Kentucky Derby 2015: Dark Horses & Long Shots

commanding curve

Commanding Curve finished 2nd in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. (Getty)

The 141st Kentucky Derby boasts one of the strongest overall fields in the history of horse racing.

The Kentucky Derby is annually the most bet race in horse racing, and people from all over the world flock to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky to see the spectacle on the first Saturday in May.

Because of this year’s strong field, and strong favorites at the top (lower odds), there is a lot of opportunity to bet quality second and third-tier horses with higher odds who present good value.

First, here is the updated field for the 2015 Kentucky Derby — changes have been made, which include: Stanford and El Kabeir both being taken out of the race in the last 48 hours. Click here for a further look at past performances.

Horse: Jockey: Owner: Trainer:
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
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
Frammento Corey Nakatani Mossarosa Nick Zito

Now, here are the odds:

The odds below were provided by sportsbooks monitored by

Odds to Win 2015 Kentucky Derby as of May 1:

1. OCHO OCHO OCHO (E. Trujillo / J. Cassidy) 25/1
2. CARPE DIEM (J. Velazquez / T. Pletcher) 8/1
3. MATERIALITY (J. Castellano / T. Pletcher) 16/1
4. TENCENDUR (M. Franco / G. Weaver) 50/1
5. DANZIG MOON (J. Leparoux / M. Casse) 33/1
6. MUBTAAHIJ (C. Soumillion / M. de Kock) 12/1
8. DORTMUND (M. Garcia / B. Baffert) 15/4
9. BOLO (R. Bejarano / C. Gaines) 40/1
10. FIRING LINE (G. Stevens / S. Callaghan) 12/1
12. INTERNATIONAL STAR (M. Mena / M. Maker) 25/1
13. ITSAKNOCKOUT (L. Saez / T. Pletcher) 33/1
14. KEEN ICE (K. Desormeaux / D. Romans) 40/1
15. FROSTED (J. Rosario / K. McLaughlin) 16/1
16. WAR STORY (J. Talarno / T. Arnoss) 50/1
17. Mr. Z (R. Vazquez / D. Wayne Lukas) 50/1
18. AMERICAN PHAROAH (V. Espinoza / B. Baffert) 13/5
19. UPSTART (J. Ortiz / R. Violette Jr.) 25/1
20. FAR RIGHT (M. Smith / R. Moquett) 40/1
21. FRAMMENTO (C. Nakatani / N. Zito) 50/1

Click here for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Morning Line Odds

American Pharoah, Dortmund and Carpe Diem have been the three horses that have been bet the most, thus are three of the favorites in the race.

Here are the 2015 Kentucky Derby dark horses and long shots:

Dark Horses:

No. 3 Materiality: Materiality’s sire is Afleet Alex who finished 3rd in the 2005 Kentucky Derby and won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. In addition to his strong pedigree, Materiality also boasts one of the best speed figure of any horse in the race. The only two factors trending downward for Materiality are his inside post-position of No. 3 and the jockey change from John Velazquez — riding Carpe Diem — to Javier Castellano, a slight downgrade.

No. 10 Firing Line: Like Materiality, Firing Line also boasts impressive speed figures, which means that should he break well, he will be out hovering towards the lead early. Firing Line is being ridden by Gary Stevens, the same jockey who rode Thunder Gulch to a Kentucky Derby win in 1995, almost 20 years ago! Before Firing Line’s last victory, he finished 2nd to Dortmund in his previous two races.

No. 14 Frosted: The best thing to like about Frosted is his pedigree — his sire is Tapit and his mother’s sire was Deputy Minister, a champion sire. Joel Rosario rode Frosted for the first time in the Wood Memorial Stakes and rode him to a closing win — a race he was favored to win in, nonetheless. Joel Rosario knows a thing or two about closing efficiently in Kentucky Derbies; he rode Orb to victory two years ago.

Long Shots

No. 5 Danzig Moon: His sire is Malibu Moon and his grandfather is A.P. Indy. Danzig Moon represents a horse that won’t sit on the pace with the other top horses in the field coming off of the first turn, but a horse that won’t lose any ground either. In five starts, Danzig Moon has yet to “go backwards” in each. The speed figures are impressive enough that Danzig Moon can hang around until the top of the stretch and possibly close out an improbable Derby win. The more likely result is Danzig Moon closing to finish in the top five, possibly in the money.

9. Bolo On Friday, horse racing analyst Brad Thomas went on “The Mike Francesa Show” to talk Kentucky Derby and called Bolo “One of the greatest three-year-old turf horses I’ve ever seen.” The problem is: the Derby isn’t run on the turf. Animal Kingdom is the most recent Derby winner who had never run on the dirt before. Unlike Animal Kingdom, Bolo has run on dirt before. His most recent race was the 2015 Santa Anita Derby. Bolo’s third-place finish wasn’t overly impressive, but good enough to elicit some talk about him. His grandfather is Dynaformer, which also helps.