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The Kentucky Derby 149 field has been set, with 20 3-year-olds going to post at Churchill Downs early Saturday evening. This is an event that always attracts plenty of attention, as the post positions tend to have a big impact on the betting odds that are posted.

There are three “also-eligibles” who may draw into the field in the event of a scratch(es).

Purse is $3 million. Post time is at 6:57 PM ET.

Forte is Betting Favorite

So, Forte is the 3-1 early wagering favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. In Friday’s $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks, Wet Paint was tabbed as the betting favorite.

It’s no surprise that Forte is the favorite to win after he compiled 190 qualifying points in races leading to the Derby. Drawing post position No, 15 should not be a hindrance. Irad Ortiz Jr. rides and Todd Pletcher trains.

Another of Pletcher’s contingent, Tapit Trice, is the 5-1 second choice. Angel of Empire has early odds set at 8-1 to win the Derby. He will be starting right next to Forte here.

Numbers are stacked against any horse sweeping the jewels (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes), according to Triple Crown odds by BetUS sportsbook.

Wet Paint drew the seven-hole in the Kentucky Oaks, an event restricted to 3-year-old fillies. She is listed at 5-2, while Botanical is 4-1 and Southlawn is at 8-1. Here’s the complete early board, as per Kentucky Oaks odds.

You shouldn’t expect the betting favorites to change in either race.

Equine Deaths Rock Churchill

While there is plenty of anticipation ahead of the 149th running of the Derby, there has also been some sad news. Horse deaths-four in the span of five days-have led to investigations.

Saffie Joseph Jr. was the trainer of two of the dead horses, both happening on the track. Also, two horses were euthanized after suffering catastrophic injuries.

Examining the racing surfaces-both dirt and turf-are part of the investigation, but not all of the deaths or injuries happened while racing. Thus, necropsies needed to be performed on the two deceased horses.

Wild on Ice Euthanized

Wild on Ice suffered a leg fracture leading to the Derby, eventually euthanized due to the injury.

Frank Sumpter owned Wild on Ice, and he made the decision to put the horse down rather than attempt a very difficult surgery. There was a chance some screws and a metal plate could heal the leg, but not a very optimistic outlook in any event.

Wild on Ice won March’s Grade 3 Sunland Park Derby.

Kentucky Derby Odds

Horse Odds
Angel of Empire 29-1
Arctic Arrogance 99-1
Blazing Sevens 46-1
Bourbon Bash 99-1
Classic Car Wash 99-1
Confidence Game 26-1
Continuar 54-1
Cyclone Mischief 88-1
Derma Sotogake 13-1
Disarm 33-1
Dreamlike 99-1
Dubyuhnell 99-1
Fort Bragg 58-1
Forte 5-2
Geaux Rocket Ride 33-1
Hayes Strike 99-1
Hit Show 30-1
Don’t Get It 99-1
Instant Coffee 49-1
Jace’s Road 99-1
Kingsbarns 11-1
Mage 49-1
Mandarin Hero 99-1
Mendelssohns March 99-1
National Treasure 44-1
Practical Move 14-1
Raise Cain 81-1
Red Route One 24-1
Reincarnate 24-1
Rocket Can 32-1
Shadow Dragon 99-1
Skinner 49-1
Slip Mahoney 99-1
Sun Thunder  99-1
Tapit Trice  11-1
Two Eagles River 68-1
Two Phil’s 21-1
Verifying 50-1
Wild on Ice 99-1
All Other 3-Year Olds 17-1
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