It’s called the “wise-guy horse” – that one Kentucky Derby runner each year that takes money seemingly out of nowhere, backed by insiders who’ve been watching every move in the mornings at Churchill Downs.
Of late, the Kentucky Derby, however, has become annually a very chalky exercise. The post-time favorite has won the Derby six years in a row, going back to I’ll Have Another, who paid $32.60 at 15-1 odds in 2012.
That run of winning favorites is astounding given such large fields of accomplished, young and relatively unpredictable horses.
At some point, it has to end, right?
There doesn’t appear to be a Triple Crown-caliber horse like American Pharoah or Justify in this year’s field. Doesn’t mean a Triple Crown run can’t happen this year. It just means there hasn’t been the overwhelming buzz and hype for expected top contenders like Omaha Beach, Roadster and Game Winner that we saw for those horses entering those Derbys.
This field seems to have more parity than some of the others, and while these five horses may not all be “wise-guy” material, each of them has reason to think he has got a shot at the roses on Saturday, potentially paying a lot of money in the process.