The Kentucky Derby is often full of surprises, but Justify held up as Vegas expected despite a muddy track. Trainer Bob Baffert was worried about Justify’s start, given the horse had little experience running in the back of the pack. Justify came up huge with a fast start, and took the lead midway through the race. Justify held the lead, and never looked back. Given how strong the horse has looked in his 2018 races, Justify immediately emerges as a Triple Crown contender.
Rain began in the early hours on Saturday creating less than ideal track conditions at Churchill Downs. Horses were racing in the mud, something that was new for the majority of the field. Jockey Mike Smith admitted he did not know how the horse would do in the weather, but noted Justify “loved it” in his NBC post-race interview. Justify entered the race as the favorite thanks to his speed along with the backing of Baffert. The trainer spoke with USA Today about why Justify has a chance to live up to the hype.
“He’s always been a superior animal,” Baffert told the USA Today. “When they’re that big and beautiful and then they can run and the way he’s bred, all the ingredients are there. Now we just need some racing luck…It’s good to be back with a horse that has a legitimate chance of winning. But there are six other horses that can pull it off if all goes well. It’s going to be a very competitive race.”
My Boy Jack started the week off with 30 to 1 odds, but moved into second in the odds at 5 to 1 just hours before the race started. My Boy Jack was one of the few horses who not only had experience running in the mud, but won several times in adverse conditions. Race fans seemed to be backing the horse many saw as a longshot early in the week. My Boy Jack was not able to contend at the front, but did finish a solid fifth.
Audible entered the race as another contender thanks to his Florida Derby victory. Audible worked with trainer Todd Pletcher who led Always Dreaming to a Florida Derby victory then a Kentucky Derby win in 2017. Pletcher was hoping to do the same thing with Audible. Statistically, Pletcher had the best chance to get another Kentucky Derby victory with four horses in the race, giving him a 20 percent chance of finding the Winner’s Circle. Audible was in contention, but came up short with a third place finish.
Mendelssohn was one of the other contenders after his dominant performance in the UAE Derby in Dubai. He was looking to become the first European-trained horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Many believed he had a shot after winning in Dubai by 18 1/2 lengths. The horse got bunched up out of the gate, and never recovered finishing dead last. All eyes will be on Justify as he attempts to make it two for two in American Classics as the Preakness takes place on May 19.
Here’s a look at the 2018 Kentucky Derby results and betting payouts.
Kentucky Derby Results 2018
The final results are courtesy of NBC Sports.
|5.||My Boy Jack|
|16.||Free Drop Billy|
Kentucky Derby Betting Payouts: Win, Place Show
The following data is courtesy of NBC. It is based on a $2 bet. A $2 exacta earned $69.60, a $1.00 trifecta netted $141.40 and a $1.00 superfecta received $19,618.20.
|Good Magic (9-1)||$9.20||$6.60|