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Bookmaker Sportsbook is all set and ready to go with Kentucky Derby betting action on this, the 137th Kentucky Derby! We’re all set to take one last look this morning at the live Kentucky Derby odds, and we’ll make our final free Kentucky Derby picks for the biggest race of the year, as 19 colts are set to take to the track at Churchill Downs!
The biggest development over the course of the last two days is that Uncle Mo, who was scheduled to start out of the No. 18 position, was scratched. This really leaves the door wide open for the big favorite of the race, #8 Dialed In to make a big time run without all that much competition in terms of favorites. Of course, there are a bunch of horses that are going to be trying to gun him down, but we know that this isn’t a horse that we are going to see in the lead at the top of the backstretch. Dialed In is going to try to make his move around the far turn, and for the most part in his career, when he has kicked it into gear, it has been all over but the crying. Thus far in his career, Dialed In has three wins and a second place finish, and he is absolutely the bona fide favorite right now on the live Kentucky Derby odds. If there’s a horse that can become the first Triple Crown winner in decades, Dialed In is the one that can do it.
Wet weather could be in the forecast on Saturday afternoon in “My Old Kentucky Home,” and with that most likely being the case, we are going to be looking for horses that can run in the slop and in the long distances. We know that #17 Soldat has a great history of races both in wet weather and on turf. He ran at Gulfstream Park in the wet conditions in the first race of his career on dirt, and he came away as a big time winner, capturing that particular race by 10 3/4 lengths. Whereas we’re not all that sure whether so many other horses can make the distance or not, we know that Soldat has already run three races at 1 1/8 miles, and there is no doubt that he’ll be able to get through this whole race. The question is whether he’ll be able to get position right out of the blocks from the far outside, which has to be the biggest concern of his Kentucky Derby betting fans, knowing that he is generally an on the pace horse.
The trickiest horse to handicap in this entire field might be #11 Master of Hounds. Here in the States, we really haven’t gotten any looks at this three year old, as he was raised in Great Britain and made a name for himself by running in a number of races on the other side of the pond. He was nosed out at the wire at the UAE Derby in March, his most recent prep race, and he has some decent results aside from that at some relatively longer distances as well. Again, rain isn’t an issue, and neither should the length of the race. Master of Hounds is definitely one to look for.
If there are two other horses that you are going to want to throw into your exotic boxes, they are #9 Derby Kitten and #7 Pants On Fire. Derby Kitten is going to go off as one of the longest shots on the board, and though he has never run at a level like this before, he definitely does have the turf background and the solid distance running to be able to get the job done. Our fear with this horse is that JJ Castallano, the jockey of this colt, has never been aboard him before. Pants On Fire has already built a great rapport with his jockey, Rosie Napravnik, who could become the first female jockey to win a Kentucky Derby if she gets the job done.
In the end, we are looking at a trifecta box and a superfecta box circling around the favorite, Dialed In, and the No. 17, Soldat. Don’t be afraid to put some coin down on Soldat to win, place, and show, knowing if Dialed In ends up off the board, we could see some very, very strong prices when push comes to shove.
Kentucky Derby Predictions: 7-8-9-11-17 Trifecta Box
Live Kentucky Derby Odds (As Of 9:45 AM ET)
#1 Archarcharch 13/1
#2 Brilliant Speed 30/1
#3 Twice The Appeal 7/1
#4 Stay Thirsty 16/1
#5 Decisive Moment 37/1
#6 Comma To The Top 42/1
#7 Pants On Fire 20/1
#8 Dialed In 5/1
#9 Derby Kitten 29/1
#10 Twinspired 21/1
#11 Master Of Hounds 19/1
#12 Santiva 29/1
#13 Mucho Macho Man 12/1
#14 Shackleford 2/1
#15 Midnight Interlude 10/1
#16 Animal Kingdom 23/1
#17 Soldat 17/1
#18 Uncle Mo (Scratch)
#19 Nehro 8/1
#20 Watch Me Go 26/1
Bookmaker Sportsbook is back with a slew of Kentucky Derby betting options for you for this, the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon! A wet track is expected for the Run for the Roses this year, and Mother Nature doesn’t end up cooperating, we could end up with some wild results in the biggest race of the season. The road through the Triple Crown starts with us here at Bang the Book, and our expert horse handicappers are diving right into all of the action, as we are analyzing the morning lines for all of the horses in the field!
