The 2018 Kentucky Derby Draw has taken place. Morning line odds have been set. One of the favorites is the Aidan O’Brien trained Mendelssohn. Can Mendelssohn use the UAE Derby as a jump off point to win the Kentucky Derby? If Mendelssohn isn’t a good bet at the low odds, who is the smart wager to take home the Run for the Roses? Which horse projects to be the best longshot play?

2018 Kentucky Derby
144th Running of the Roses
Saturday, May 5th, 2018
Post Time: 6:34 PM ET
TV Coverage: 2:30-7:20 PM ET
Watch: NBC
Stream: NBC Sports Live

2018 Kentucky Derby Odds & Picks

  1. Firenze Fire +7500
  2. Free Drop Billy +3500
  3. Promises Fulfilled +5500
  4. Flameaway +4000
  5. Audible +700
  6. Good Magic +900
  7. Justify +360
  8. Lone Sailor +5000
  9. Hofburg +1450
  10. My Boy Jack +2800
  11. Bolt d’Oro +800
  12. Enticed +2500
  13. Bravazo +6000
  14. Mendelssohn +500
  15. Instilled Regard +5000
  16. Magnum Moon +750
  17. Solomini +2500
  18. Vino Rosso +1300
  19. Noble Indy +3000
  20. Combatant +6000

The Kentucky Derby Favorite:  Mendelssohn 5/1

Based on what I see on paper, Mendelssohn is close to a lock to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby. His sire is Scat Daddy. His broodmare’s sire is Leslie’s Lady. That mean’s he’s related to Beholder, the mare champion that crushed the Pacific Classic in 2015. Mendelssohn is trained by Aidan O’Brien. O’Brien has won every major race in Europe twice over. He’s also saddled horses to win major races in Dubai as well as in Japan.What O’Brien hasn’t done is had great success winning Triple Crown races. Could Mendelssohn break O’Brien’s Triple Crown curse? Possibly. But, at the current 5/1 odds, it makes sense to look elsewhere.

The Smart Kentucky Derby Pick:  Vino Rosso 12/1 

I love how Vino Rosso has progressed leading up to the Kentucky Derby. He won his first two lifetime races. Then, he finished third in the Sam F. Davis to Flameaway. He regressed in the Tampa Bay Derby before taking a huge leap forward to win the Wood Memorial. There’s a good chance he takes another leap forward on Saturday in the Kentucky Derby.

If he does leap forward, forget it. This horse has the breeding, sired by Curlin and from a Street Cry mare, trainer, the great Todd Pletcher, and guts, he bumped with Enticed in the Wood Memorial and kept running, to win the roses.

I also love the fact that he most likely goes off at 16/1 odds than his 12/1 morning line odds. Watch out for Vino Rosso on May 5.

The Longshot Pick:  My Boy Jack 30/1

There appears to be a ton of speed in this race. Justify and Mendelssohn like to run up front. The only chance Bravazo and Promises Fulfilled have of winning the Kentucky Derby is to steal it on the front end.  Flameaway prefers to run on or near the front end.

All the speed could set things up for the best closer in the field, My Boy Jack. He ran lights out to win the Lexington Stakes by a head. My Boy Jack chased soft fractions and still managed to get up for the win.

He’s worth a look at huge odds.