2012 Kentucky Derby Vegas Odds, Expert Picks and Predictions – Favorites and Sleepers to Win the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs: Whether you call it the Run for the Roses, the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports or just the Kentucky Derby, Saturday will mark the 138th running of the most famous event in the world of horse racing. Churchill Downs will play host to the epic race that has been as unpredictable as it has been exciting in recent years. In fact, the winners of the five derby prep events leading up to Saturday’s race have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby just 7 percent of the time during the past 20 years.
Last year, Animal Kingdom pulled off the latest upset at Churchill Downs, becoming the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby despite making just four starts prior to the race. Ironically, winning jockey John Velazquez was scheduled to ride Uncle Mo in the event until that horse was scratched in the days leading up to the race and Animal Kingdom’s original jockey was injured, as well. It was a strange set of circumstances, but it led to a memorable result, as Animal Kingdom held of Nehro down the stretch to deliver the win.
Of course, winning the Triple Crown is the ultimate goal of any owner and trainer, but the Kentucky Derby is where it all begins. Winning the Belmont and the Preakness are special, but winners of those races are often forgotten long before winners at Churchill Downs. The exceptions are those legendary horses that win all three races, and for one horse, the path to potential immortality begins Saturday.
The Favorites – 2012 Kentucky Derby Odds, Free Picks and Predictions
Not only did Gemologist win the Wood Memorial, but the horse is undefeated in five career starts. More importantly, two of his five victories have come at Churchill Downs. Undefeated horses don’t exactly have a great record in the Kentucky Derby, winning just eight times. However, it is still easier to trust a horse that has yet to lose rather than one that has yet to win, especially when two of those wins have come at the same track where Saturday’s big event will be held.
Despite a third-place finish in the Florida Derby, Union Rags has put together a strong resume leading up to the Kentucky Derby. The horse has four victories in six races, as well as a second-place run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which is run at Churchill Downs. Although it isn’t ideal for Union Rags to enter Saturday’s event on the heels of his worst finish, his past performances against tough competition are impossible to ignore. It isn’t an accident that Union Rags has been one of the most talked about horses in the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby by both the media and the competition.
The Dark Horses – 2012 Kentucky Derby Odds, Free Picks and Predictions
Reliable and rock solid is the best way to describe Creative Cause. The horse has made eight career starts, winning four times and finishing third or better in all eight races. Creative Cause won the San Felipe and narrowly missed winning the Santa Anita Derby as well, finishing second by inches. The horse has been a contender in every race it has run, and while Creative Cause might not be the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, history says he should at least be the part of trifecta wager placed.
Last year, Hansen claimed the two-year-old championship, winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. He hasn’t exactly been dominant in his follow-up campaign this season, but the horse hasn’t been bad by any means. Hansen won at Gotham and finished second in his other two starts, including a runner-up performance in the Blue Grass Stakes. Hansen showed last season that he can perform like an elite horse, and if he can recapture the form this weekend, he could win an even bigger race at Churchill Downs.
Sleeper Specials – 2012 Kentucky Derby Odds, Free Picks and Predictions
While trainer Bob Baffert is well known in the world of horse racing, his inexperienced horse Bodemeister is new to the scene. In fact, the horse didn’t run a single race last season and has made just four starts this season. However, a dominating victory by more than nine lengths in the Arkansas Derby has thrust Bodemeister into the spotlight. The horse clearly has more talent than even Baffert expected, but he still has long odds to overcome. No horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby without running a single race as a two year old.
It is easy to dismiss Dullahan as a contender because of the horse’s 0-3 record at Churchill Downs. However, he did pick up a victory against tough field in the Blue Grass Stakes earlier this season. Throw in three-time Kentucky Derby-winning and Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, and Dullahan should be far from outclassed this weekend. The horse’s suspect record on dirt is a bit concerning, but with three finishes of second or better in his last four starts, there is no doubt Dullahan has the talent to surprise the favorites.
Updated Odds to Win the 2012 Kentucky Derby
1001 Union Rags +375
1002 Hansen +1425
1003 Creative Cause +1025
1004 El Padrino +2050
1006 Bodemeister +405
1007 I’ll Have Another +1050
1009 Went The Day Well +2050
1011 Gemologist +550
1012 Dullahan +625
1016 Mark Valeski +3050
1017 Prospective +3250
1021 Alpha +1425
1023 Liaison +3850
1025 Sabercat +3550
1029 Take Charge Indy +1250
1030 Daddy Long Legs +1650
1034 Optimizer +4250
1035 Daddy Nose Best +1550
1036 Done Talking +2550
1039 Trinninberg +3550
1040 Rousing Sermon +2550
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