Welcome to a wide open Kentucky Derby. The 2017 race has a field of 20 horses and an argument can be made on why each horse could find the Winner’s Circle. The race has a post time of 6:46 p.m. on NBC on Saturday night.
Classic Empire enters the race as a slight favorite but is far from a sure thing. The horse has had an up-and-down prep season battling injuries and skipping training sessions. Classic Empire battled a foot abscess that forced him to miss time.
Aside from his injuries, he also refused to train at times in the months leading up to the Derby. He is coming off an impressive victory in the Arkansas Derby and had been pegged as one of the favorites back in the fall.
A couple of experienced jockeys are riding horses with long odds. Mario Gutierrez is riding Irap in the nine post. Victor Espinoza is the jockey for Gormley in the 18 post. According to OddsShark, the two jockeys have won four of the last five Derby races.
In addition to Classic Empire, there are a few other horses expected to do well. Always Dreaming is coming off a comfortable victory in the Florida Derby. McCraken is undefeated at Churchill Downs and is another horse to watch. Irish War Cry is one of the fastest horses in the field and finds himself in the group of favorites.
Here’s a look at the horses and jockeys listed by post position for the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
|1||Lookin at Lee||Corey Lanerie|
|2||Thunder Snow||Christophe Soumillon|
|3||Fast and Accurate||Channing Hill|
|4||Untapped||Ricardo Santana Jr.|
|5||Always Dreaming||John Velazquez|
|6||State of Honor||Jose Lezcano|
|11||Battle of Midway||Fravien Prat|
|13||J Boys Echo||Luis Saez|
|14||Classic Empire||Julien Leparoux|
|15||McCraken||Brian Hernandez Jr.|
|17||Irish War Cry||Rajiv Maragh|
|19||Practical Joke||Joel Rosario|