05/01/2008 4:08PM

Longest of the Long


So enough already with who's going to win the Derby. Who's going to be the longest shot on the board at post time?

Here's the list of the longest shots in each of the last 10 Derbies:

I didn't bother going back any further, because the whole idea of long longshots changed radically with the elimination of the Derby mutuel field after the 2000 running. Prior to 2001, the horses with the least-promising histories were lumped together because the tote system could only handle 14 (and earlier, 12) betting interests. In 2000, for example, Exchange Rate was the longest-priced betting interest at 59.20-1, but he was considered a more likely winner than Wheelaway, Deputy Warlock or Ronton, who ran as a three-horse mutuel field sent off at 20.80-1. In 1998, Nationalore was 109.60-1 but there was a two-horse mutuel field of Robinwould and Basic Trainee at 69.80-1. In 1974's 23-horse Derby, there were two two-horse entries, nine solo betting interests, and a 10-horse mutuel field that was the third choice at just 5.20-1.

There hasn't been a 100-1 shot in the race since the 17-horse affair of 2001, when Startac ran 10th at 102.40-1 and Arctic Boy was 12th at 101.20-1. I don't think we'll be seeing any triple-digit horses for a while after the 50-1/71-1 Giacomo-Closing Argument exacta of 2005, and this year's longest shot is likely to be in the same 60-1 range of the last two years.

So who will it be? Mike Battaglia made just one horse in the field 50-1, Big Truck, while tabbing three at 30-1: Anak Nakal, Adriano and Z Humor. I can't see either of the latter two as the very longest shot, given Edgar Prado's choice of Adriano over Monba and Tale of Ekati, and Z Humor's (albeit long-ago) third in the Champagne to War Pass and Pyro. I would have put Smooth Air in the 30-1 category (he finished behind Big Truck the last time they crossed paths), but he seems to have a constituency despite neglecting to win a race beyond seven furlongs.

Anak Nakal, however, could give Big Truck a run for the least money. Big Truck has at least won a race this year, the Tampa Bay Derby, where he earned a 93 Beyer, six points better than Anak Nakal's best. Having said that, I think Anak Nakal would be a terrible bet to finish last in the race. He'll be passing horses late, but probably considerably fewer than 19 of them.

Come to think of it, it's kind of funny that last year's Tampa Bay Derby winner (Street Sense) was the Kentucky Derby favorite and this year's (Big Truck) is the longest shot on the morning line.

John Best More than 1 year ago
I'm rooting for BB and the 3 inside of him to chase Bob Blackjack out of the gate so Court Vision, Col John, Visionaire and Pyro can come in for the super. Have to use Dennis of Cork somehow but don't think he will get there in time.
vegan More than 1 year ago
He may not be longest, but Anak Nakal will run last, barring someone else's breakdown.
Dave More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure who'll go to the post with the highest odds. But with all that speed on the extreme outside, I see an incredible traffic jam at the first turn with horses forced to go 5,6,7 wide. For that reason, I think this Derby sets up for an incredible finish and quite likely an unbelievable payoff.
AJH More than 1 year ago
I think Anak Nakal and Z Humor are the two worst horses in the race, but I believe Cowboy Cal is going to finish dead last... I have a feeling he isn't going to enjoy the switch to dirt. Yes, he is by Giants Cauiseway so neither the surface nor the distance should be an issue but I think his lack of dirt experience will factor in. Combine that with the fact he will be foawrdly placed early lends itself to the conclusion that he will throw in the towel halfway down the back stretch and all the other horses will be passing him at the end.
Stephen L. Taylor More than 1 year ago
The last place horse will be one of the speed horses who just stops, not neccesarily the "worst" (for lack of a better term) horse. Since Rousell has already said he's going to "gun" Recapture the Glory, that will be my "last place" pick As for longest shot on the board, Ana Nakal has a graded stakes win at Churchill and is not impossible to be around (although if he does, it won't be on any of my tickets except for the future I bought before his form started going backwards) I'm gonna guess Big Truck, but this is a year where some kind of a case could almost be made for everyone's chances to actually win this race. (Bought an "all others" ticket at 14/1 for pool 3 which will include Monba, Cowboy Cal, and Eight Belles as well as others, and win, lose, or draw, right now that seems like a nice ticket to be holding on to.)
Babe Conroy More than 1 year ago
I don't have a clue who will finsih last. But, you will all eat your words on Smooth Air, especially if it rains and track comes up sloppy. Smoothie made a big middle move in last when finishing second behind Big Brown. Brownie needs seasoning, but is incredibly talented. However, I worry about him wiping out the 19, 18, 17 and 16 with a left turn coming out of the 20-post.
2hot More than 1 year ago
I have been told by a psychics.One lady was pulled me over in downtown Phoenix..Ola youngman..what,I ,have no changes.sorry..N o ,N o,N O....R- U - horseracing NUTS..yeah .howya knowit. Wow,that is something,what else? Saturday is Kentucky Derby...yeh.--OK UM UM UM GO 2 checks any Horse',Jockey&the owner names.all starts with the same letter's...wait ,i have it in my car.oh wow...here is:Colonel John.,Jock's :Corey .& the owner is: Casnser..uh this is preaky..which races is it.yes TEN..And what number will be wearing no:10..yes,yes..(Dang..i just told her i got no dineros). Senoritas..I will be back, on Saturday everning Oke..THis is getting crazy.I 'd never bets even likes birthday numbers or such...??
Mike D. More than 1 year ago
While the morning line is unkind to Big Truck, Anak Nakal, Adriano and Z Humor . . . I say two of them (or more) finish ahead of Court Vision.
SamG More than 1 year ago
Gotta be Anak Nakal,at 50-1 he`s an underlay.Big Truck probably won`t be on my tickets but he has run faster than AN,Court Vision,Monba and Adriano.With the latter 3 and maybe all 5 taking too much money there will be value somewhere.
ml/nj More than 1 year ago
Well, going back (again) to the only Derby I attended, I think Canonero II might have been the longest shot ever to win.