The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby is just a couple weeks away, and Bodog Racebook already has odds up on the main contenders. Let’s have a look at the top candidates vying for the Garland of Roses at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.


Classic Empire (9/2)

After a third-place finish at the Holy Bull Stakes (G2), Classic Empire rebounded by taking the Arkansas Derby (G1). He has five wins in seven career starts and is the current favourite for the 2017 Kentucky Derby.


Always Dreaming (19/4)

This Todd Pletcher-trained thoroughbred is second in line on the odds board. He won the Florida Derby (G1) earlier this month, putting him on a three-race winning streak.


Irish War Cry (6/1)

Irish War Cry, sired by the 2007 Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin, is a 3X graded stakes winner. He won the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) in February and the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) in April, but he had a poor showing at the Fountain of Youth Stakes, where he finished seventh. Nevertheless, Irish War Cry has an impressive resume with four wins out of five races.


McCraken (9/1)

Another contender with four wins in five starts is McCraken. He won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) and the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3). His lone loss was his latest start, the Blue Grass Stakes, where he finished third. On the bright side, he’s won all three of his Churchill Downs races, so he’s comfortable on the track.


Gunnevera (10/1)

With nine career starts under his belt, Gunnevera is one of the more experienced horses vying for a post position at the Kentucky Derby. He’s a closer and has been up against top competition with mixed results. He won the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (G3) last year and the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) this year, but placed third in his most recent outing at the Florida Derby (G1), second at the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and fifth at last year’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1). Eclipse award-winning jockey, Javier Castellano, will ride Gunnevera.


Irap (16/1)

Irap is close to the top of the list because of a strong victory at the Blue Grass Stakes earlier this month. With that victory, Irap broke his maiden.


Tapwrit (16/1)

Tapwrit is another Todd Pletcher-trained horse in contention. Before finishing fifth at the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) in April, he won the Tampa Bay Derby and placed second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes. He has yet to race at Churchill Downs.


Five other horses are inside of 20/1 odds, including: Thunder Snow, Gormley, Battalion Runner, Practical Joke – all at 16/1, and Girvin at 18/1.


*Odds as of April 21, 2017