04/05/2017 10:56AM

Kentucky Derby: Who's hot, who's not for April 5

Barbara D. Livingston
Always Dreaming's victory in the Florida Derby lowered his odds to 8-1 on the Derby Watch top 20.


Always Dreaming, first touted in the original Derby Watch top 20 published Feb. 17, leaped all the way to the second choice on the Kentucky Derby future line of Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper, following his runaway victory in the Florida Derby. He is 8-1, behind only McCraken, the 6-1 favorite. Girvin, the Louisiana Derby winner, saw his price fall to 15-1 from last week’s 20-1. Classic Empire is the co-third choice at 10-1 after being 12-1 a week ago. Also seeing his price fall was State of Honor, the Florida Derby runner-up, who is now 30-1 from last week’s 40-1.

:: DERBY WATCH: Top 20 list | DERBY WATCH: O'Neill, already in exclusive company, looks for more


El Areeb is injured and off the Derby trail, so he was removed from the list. Gunnevera, third as the favorite in the Florida Derby, saw his price jump to 12-1, making him the co-fifth choice on Watchmaker’s line after being the second choice a week ago at 8-1. In order to make his line balance – Watchmaker treats the top 20 as if it were the 20-horse Derby field – prices were slightly tweaked upward on One Liner (now 12-1), J Boys Echo (15-1), Iliad (20-1), and Cloud Computing (25-1).


Both Patch and Local Hero, second and third in the Louisiana Derby, have points that could put them in the Derby field if their connections decide to go there, but the Derby Watch committee prefers other runners who have fewer points – like Battalion Runner and Iliad – so they were omitted for now. But that could change after this weekend as the Derby grows closer and the top 20 becomes increasingly driven by the points list. – Jay Privman

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays, and analysis