1: Archarcharch (10/1) – A horse without a ton of background, Archarcharch is coming off of the biggest race of his life, a win at the Arkansas Derby against some tremendous odds.
2: Brilliant Speed (30/1) – Joel Rosario has only been aboard this colt one time in his career, and it happened to be a huge run at the Blue Grass Stakes in which Brilliant Speed dodged around six horses in the stretch run to nose out a victory at 19/1.
3: Twice the Appeal (20/1) – The one time that Twice the Appeal ran in wet conditions, he romped to the biggest victory of his career. He’s coming off of a win at the Sun Derby, but that was only a G3 race. This is his first shot with the big boys at the G1 level, but he does have legendary jockey, Calvin Borel on his back.
4: Stay Thirsty (20/1) – Ramon Dominguez had a rough ride above Stay Thirsty at the Florida Derby, finishing 16+ lengths off of the pace. He has run in three G1 races in his career, making him one of the most experienced colts at this level, but he has finished at least 14 lengths back in two of those three races.
5: Decisive Moment (30/1) – There have been two runs for Decisive Moment on wet tracks before, a win and a third place finish, and this could be the year that a horse like this one comes out of nowhere to be victorious.
6: Comma to the Top (30/1) – With 13 races under his belt, Comma to the Top is the most experienced horse in this field in terms of races ran. However, what does it say when his jockey for the last six of those races, Corey Nakatani, has elected to run on a different horse in the Derby?
7: Pants On Fire (20/1) – Anna Napravnik can become the first female jockey to win the Run for the Roses with a win. Pants On Fire’s most recent run at the Louisiana Derby proved to be his best, a win by a neck with a whopping 94 speed rating.
8: Dialed In (4/1) – With Uncle Mo in doubt, Trainer Nick Zito has the new Kentucky Derby favorite, especially after that win at the Florida Derby in April. Dialed In is legit and is a huge closer that can make some big time moves at the wire.
9: Derby Kitten (30/1) – The Kentucky Derby odds will probably end up seeing Derby Kitten as one of the longest shots on the board, but JJ Castellano isn’t going to let this two time winner down.
10: Twinspired (30/1) – We are inspired by Twinspired after that great run at the Blue Grass Stake, but we are definitely a bit cautious over the fact that he was beaten by almost two full lengths in the final furlong of the race. He needs to go a quarter mile more than that 1 1/8 mile run in this one on Saturday.
11: Master of Hounds (30/1) – The lone horse that ran in the UAE in this race, Master of Hounds might be more suited to run in the wet weather and the iffy conditions. He is the only horse to run nearly 1 1/4 miles to date, and he came up just short by a nose at the UAE Derby in March. He’s also got some absolutely stunning pedigree, led by Mr. Prospector in his bloodlines.
12: Santiva (30/1) – Though the run at the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile last year had to be considered a big time ‘W’ for Santiva, we are leery of the fact that this is a colt that has already had three different trainers and five different jockeys in just six races in his career.
13: Mucho Macho Man (12/1) – Man are loving what they are seeing in Mucho Macho Man because he has a great Kentucky Derby post position and is coming off of back to back speed ratings in the 90s at the Risen Star and the Louisiana Derby.
14: Shackleford (12/1) – Shacklford was 69/1 at the Florida Derby, and he only ended up losing by a head when push came to shove at the wire against the bona fide favorite on the Kentucky Derby betting lines, Dialed In.
15: Midnight Interlude (10/1) – The Santa Anita Derby winner doesn’t have a heck of a lot of races in his career, but the few that he has run, he has been in the money every single time. This is a rare three year old that didn’t end up running at all as a two year old.
16: Animal Kingdom (30/1) – Jockey Alan Garcia elected to ride Soldat instead of Animal Kingdom, and we never think that it’s good for a horse to deviate from the jockey that he most recently ran with.
17: Soldat (12/1) – The most recent run that Soldat had has to be concerning, as he finished 10+ lengths off of the pace at the Florida Derby, but aside from that, this is a horse that has run incredibly well in his career, especially with jockey, Alan Garcia aboard.
