• February 26, 2024

Who Will Win The Kentucky Derby? Expert Picks and Predictions

The horses for the 147th run of the Kentucky Derby are listed in order of post position, with comments from Joe Drape and Melissa Hoppert of the New York Times. The morning odds were set by Mike Battaglia of Churchill Downs.

King Fury was scratched with a fever on Friday. All horses outward move in one place the new 20 horse start gate. The post positions remain unchanged.

How to see: The coverage begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time on NBC Sports Network and continues at 2:30 p.m. on NBC. It will also continue to be streamed NBC Sports Live.

Contribution time: 6:57 pm

Wallet: $ 3 million guaranteed

Distance: 1¼ miles

Track record: 1: 59⅖ (Secretariat, 1973)

Weight: 126 pounds

Joe Drape’s Win Place Show Tips: Mandaloun, Essential Quality, Helium (Drape’s original choice to win was King Fury.)

Melissa Hoppert’s selection: Well-known agenda, essential quality, midnight bourbon

This is how we see the field:

Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr. Opportunities: 6-1

Drape: The Florida Derby winner was a major contender until he pulled the first post. He will need luck and skill to overcome it.

Hoppert: He has won two races in a row with a total length of 13¾ since adding Blinkers, and he will have the No. 1 jockey in North America on his back. I’ll take my risk on a surprise.

Trainer: Wesley Ward Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke Opportunities: 50-1

Drape: This colt showed a late breakout to capture the Jeff Ruby steaks. He’s a lot deeper here and has pulled a tough post position too.

Hoppert: Ward, best known for his success at Royal Ascot, has made it his goal to add a Derby win to his résumé, but this stallion’s peak performances have been achieved on a synthetic surface.

Trainer: Danny Velazquez Jockey: Umberto Rispoli Opportunities: 50-1

Drape: This gelding was three out of four as a two year old but an illness delayed his training and his 3 year debut was a fifth place in the Wood Memorial.

Hoppert: This late arrival on the field may not be in his best shape, but he definitely has one of the best storylines: he was bought for just $ 5,000 and his trainer is recovering from a crazy training accident.

Trainer: Robertino Diodoro Jockey: David Cohen Opportunities: 50-1

Drape: He was beaten 16 lengths by the favorite of the morning line in blue grass. Next.

Hoppert: Another late addition, he has only won once in six career starts and is unfortunately going backwards.

Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Corey Lanerie Opportunities: 50-1

Drape: This is only the fourth lifetime start for this talented colt. After an adventurous journey, he finished second in the Jeff Ruby. Look for him to be a force in the summer.

Hoppert: He’s probably the least talented of Pletcher’s four derby starters. Consist.

Trainer: Greg Foley Jockey: Marcelino pedroza Opportunities: 20-1

Drape: This late runner did well in the tough preparatory races in Louisiana. He could hit the board.

Hoppert: As the son of Derby winner Orb, he looked sharp during training and the numbers to improve over this distance and shaped his reputation as a “Wiseguy” picker.

Trainer: Brad Cox Jockey: Florent Geroux Opportunities: 15-1

Drape: If you can miss a clunker to finish sixth in the Louisiana Derby, this colt can measure up to the favorites. He turned off the light here in the morning.

Hoppert: He’s definitely talented, but too big a question mark. I will put my money elsewhere.

Trainer: bob Baffert Jockey: John Velazquez Opportunities: 15-1

Drape: The runner-up from Santa Anita Derby finished first or second in all five starts and looked good doing it.

Hoppert: Never count Baffert out: he’s tied to the most derby wins at six, and his last came on board with Velazquez last year.

Trainer: Doug O’Neill Jockey: Flavien Prat Opportunities: 8-1

Drape: The Louisiana Derby champion wasn’t exactly bred to be a mile and a half away.

Hoppert: He finished second after Essential Quality in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and had two impressive derby preparations. His versatile running style bodes well for this race.

Trainer: Steven Asmussen Jockey: Mike Smith Opportunities: 20-1

Drape: This is a battle-tested colt that will be on the track and for a reasonable price.

Hoppert: He hit the board in all seven races and got a Hall a Fame driver. Also, this horse got sperm: he was the talk of the butt when he tore himself away and tried to avoid a bath.

Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Jose Ortiz Opportunities: 20-1

Drape: The runner-up in the forest has a single win on his résumé. He won’t get his second here.

Hoppert: He’s making progress, but he’s over his head here.

Trainer: Mark casse Jockey: Julien Leparoux Opportunities: 50-1

Drape: The Tampa Bay Derby winner is unbeaten in three starts and runs better every time he starts. Not much to do but worth a $ 2 flight.

Hoppert: Two of these victories came on a synthetic surface. I’ll pass.

Trainer: Vicki Oliver Jockey: Rafael Bejarano Opportunities: 50-1

Drape: Another looking out of his league after taking a well-beaten fourth place in Blue Grass.

Hoppert: He won on this track but is a step slower than the top competitors and unfortunately we have to wait a little longer for a coach to win the derby.

Trainer: Brad Cox Jockey: Luis Saez Opportunities: 2-1

Drape: The Blue Grass winner and 2 year old champion is a deserved favorite after winning all five of his races. The only question is, how much has the blue grass stolen from him?

Hoppert: He won his first race on the rescheduled Derby Day in September and has not stopped since. He won on three racetracks on fast and sloppy surfaces, using different running styles. Definitely the one to beat.

Trainer: John Sadler Jockey: Joel Rosario Opportunities: 5-1

Drape: He looked like a world beater who won the Santa Anita Derby to win three on three. The first two, however, were on grass where it may be better.

Hoppert: This late bloomer went from wire to wire in the Santa Anita, and having previously ridden grass, it is certainly not prepared for the setback from a 19-horse field. But Rosario is one of the hottest jockeys in the game, and if anyone can get him in position, he is.

Trainer: Ken McPeek Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr. Opportunities: 20-1

Drape: He won here as a 2 year old and looked great winning the Lexington Stakes, his debut as a 3 year old. His trainer and jockey are underrated. My choice.

Hoppert: His Lexington Stakes result came on a wet track and the weather in Louisville on Saturday is expected to be perfect. I do not see it

Trainer: Chad Brown Jockey: Javier Castellano Opportunities: 10-1

Drape: This colt gave Essential Quality everything it could handle in the blue grass before losing a neck. Does he have the gasoline to turn the tables?

Hoppert: He has hit the board in all five starts and will look to give Brown his first Derby win in six attempts. However, the extra distance could prove to be a factor.

Trainer: Asmussen Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. Opportunities: 30-1

Drape: The Arkansas Derby winner used a speed duel in front of him. There is a lot of traffic to navigate here.

Hoppert: Asmussen’s father is a partner and his son rode him to his first victory, but the feel-good story ends there.

Trainer: Broken Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione Opportunities: 30-1

Drape: Great name. Look for this runner-up in the Florida Derby leading into the first corner. His only chance is a gate-to-wire score, and that will be hard to do.

Hoppert: This fast but easy running colt, owned by the granddaughter of the founder of Campbell Soup, is most likely in hot water here.

Trainer: Pletcher Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche Opportunities: 30-1

Drape: This colt is a deep, deeper closer. He won the woods at odds of 72-1 with a last-to-first burst. He’ll try to do one again.

Hoppert: He’s steadily improved with blinkers, and what a story if Carmouche gets into the race on his first start the first black jockey to win the derby since 1902.

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