There were a lot of reasons not to bet on Always Dreaming to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby. He was too hyperactive. He was winless as a 2-year-old. Trainer Todd Pletcher was 1-for-45 at the Derby. But for the fifth year in a row, the favorite has won the most important event in horse racing. Always Dreaming (47/10) prevailed last Saturday on a muddy track at Churchill Downs, cruising to victory by 2-3/4 lengths over Lookin at Lee and five lengths over Battle of Midway.

Post position turned out to be more important than usual this year. Always Dreaming was one of four top contenders for the Derby, but he was isolated from the others in post No. 5, and that allowed him to avoid the chaos that consumed the other three. Irish War Cry (48/10) turned to the inside after leaving from post No. 17, starting a chain reaction that saw McCraken (69/10) in the 15-hole bump into Classic Empire (68/10) in Gate 14. None of them would make it to the podium.

Which is why this year’s Kentucky Derby results were particularly favorable for bettors who loaded up their trifectas and superfectas with deep value picks. Battle of Midway (40/1 to win) was a compelling choice based on his second-place finish at the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, while Lookin at Lee (166/5) finished third at both the G1 Arkansas Derby and the G3 Southwest Stakes. Congratulations if you picked either of these horses correctly on your betting ticket at Bovada Racebook.

Dream Scenario

The next stop on the Triple Crown trail is the 2017 Preakness Stakes, coming up on Saturday, May 20 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Always Dreaming was scheduled to fly there on Tuesday. He’s the 10/11 favorite on the Preakness futures market at press time, leading a pack of nine other horses – five of whom didn’t race at Churchill Downs. Royal Mo (12/1), one of the two “also eligibles” for the Kentucky Derby, has the shortest odds among this fivesome.

The biggest test for Always Dreaming should come from Classic Empire, who managed to finish fourth at the Derby; he’s priced at 5/1 for the Preakness, followed by Lookin at Lee (11/1). Keep an eye out for the full range of online betting options at Bovada Racebook as we get closer to the 142nd Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.


*Odds as of May 10, 2017