18: Uncle Mo (9/2) – Once figured to be the runaway favorite to win the Derby, Kentucky Derby betting pundits are backing off on Uncle Mo due to his iffy injury status, his recent questionable workout times, and the fact that he was caught at the wire and fell apart at the Wood Memorial in April. Still, it’s hard to ignore that absolute romp at the Breeders Cup Juvenile when he turned in a 4 1/4 lengths win and had a 108 speed rating.
19: Nehro (6/1) – Jockey Corey Nakatani could have had his pick of the litter for horses in this race. He hasn’t been able to get Nehro to the winner’s circle quite yet, as he was beaten by a neck at the Arkansas Derby and was just short at the Louisiana Derby, but regardless, this is still a colt that has a ton of potential in this race.
20: Watch Me Go (50/1) – Poor Watch Me Go probably didn’t stand much of a chance with Luis Garcia riding him, but now that he has had to switch jockeys and has to start from the far outside, we really can’t see his chances being anything notable, especially after finishing 17 lengths out in the Illinois Derby.
Spanish side Villarreal host Portuguese champions FC Porto at El Madrigal on Thursday night in the second leg of the Europa League semi finals, with the hosts needing a miracle to make it through to the final.
Porto put Villarreal to the sword in the first leg last week, winning 5-1, with star striker Radamel Falcao getting four goals. The Spaniards must now score at least four goals to qualify and if the away side hit the back of the net, the tie is all but over.
Villarreal have had a good season and are currently sitting in fourth place in La Liga, and will play Champions League football next season. Juan Carlos Garrido’s side have also been ruthless in their progression to the Europa League semi’s, and dispatched Bayer Leverkusen and Dutch Champions FC Twente in the previous knockout rounds. Despite this, the Yellow Submarine have been subject to capitualtion under pressure in the last month, with the debacle in Portugal compunded by a 5-0 defeat against Valencia at the Mestalla a fortnight before.
Andre Villas Boas’ Porto side have swept allcomers aside this season with an attacking and enterprising style of play. The Dragons are unbeaten in their domestic league and claimed the title a month ago by beating closest rivals Benfica 2-1 at the Estadio do Luz.
In Europe Porto have also knocked out some good sides, with Spartak Moscow, CSKA and Sevilla falling victim to the clubs ambitions in the knockout rounds. Colombian Falcao has struck up a fantastic strike partnership with Brazilian Hulk, with the pair scoring more than 60 goals in all competitions this season between them.
Villarreal are a good side and have the ability to win the match, but their drubbing in the first leg means this should be a bridge too far; my pick is a 2-1 win for Villarreal.
Real Madrid face an uphill struggle in their Champons League semi final second leg on Tuesday night, as they travel to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona, trailing 2-0 from the first leg.
A brace from Argentinian supremo Lionel Messi secured an invaluable victory for Barcelona in the first leg, with the game shrowded in controversy as Pepe and Jose Pinto were sent off, and there has been a war of words in the press between the two side’s coaches.
Barcelona outplayed Madrid in the first leg and their possession and ability to pass the ball was a masterclass. Despite this the Blaugrana lost 2-1 to Real Sociedad in the league at the weekend, but Pep Guardiola had fielded a predominantly second string side, and are still eight points clear at the top of La Liga table. The Catalan club will be without influential attacker Andres Iniesta, who is still injured, but have a side full of match winners that can punish any slack defending.
Jose Mourinho’s Madrid side have not given up the ghost yet and will look to overturn their first leg defeat with attacking intent, with keyman Cristiano Ronaldo at the pinnacle of their play. The Portuguese coach was not happy with the manner of Pepe’s dismisal last week, whilst the game was at 0-0, which means the player will be unavailable this week as he is suspended.
Los Blancos suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat to Real Zaragoza on Saturday in La Liga and missed a glorious opportunity to close the gap on their rivals, but similar to Barca had fielded mostly a second string side in anticipation of this game. The capital city side need to score a couple of goals to get back in the tie but must be careful not to conceed, especially early, as a Barcelona goal would all but kill off the tie as a competition.
