With just four weeks until the Kentucky Derby there are three key prep races coming up on Saturday, with many of the top contenders making their final tune-up for the Run for the Roses on May 2.
The Road to the Derby this spring has been dominated by favorites, and it could be more of the same in the Santa Anita Derby, Toyota Blue Grass and Wood Memorial, three Grade 1 races with 100-40-20-10 Derby points up for grabs.
Louisiana Derby (G2) winner International Star leads the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings with 171.
Over the last 11 Derby points races eight of the winners paid $6.60 or less for a $2 wager. The biggest price was Dubai Sky, who won the Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park, retuning $16.80.
The undefeated Dortmund is the 3-5 morning line favorite for the Santa Anita Derby, which drew a compact field of six. The Bob Baffert trainee won the San Felipe (G2) in his last outing and is currently listed at 15-2 in early Kentucky Derby wagering.
His main foes figure to be the duo that finished second and third in the San Felipe, Prospect Park and Bolo.
Carpe Diem is the even money betting favorite on the morning line for the Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland. The Todd Pletcher trainee was the winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in his three-year-old debut on March 7.
His early Kentucky Derby wagering odds went from 16-1 to 12-1 after his win and he is currently at odds of 14-1. The Todd Pletcher trainee takes on seven foes in the 1 1/8 Blue Grass, which is back on conventional dirt this year.
His main foe looks like Ocho Ocho Ocho, who won the Delta Jackpot (G3) in November but tossed in a clunker in his three-year-old debut in the San Felipe where he faded to finish a well-beaten eighth.
The Wood Memorial at Aqueduct looks like the most competitive of the three Derby preps. The Pletcher trained Daredevil is the 9-5 morning line favorite, but both Frosted (5-2) and El Kabeir (3-1) fit with their best.
The three Derby preps will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network at 5:00pm ET. For selections and analysis for the Saturday horse racing action check out Turf ‘n’ Sport.