Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has not seen one of his prized horses win the Kentucky Derby in more than a decade, but this year it will be an upset if one of his top two 3-year-old colts does not end up winning the Run for the Roses.
Baffert’s American Pharoah is the 5–2 favorite to win the Kentucky Derby at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, while another one of his horses, Dortmund, is the 4–1 second choice.
War Emblem was the last Baffert-trained horse to win the Kentucky Derby, back in 2002, with jockey Victor Espinoza aboard. Baffert is a three-time Kentucky Derby champion, having also won the race in 1998 with Real Quiet and in ’97 with Silver Charm.
American Pharoah is coming off a victory in the Arkansas Derby on April 11, his third first-place finish in as many prep races. Meanwhile, Dortmund is unbeaten in six career starts, with his most recent win coming on April 4 in the Santa Anita Derby. Dortmund finished second in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings, with 170 points.
International Star placed first in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings, with 171 points, having scored victories in the LeComte, Risen Star and Louisiana Derby. He has nevertheless dropped from 16–1 to 18–1 to win the Derby, falling behind other mid-range contenders, including Firing Line (16–1) and Frosted (16–1).
The three contenders with the best Kentucky Derby odds after Baffert’s pair are Carpe Diem (15–2), Mubtaahij (10–1), and Materiality (12–1).
Carpe Diem, who is trained by Todd Pletcher, won the Blue Grass and Tampa Bay Derby in his last two starts, and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November. He finished third in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings, with 164 points, four ahead of American Pharoah.
The Irish-bred Mubtaahij won the UAE Derby in Dubai on March 28, and Materiality, another Pletcher-trained horse, was victorious in the Florida Derby on the same day. They each finished with 100 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings. Pletcher’s lone payout on the in the Run for the Roses came in 2010 with Derby champ Super Saver.