The fourth El Clasico fixture in two weeks should be the most heated of all as there is everything at stake and tempers are at boiling point. If Madrid can score early it would put pressure on the home side, but they need to shackle talisman Lionel Messi to stay in the tie, which is no easy feat. My pick is a 2-2 draw, with Barcelona going through to the final on aggregate.
Manchester United host Schalke in the Champions League semi finals second leg on Wednesday night, with the English side in the driving seat after their 2-0 first leg victory away from home.
The Red Devils looked a class above their opponents at the Gelschenkirchen last week, with goals from Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs handing them an easy victory. Given the manner of their win in Germany Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will go into the game as solid favorites and already have one foot in the tournament final, where they would take on Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Domestically United dropped points at the weekend, as they lost 1-0 to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, with Aaron Ramsey getting the winner in the second half. This result shortens United’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to three points, with second placed Chelsea travelling to Old Trafford to take on the Reds this weekend in a massive game that could decide the fate of the title.
Schalke will be disappointed with their performance in the defeat in the first leg, as they were overawed by the occasion and thoroughly outplayed by their opponents in a one sided match. It has been a tale of two sides for the German club this year, as they have been excellent in the Champions League but poor in the Bundesliga.
Die Rothosen have had a great run in the competition with victories over Valencia and reigning Champions Inter Milan in the knockout stages bringing acclaim to the side. Despite this the club have underperformed domestically, and currently sit in 10th place in the German league. Ralf Ragnick’s side suffered a 4-1 defeat the hands of Bayern Munich at the weekend which will not instil any further confidence in the side. Key players for the club are veteran Spanish striker Raul, and keeper and captain Manuel Neuer.
Schalke look like they have ran out of steam whilst United have been here and done it all before; my pick is a 2-1 win for United.
League leaders Manchester United travel down to London to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, with the Premier League title hanging in the balance.
Arsenal have had a bad run of form of late and have lost and drew too many games over the last two months. Arsene Wenger’s men have been United’s closest rivals over the course of the season, but have now slipped down to third place due to poor results. Star Spainard Cesc Fabregas has this week stated that he has felt the weight of being club captain and looks set for a summer exit, with a move back to Barcelona in the offing. The Gunners suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Bolton in their last game, and will want to dent the Manchester club’s march to the title on Sunday.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are three points clear of Chelsea with a game in hand after the Blues beat Spurs on Saturday, and the Scottish coach will know that the league title can be wrapped up with two more victories. United have been in excellent form of late, and complemented a 1-0 win over Everton last weekend with a 2-0 win against Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday night. The Red Devils will be looking for a league and Europe double, and will have one hand on the Premier League trophy with a win on Sunday.
This fixture always produces a game of high quality with a rivalry that goes back through classic matches over the years; United are on the verge of Premier League glory whilst Arsenal are stumbling; my pick is a 2-0 win for United.
Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle previews the highlight bouts of UFC 129.
Sixty thousand tickets have been sold for UFC 129, which is happening this Saturday night at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. If the Ontarian Government ever wondered if it was right to recognise the sport, that’s sixty thousand endorsements right there.
Mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in the world and UFC 129 features some of the UFC’s most iconic fighters. The showpiece bout of the night is Georges St-Pierre’s defense of his welterweight belt against Jake Shields.
St-Pierre is a warm favorite against Shields, who was very successful as a Strikeforce fighter, but could there be more to this fight than meets the eye?
St-Pierre is hailed by many as the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world. He is the current face of the UFC, its greatest hero. Shields won’t have faced anyone like GSP before and St-Pierre’s striking ability is considerably better than Shields. Shields has been working on his striking but everybody knows that Jiu jitsu is where his strength lies.
Is that Jiu jitsu enough to allow Shields a chance against the multi-talented GSP? Shields trainer thinks it is – and he would say that, of course – but for all the aura surrounding GSP five of his last eight wins have been by decision. That suggests that GSP’s striking advantage might not be as strong as we’ve been led to believe, and the fight might be more even than some predict.
GSP to win by decision is the favorite in the MMA odds for the fight and a Shields win would certainly be a shock that would reverberate throughout the sport. But it’s not as far beyond the bounds of possibility as some would think.
On the undercard of the fight, local hero Mark Hominick takes on Brazil’s Jose Aldo for Aldo’s featherweight belt. Both these fighters are strikers, but Aldo packs quite some wallop. If he dings Hominick, it’s game over for the man from Thamesford.
