| Thu 03/05/2018 - 04:47 EDT

2018 Kentucky Derby Canadian Thoroughbred Odds

2018 Kentucky Derby Canadian Thoroughbred Odds

Justify Leads Strong Canadian Contingent

A trio of horses bred, owned or trained in Canada will represent the North at highest level of American thoroughbred racing.

John Gunther, the British Columbian owner of Glenwood Farm in Kentucky, will send a pair of powerful ponies to the Race for the Roses, pitting Justify and Vino Rosso against a deep field of thoroughbreds. Ontario-bred Flameaway will join the fray as a capable longshot.

This continues the tradition of Canadian thoroughbreds competing at the top level of the North American racing. Northern Dancer - first Canadian winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1964 - also turned out to be the best sire in the 20th century, with his lineage impacting the scene for decades. Descendants of Northern Dancer have won more than 400 races, including more than 140 stakes winners

When the gate lifts on May 5th, there’s an excellent chance that Canada will land in the money during the 144th Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby Odds For Canadian Horses

Justify – 3/1

Jockey: Mike E. Smith

Some horses possess athletic gifts which separate them from the competition.

Justify burst onto the scene by smoking fellow thoroughbreds, earning a perfect record over three races. During the Santa Anita Derby, Justify outclassed Bolt D’Oro in the stretch, earning a 3½-length victory over his Kentucky Derby rival.  

Justify’s the favorite because he’s registered the best speed figure in the Santa Anita win, showing world-class talent. However, lack of experience and the length of the Derby may work against this prodigy. Since 1882, Apollo’s the only horse to win the Kentucky Derby without competing as a two-year-old. Horses with three starts have won the Derby twice, with Big Brown the most recent in 2008. Still, this Baffert-trained horse features the raw power to make history.

Vino Rosso – 12/1

Jockey: John Velazquez

After an up and down season, Vino Rosso broke out with a fantastic performance at the Wood Memorial, outracing the field by over three lengths.

Vino finished fifth during the Road to the Kentucky Derby, collecting 107 points in three starts, after winning both of his appearances as a two-year-old. His stock fell due to a pair of disappointing starts in 2018, which required the horse to run at the Aqueduct for a spot at the Derby.

Rosso boasts a superb speed figure of 106, a couple of points behind Justify. Rosso should be considered one of the better dark horses because of his competitive experience and ability to maintain velocity on longer tracks. As a 1½ mile race, the first jewel of the Triple Crown requires a bit more endurance and grit compared to qualifying races. Vino Rosso showed a willingness to run through contact during the Wood Memorial, which bodes well in a crowded field.

Flameaway – 30/1

Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Born and bred in Canada, Flameaway blazed his path to the Kentucky Derby the hard way, winning five races in nine starts – the largest number of wins among all competitors.

This thoroughbred’s proven to be a versatile racer, winning on dirt, turf and synthetic surfaces. A second place finish at the Blue Grass Stakes and the Tampa Bay Derby qualified this horse for the first Triple Crown race of the season, along with a 10-point victory at the Sam F. Davis Stakes over Vino Rosso.

As such, he’s a longshot at 30-to-1, but Flameaway will have a genuine chance at landing in the money with a strong start out of the gate. Flameaway lost by more than 12 lengths at the Iroquois Stakes, which suggests a lack of interest if he falls behind early.

One caveat: this horse loves the muck, winning both starts in wet, muddy conditions. If rain sneaks into the forecast, Flameaway could take the Kentucky Derby by surprise.

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