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2017 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Girvin, Classic Emperor, McCracken, Hence

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
May/05/2017

There are a handful of entrants at this year’s Kentucky Derby that we here at Gambling911.com deem to be top contenders, some of which promise some really good payouts.  

Bet on Horses at USRacing Today!

Girvin (21-1) – We are really high on this horse and believe him to be among the top contenders with a fantastic payout potential, even more so than the money favorites. 

He’s won both the Louisiana Derby and Risen Stakes (his last races).  Prior to this he had a 2nd place finish at the Keith Gee Memorial Stakes.

Girvin also has one of the better post position draws at the 7 spot, which has produced six wins, the most recent in 2007 with Street Sense. There were seventeen in the money finishes from this position.

Girvin’s Louisiana Derby win had placed him atop the Kentucky Derby points list just a few weeks ago.

Of his last four races, the only loss was on turf.

Girvin has had foot problems but appears in good shape now that he’s arrived at Churchill Downs.

Oh did we mention his jockey is Hall of Famer Mike Smith

Classic Empire (5.5-1) – It’s indeed rare to get a Kentucky Derby favorite potentially paying out $50 plus for every $10 bet but that’s exactly what we have here with a tight competitive field and no true standouts. 

There is plenty to like about Classic Empire, and some things not to like.

The later: Trainer Mark Casse has never won the Derby and neither has jockey Julien Leparoux.

Now for the good news: Classic Empire won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on his way to earning 2-year-old male champion honors.  He also won the critical and final Kentucky Derby prep race after recovering from a foot abscess.

Classic Empire has the highest earnings of $2.1 million among the horses expected to make the field, with five wins in seven career starts.

McCracken (7-1) – Has run great in the mud but it was looking more like a dryer track as we get closer to race time. McCracken has performed well at Churchill Downs so that is another great benefit he has here. 

American Pharoah won from this post position two years ago and went on to take the Triple Crown.

Hence (16-1) – His Bris speed figures were among the highest.  His number 8 starting position is among the best.

Trainer Steve Asmussen: "The eight for Hence is one of the preferred spots statistically. I think, looking at the stats the last 20 years, the eight, 13 and 16 posts have produced the most in-the-money finishes.”

Gunnevera (9-1) – From the Lexington Herald Leader:

Need to know: After his come-from-behind romp in the Fountain of Youth Stakes two months ago, Gunnevera looked the part of possible Derby favorite. He was again at the back of the pack — that’s his running style — in the Florida Derby and just couldn’t catch up to the soft pace — and Always Dreaming — in that one. Still, he was running at the end and managed a third-place finish. Javier Castellano — maybe the best jockey in America these days — looks for his first Derby win.

A good bet? If the pace melts down, he has a great shot to win. If it doesn’t, he should still be running at the end. Don’t forget about him Saturday.

Always Dreaming (5.5-1) – Todd Pletcher is looking for his first win with Always Dreaming, victorious at the Florida Derby and appearing to be peaking. 

His recent wins did come amidst a less competitive field and, for us, we’d prefer to get him at a better price as too many questions surround this contender, including whether he can go the distance and not peter out down the stretch. 

J Boys Echo (20-1) – A good number of interest in this horse from Gambling911.com readers so he needs to be mentioned among the top contenders.

From the Lexington Herald Leader:

Need to know: He won the Gotham Stakes impressively — with the best Bris speed figure this year among the horses in this field — then finished fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes after a bit of a rough trip. He’s likely to lay a few lengths off the lead for trainer Dale Romans, who’s searching for his first Derby win. Luis Saez rides for the first time after regular jockey Robby Albarado was injured at Keeneland a couple weeks ago.

A good bet? If he returns to his Gotham form, he’ll have a real chance at a great price. Don’t think that’ll happen. There’s some buzz behind this guy, but others look more intriguing

State of Honor (60-1) – While he is yet to win a race, State of Honor has finished among the top three in each of his last seven races.  Sure the competition will be stiffer but State of Honor should not be overlooked among your exacta bets or to finish in the top three.  A matter of fact, the payout would be $150 for every $10 bet for State of Honor to finish in the top three

Patch (36-1) – This is the one-eyed wonder and feel good story at this year’s Kentucky Derby,  Patch does have a decent shot at upsetting here at a very good price.

KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURES - May 06 

Odds to win Kentucky Derby 2017

88101

Looking at Lee

+1619

88102

Thunder Snow

+2560

88103

Fast and Accurate

+6050

88104

Untrapped

+3064

88105

Always Dreaming

+550

88106

State of Honor

+6050

88107

Girvin

+2042

88108

Hence

+1615

88109

Irap

+3269

88110

Gunnevera

+825

88111

Battle of Midway

+3020

88112

Soneteer

+3269

88113

J Boys Echo

+2056

88114

Classic Empire

+565

88115

McCracken

+705

88116

Tapwrit

+1571

88117

Irish War Cry

+785

88118

Gormley

+2560

88119

Practical Joke

+1973

88120

Patch

+3572

Kentucky Derby 2017 - To Finish Last

88021

Lookin at Lee

+3550

88022

Thunder Snow

+1615

88023

Fast and Accurate

+525

88024

Untrapped

+1415

88025

Always Dreaming

+2550

88026

State of Honor

+725

88027

Girvin

+1615

88028

Hence

+2550

88029

Irap

+705

88030

Gunnevera

+3050

88031

Battle of Midway

+1215

88032

Sonneteer

+1815

88033

J Boys Echo

+1615

88034

Classic Empire

+2550

88035

McCracken

+2550

88036

Tapwrit

+1615

88037

Irish War Cry

+2550

88038

Gormley

+1015

88039

Practical Joke

+1215

88040

Patch

+1015

Kentucky Derby 2017 - Top 3 Finish

88041

Looking at Lee

+543

88042

Thunder Snow

+736

88043

Fast and Accurate

+1529

88044

Untrapped

+887

88045

Always Dreaming

+167

88046

State of Honor

+1529

88047

Girvin

+480

88048

Hence

+437

88049

Irap

+887

88050

Gunnevera

+292

88051

Battle of Midway

+647

88052

Sonneteer

+757

88053

J Boys Echo

+428

88054

Classic Empire

+130

88055

McCracken

+210

88056

Tapwrit

+587

88057

Irish War Cry

+231

88058

Gormley

+736

88059

Practical Joke

+432

88060

Patch

+1077

Kentucky Derby 2017 Prop Bets

Saturday, May 06, 2017

91-Will horse win 2 or more Triple Crown races?

04:15 PM

901

YES

 

+100

 

902

NO

 

-130

 

92-Will there be a Triple Crown winner in 2017?

04:15 PM

903

YES

 

+750

 

904

NO

 

-1040

 

93-Will Irish War Cry finish at least second?

04:15 PM

905

YES

 

+240

 

906

NO

 

-310

 

94-Will McCraken hit the board?

04:15 PM

907

YES

 

+170

 

908

NO

 

-220

 

95-Will KY Derby Winner be Even or Odd Number?

04:15 PM

909

EVEN

 

+130

 

910

ODD

 

-165

 

96-Kentucky Derby Margin of Victory:

04:15 PM

911

GREATER THAN 1 1/2 LENGTHS

 

-125

 

912

LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO 1 1/2 LENGTHS

 

-105

 

97-$2 KY Derby Win Mutuel Payoff:

04:15 PM

913

GREATER THAN $19.80

 

-125

 

914

LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO $19.80

 

-105

 
 

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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