One of the most intriguing fights on the card is at light heavyweight where two of the great names of the sport enter the Octagon with something to prove.
Brazil’s Lyoto Machida was a man whose star was on the rise after his first sixteen fights, racking up big, big wins against Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva, Rashad Evans and Mauríco Rua. But then Rua knocked out Machida in the rematch last March and controversially lost a split decision in November against Quinton Jackson to find his career at crossroads.
Randy Couture, Machida’s opponent in UFC 129, has nothing to prove to anybody. The man is a legend of the sport and is only fighting Machida because he likes it. Couture is still a tough, tough guy but he’s forty-seven years old while Machida is young, quick and nimble. Machida’s career will get back on track at UFC 129. As for Randy Couture – well, there’s always the movies.
Arsenal and Liverpool meet at the Emirates on Sunday with the home side looking to keep pressure on league leaders Manchester United, and The Reds pushing for European football for next season.
Arsene Wenger’s men sit second in the table currently but are seven points behind leaders United. The Gunners beat Blackpool 3-1 last Sunday to end a run of inconsistent form, with goals from Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue and Robin van Persie giving the London club the victory. It is an important week for Wenger’s men; their game against Liverpool is followed by the North London derby against Tottenham on Tuesday.
Liverpool put a 2-1 defeat to West Brom behind them with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Manchester City at Anfield on Monday night, with Andy Carroll (2) and Dirk Kuyt getting the goals. Liverpool are currently in sixth place on 45 points before their trip to the Emirates, and Kenny Dalglish’s side will look to close the gap on Tottenham above them and keep Everton at bay, who are in seventh.
This is always an entertaining fixture and hopefully there will be plenty of goals; my pick is a 3-2 win for Arsenal.
Spain’s top two sides Real Madrid and Barcelona go head to head at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, with the La Liga title in the balance. The two sides will meet four times in the remainder of the season after they were drawn against each other in the Champions League semi-finals, and they will also contest the Copa del Rey final on Thursday of next week.
Real Madrid have had a good run in form of late that included a comprehensive 3-0 win over fifth placed Athletic Bilbao in their last league outing and the 5-0 aggregate win over Tottenham in the Champions League. Jose Mourinho’s side rely on the wizardry of Portuguese attacker Cristiano Ronaldo, who has had a great season and is looking back to full fitness after a knee injury. Los Blancos sit eight points behind Barca in second place in the standings, and know that they need to win the game in order to give them a chance of clawing back the deficit.
Barcelona have gone 26 matches unbeaten in La Liga and look on track to retain their title. The Blaugrana beat Shakhtar Donetsk 6-1 on aggregate in their Champions League quarter final, and defeat bottom side Almeria 3-1 in their last league fixture. Lionel Messi has proved this season why he is regarded as the best player in the world; his winning goal in Ukraine in midweek was his 48th goal in 46 appearances this season – a feat that makes him the Catalan club’s record scorer in a single season.
El Classico is always a great spectacle and some of the world’s best players will be on show; my pick is a 3-2 win to Madrid
Manchester rivals City and United take to centre stage to contest the first FA Cup semi final at Wembley on Saturday. City are looking to win the tournament for the first time since 1969 whilst United have the opportunity to do the treble.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are in ominous form and look destined to win the Premier League title as they sit seven points ahead of nearest rivals Arsenal. In Europe The Red Devils eliminated Chelsea from the Champions League quarter finals this week with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford, setting up a semi final with German side Schalke. Ferguson will be without star striker Wayne Rooney as the player is suspended, but Dimitar Berbatov should come into the side to partner on-form Javier Hernandez up front.
Roberto Mancini’s City side have been inconsistent over the last two months. They at times show brilliance, like in the 5-0 victory over Sunderland, but other times incompetency, like in their 3-0 defeat at Anfield against Liverpool omn Monday night. City currently sit in fourth place in the league and are chasing qualification to the Champions League, and have a battle on their hands against Spurs, who are three points behind them. Carlos Tevez picked up a hamstring injury against Liverpool and will not feature against his old club on Saturday.
This is always a fiery encounter with both sides looking to win the grudge match; my pick is a 3-1 win for United.