Kentucky Derby 2017 Contenders

Final Vegas Odds and Projections for Top Horses


The wait is finally over.

The 143rd edition of the Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, when a field of 20 horses will race for a $2 million purse and to make history. In what is known as the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” a couple of horses stand out as clear favorites, while another might cause some danger during the final lengths of the race.

The pole positions are set. The horses are ready. All there’s left to do is watch in awe as some of the fastest horses in the world compete for supremacy.

And for the bettors out there, may the odds be forever in your favor.

Throughout the week and a half leading up to the race, only Irish War Cry has seen his stock rise higher than McCraken’s.

With exceptional speed and control around the turn, McCraken has shown his breakaway speed and handle of the track during practice sessions with his jockey and has looked every bit the part of a Kentucky Derby contender, per Marcus Hersh of Daily Racing Form:

McCraken won’t jump out to any significant leads during the race, but he’s a closer. All he needs to do is stick with the pack until the final lengths because he has that extra gear a lot of horses just don’t have. It’s what makes him a championship-caliber horse, according to Clay Whitham of Whitham Thoroughbreds.

“He came out of nowhere,” Clay said in an interview with the Denver Post. “He really has an interesting personality. He is very much full of himself. He feels like he must be a champion. He’s a lot of fun to be around, and he’s a challenge for his trainer and his groom. He’s a little more rambunctious than you would always prefer him to be.”

McCraken has the championship mindset, which favors him since he is pole position No. 15, the same position as five past winners of the Derby, according to OddsShark.

It’s a safe bet to assume McCraken will have a top-three finish. Who knows? He might even walk away with second place or, dare I say it, first place.

Place: Irish War Cry