Favorites Emerge From Packed Derby Field

May 1, 2018

Kentucky Derby hopefuls Magnum Moon, front, and Noble Indy get baths after their morning workout at Churchill Downs Monday, April 30, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. The 144th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 5.
Credit AP

Justify has been made the early 3-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with Europe-based Mendelssohn the 5 to 1 second choice in a full field of 20 horses.

Trained by four-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, Justify drew the No. 7 post at the Churchill Downs pill pull.

“You know, seven’s fine, but he still has to break well. If he doesn’t break, it doesn’t matter what hole you’re in so, I’m happy with that,” Baffert said.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won last year with Always Dreaming, has a leading four horses in the field.

“Ideally, we wouldn’t have three horses in the auxiliary gate, but someone told me four of the last seven winners have come from there, so maybe it’s a good thing.”

Pletcher’s entries include the 6 to 1 third choice, Magnum Moon, which will break from post position 16.

Pletcher surpassed mentor D. Wayne Lukas this year as the trainer with the most starters in Derby history with 52.

Lukas is back in the Derby this year with 50 to 1 longshot Bravazo. 

Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:46 pm Eastern Saturday.