American Pharoah Hammered Down to Heavy Favorite for Kentucky Derby

After his eight length, dominating score in the Arkansas Derby (G1) last Saturday, the betting odds on American Pharoah to win the 141st Kentucky Derby took a plunge.

Bodog had the Bob Baffert trainee listed at 9-2 in early Derby betting odds, but after his impressive effort last Saturday at Oaklawn Park the money came in on the talented colt, and his odds have steadily dropped, currently at 2-1.

Baffert is a three-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer. He won the Run for the Roses with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002).

American Pharoah has taken early Kentucky Derby betting action since last year when the colt won back-to-back Grade 1 races, taking the Del Mar Futurity and the Frontrunner. The colt was set to be the morning line favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but a foot issue knocked him out just days before the race.

He won the Rebel (G2) and Arkansas Derby by a combined 14 ¼ lengths and neither race appeared to take much out of him. The colt should be primed for a top effort on the first Saturday of May.

Baffert will also saddle Dortmund, an undefeated son of Big Brown, who won the 2008 Kentucky Derby to keep his perfect record intact. Dortmund is currently the second choice in early Kentucky Derby wagering at Bodog at 9-2.

Dortmund is perfect in three starts this year, sweeping the three Derby points races at Santa Anita. The colt got up late by a head to win the Robert B. Lewis (G3), then took the field gate to wire to win the San Felipe (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his last two starts.

The Todd Pletcher trained Carpe Diem is the third choice in Kentucky Derby betting at 6-1 at Bodog. The colt won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Toyota Blue Grass (G1) in his two starts in 2015. The colt is one of four runners that Pletcher will likely saddle on Derby Day.

His other contenders are Materiality (9-1), Itsaknockout (25-1) and Stanford. He trains Madefromlucky, who was second in the Rebel and fourth in the Arkansas Derby. The colt is in 21st place in the Kentucky Derby points standings and would need a defection to get into the field.

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Michael Dempsey will be providing full analysis of the Kentucky Oaks and Derby Day cards at