The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday, May 2, at Churchill Downs. The field, as well as starting post-positions, will be announced this Wednesday with the Kentucky Derby Draw at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on the NBC Sports Network.
Click here to see the Updated 2015 Kentucky Derby field. Since this original post was published, El Kabeir and Stanford have been removed from the Derby field.
The 20-horse field can be projected and the quality of horses in this year’s race is the best in quite a number of years, if not one of the most well-rounded Derbies in history. Yes, high praise, but this year’s crop deserves it.
What the quality of thoroughbreds and talent both riding and training does for the Kentucky Derby this year is adds an element of unpredictability that the race hasn’t seen in a few years. In 2013 (Orb) and 2014 (California Chrome), the top betting choice before the race ended up winning in convincing fashion.
Here are the rest of the projected 20 horses that will compete in Saturday’s “Run for the Roses” along with their jockeys, trainers and owners:
|American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Zayat Stables||Bob Baffert|
|Dortmund||Martin Garcia||Kaleem Shah, Inc.||Bob Baffert|
|Carpe Diem||John Velazquez||WinStar Farm, LLC & Stonestreet Stables LLC||Todd Pletcher|
|Frosted||Joel Rosario||Godolphin||Kiaran McLaughlin|
|Mubtaahij||Christophe Soumillon||Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum||Mike de Kock|
|International Star||Miguel Mena||Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey||Mike Maker|
|Materiality||Javier Castellano||Alto Racing, LLC||Todd Pletcher|
|El Kabeir||Calvin Borel||Zayat Stables||John Terranova II|
|Upstart||Jose Ortiz||Ralph M. Evans||Rick Violette Jr.|
|Far Right||Mike Smith||H T Rosenblum and R V LaPenta||Ron Moquett|
|Itsaknockout||Luis Saez||Starlight Racing||Todd Pletcher|
|Firing Line||Gary Stevens||Arnold Zetcher||Simon Callaghan|
|Danzig Moon||Julien Leparoux||John C. Oxley||Mark Casse|
|War Story||Joe Talamo||Christopher T. Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable, Inc.||Tom Amoss|
|Tencendur||Manny Franco||Philip S. Birsh||George Weaver|
|Stanford||Florent Geroux||Stonestreet Stables LLC||Todd Pletcher|
|Mr. Z||Ramon Vazquez||Zayat Stables||D. Wayne Lukas|
|Ocho Ocho Ocho||Elvis Trujillo||DP Racing, LLC||Jim Cassidy|
|Bolo||Rafael Bejarano||Golden Pegasus Racing Inc. & Mack||Carla Gaines|
|Keen Ice||James Graham||Donegal Racing||Dale Romans|
This year’s Derby pack is led by American Pharoah, the undefeated Dortmund and Carpe Diem. American Pharoah has been the consensus Derby gambling favorite through the last two months of the prep schedule. Dortmund, whose father is 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, won the Santa Anita Derby, the same race that California Chrome won last year before winning the Kentucky Derby.
Here are the Morning Line Odds for the 2015 Kentucky Derby:
|Post Position:||Horse:||Morning Line Odds:|
|1||Ocho Ocho Ocho||50/1|
|18||American Pharoah||5/2 *Favorite*|
Historically, winning the Derby is a tough task, but winning multiple Derbies is an even tougher task. Top trainers Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher have more than one horse in this year’s race — Pletcher is projected to have four: Carpe Diem, Materiality, Itsaknockout and Stanford. While Baffert, Pletcher and the likes of D. Wayne Lukas try to add to their Derby win totals, other known trainers such as Dale Romans, Kiaran McLaughlin and Mike Maker still seek their first. Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito is just looking to get into the race.
Jockey Victor Espinoza is looking for his second consecutive Kentucky Derby win, which would give him a total of three and put him in an elite class of jockeys. In recent years, Calvin Borel became the most recent jockey dynasty for the race. Borel rode Street Sense to victory in 2007, Mine That Bird in 2009 and Super Saver in 2010.
Gary Stevens, another three-time winner, is also riding in Saturday’s race and will be on Firing Line. Joel Rosario is looking for his second win in three years after riding Orb to a win in the rain in 2013. Other known jockeys like Javier Castellano and Rafael Bejarano are looking to add the missing notch in their belt that alludes so many good jockeys over the years.
Post time for the Derby is this Saturday at 6:24 p.m. and the race will be broadcast live on NBC.