Baffert Duo Share Top Honors as Early Kentucky Derby Favorites

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby, now has the top two early betting favorites for this spring’s Run for the Roses in odds released this week by Bodog.

The undefeated Dortmund saw his price drop from 12-1 last week to 8-1 this week after an impressive victory in the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita. The colt remained undefeated, perfect in five career starts.

The colt took the field gate to wire and drew clear late to win by 1 ¼ lengths under regular jockey Martin Garcia. The victory was worth 50 points in the Road to the Derby points series, and the colt now stands third in the standings with 70 points.

His final prep for Louisville will come in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 4.

His stablemate American Pharoah is the co-favorite for the Kentucky Derby at Bodog, despite the colt not making his three-year-old debut until this Saturday. He will come off the layoff in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park.

The colt needs to pick up some Derby points, as currently he sits in 17th with 10, which he earned in his victory in the Frontrunner (G1) at Santa Anita on Sept. 27.

Foot issues knocked him out of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), where he was going to be the morning line favorite.  The Rebel serves as a prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 11.

Baffert has had plenty of success shipping into Hot Springs. He has won the Rebel in four of the last five years including last year with Hoppertunity.

The only Rebel winner to go on and win the Kentucky Derby was Smarty Jones in 2004.

Carpe Diem dropped from 20-1 to co-second choice in early Derby wagering at Bodog after his win last Saturday in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). The Todd Pletcher trainee was making his first start as a three-year-old.

Sent off as the even money betting favorite, the colt had no trouble disposing of his seven foes, drawing clear to win by five lengths, picking up 50 Derby points.

As a juvenile, he won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and ran second to Texas Red in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). He has earned 64 points, good for fourth in the standings.

His final prep for the Run for the Roses likely will come in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) on April 4.