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Kentucky Derby Favorites Rarely Win?

Dialed In gets past Shackleford to take the Florida Derby

Who will be the public choice in the 2011 Kentucky Derby and how have favorites performed over the last 32 years?


A look at the chart below tells the story. Going back to 1979 only five favorites (Big Brown, Street Sense, Smarty Jones, Fusaichi Pegasus, Spectacular Bid) have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. Three of those horses also captured the Preakness but none completed the Triple Crown sweep.

Although favorites haven't performed very well in the Derby over this 32-year sample, it is important to note that favorites have won 4 of the last 11 Derby runnings.  

The 137th Kentucky Derby looks wide open with Nick Zito’s late running colt Dialed In the likely choice over 2-year-old champ Uncle Mo. Based on recent history and with such an evenly matched group assembled it seems unwise to choose the favorite in this year’s renewal of the Derby. What do you think?   


Lookin At Lucky 6.30-1 6th Super Saver 8.00-1
Friesan Fire 3.80-1 18th Mine That Bird 50.60-1
Big Brown 2.40-1 1st Big Brown 2.40-1
Street Sense 4.90-1 1st Street Sense 4.90-1
Sweetnorthernsaint 5.50-1 7th Barbaro 6.10-1
Bellamy Road 2.60-1 7th Giacomo 50.30-1
Smarty Jones 4.10-1 1st Smarty Jones 4.10-1
Empire Maker 2.50-1 2nd Funny Cide 12.80-1
Harlan's Holiday 6.00-1 7th War Emblem 20.50-1
Point Given 1.80-1 5th Monarchos 10.50-1
Fusaichi Pegasus 2.30-1 1st Fusaichi Pegasus 2.30-1
Excellent Meeting 4.80-1 5th Charismatic 31.30-1
Indian Charlie 2.70-1 3rd Real Quiet 8.40-1
Captain Bodget 3.10-1 2nd Silver Charm 4.00-1
Unbridled's Song 3.50-1 5th Grindstone 5.90-1
Timber Country 3.40-1 3rd Thunder Gulch 24.50-1
Holy Bull 2.20-1 12th Go For Gin 9.10-1
Prairie Bayou 4.40-1 2nd Sea Hero 12.90-1
Arazi 0.90-1 8th Lil E Tee 16.80-1
Hansel 2.50-1 10th Strike The Gold 4.80-1
Mister Frisky 1.90-1 8th Unbridled 10.80-1
Easy Goer 0.80-1 2nd Sunday Silence 3.10-1
Private Terms 3.40-1 9th Winning Colors 3.40-1
Demons Begone 2.20-1 17th Alysheba 8.40-1
Snow Chief 2.10-1 11th Ferdinand 17.70-1
Chief's Crown 1.20-1 3rd Spend A Buck 4.10-1
Life's Magic 2.80-1 8th Swale 3.40-1
Marfa 2.40-1 5th Sunny's Halo 2.50-1
Air Forbes Won 2-70-1 7th Gato Del Sol 21.20-1
Proud Appeal 2.30-1 18th Pleasant Colony 3.50-1
Rockhill Native 2.10-1 5th Genuine Risk 13.30-1
Spectacular Bid 0.60-1 1st Spectacular Bid 0.60-1


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Older Comments about Kentucky Derby Favorites Rarely Win?...

Decisive Moment is my long shot as well...
My five favorite bets are Dailed In, Shackleford, In Honour and Serve, Nehro, and Mucho Macho Man Time
I beilieve Dialed In will be in the Money and have a shot to win. Also of note 3 of last 6 favorites won the derby
I think Dialed In will be up there at the end, but may not win. I'm sticking to the tried and true 1 1/8th ers.
When are they drawing the post positions?
WAAAAAHHHHH! What do you mean! Sweet Ducky will win the Derby....the derby for the horse that should be winning the Derby, that is.
No Jerri Boys at Tosconova will win the derby!
Uncle Moe can't go the distance. Will be in the top two until the last 16th and then slink down to 7-8th.
  • colmmoss1 · Thats probably the worst most uneducated statement I have heard...Uncle mo is bred to stay 1M 1/4 unlike 75% of the field...you obviously don't know your horses son! · 1882 days ago
To honor and serve will win the derby !!!!

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