also raced to victory at the Florida Derby, including last year’s winner, Always Dreaming, who was also a Pletcher-trained colt.

Another Pletcher-trained horse, Magnum Moon follows at +750 on the 2018 Kentucky Derby odds, ahead of Good Magic at +800, and Bolt d’Oro at +850.

Magnum Moon is undefeated in four career races, including wins at the Arkansas Derby and Rebel Stakes. The Kentucky-bred colt also enjoys championship pedigree from his grandsire Seattle Slew, who stormed to a Triple Crown win in 1977.

Good Magic is coming off a win at the Blue Grass Stakes, but finished a disappointing third at the Fountain of Youth, while Bolt d’Oro’s second-place finish at the Santa Anita Derby came after a win in the San Felipe Stakes.

Further down the Kentucky Derby odds, Vino Rosso sits at +1200, ahead of Hofburg at +1500, and My Boy Jack at +1800, while Solomini lags at +2200.

 

*Odds as of May 4, 2018

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