Kentucky Derby Longshots to Watch

Part of the allure of the Kentucky Derby is the fact that the payoffs on the race are typically out of this world. Even when the favorites hit the board, the exotics are often three, if not four digits, and that alone presents a heck of an opportunity for fortunate bettors. But when the longshots hit? That is when you know you are going to be throwing a heck of a party from your bet that will only last just over two minutes.

The Kentucky Derby is one of the premier events of the year on the horse racing calendar and should NOT be missed by bettors on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Post-time from Churchill Downs is scheduled for 6:46 p.m. ET, and all of the action can be seen live on NBC.

Thanks to the fact that so many of the top notch races were won by second tier colts, there are a lot of big overlays on the board at the Kentucky Derby. Just because you didn’t win your last race doesn’t mean that you can’t win the Run for the Roses, and in fact, that doesn’t even necessarily mean that you shouldn’t be amongst the favorites anyway.

That is the case with Gunnevera who failed to win at the Florida Derby even though basically an odds-on favorite. This is a pony who has proven himself to have great potential after running a Beyer Speed Rating of 102 at the Fountain of Youth Stakes, and he had a relatively poor six-wide run at the Florida Derby. That sort of thing can happen at the Kentucky Derby as well, but the risks are the same for all 20 involved.

Practical Joke is largely in the same boat. He has NOT quite been the heavy favorite Gunnevera has been over the course of his career, but he is never had a price of greater than 8 to 1 on his head, and that was against an 11-horse field that included Derby favorite, Classic Empire as well. Prime Power suggests that Practical Joke is the eighth best horse in this field, but I beg to differ. Joel Rosario had his pick of a few thoroughbreds he could have ridden for the Derby, and this was the one he chose. A price of +1750 is worth watching as we get closer to Derby Day.

I’m NOT convinced that J Boys Echo can actually win the Kentucky Derby, but I do know that he has had one blazing fast performance in his career, a 104 Beyer at the Gotham Stakes. That said, he has NOT finished better than third in any other non-maiden race in his career. Still, J Boys Echo was a 5 to 1 choice at the Blue Grass Stakes and finished fourth against a very, very good field, and that came after a jumpy start in which he bobbled just a bit and was clearly bumped. What do I love most about J Boys Echo? That big, fat +3000 price on his head.

If you want the horse that might be the most public of the longshots early in the week of the Kentucky Derby, look at Lookin At Lee. He is set at a relatively long +2500, but I have a feeling he is going to end up settling more in the 40 to 1 range by Saturday. He has only won two races and has never won at the graded stakes race level, but there has to be a reason that Steve Asmussen keeps trotting him out there. This is going to be the seventh graded stakes race and the fourth Grade 1 that Lookin At Lee has run in, and this might be the day that he comes up smelling like roses.