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The 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, May 7 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Although the field won't be set until Wednesday, May 4, five solid contenders headline the futures market: Nyquist at 3/1, Exaggerator at 8/1, Mohaymen and Gun Runner both at 10/1 and Brody's Cause at 12/1.

Nyquist is undefeated in seven starts, including four grade 1 events and two grade 2 stakes. Some of these top-notch races include this year's Florida Derby and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last October. The Doug O'Neill-trained colt will pose the greatest challenge on the field come race day.

Exaggerator is a strong candidate for pulling the upset. He has taken part in seven graded-events, and has finished in the money in all but one race – the same Breeders' Cup Juvenile that Nyquist won.

Competitors' most recent outings are good indications of their state going into the next race, and Gun Runner and Brody's Cause are coming off two big wins – the Louisiana Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes respectively. Mohaymen, on the other hand, ended his undefeated record in his last outing, finishing fourth at the Florida Derby. He looked out of his element, so we’ll have to see if that was just a hiccup or a sign of things to come.

The next tier of competitors is very intriguing: Destin at 14/1, Mo Tom at 16/1, Mor Spirit at 18/1, and Suddenbreakingnews, Outwork and Creator all at 20/1. Destin outlasted Outwork at the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), but Outwork bounced back to win the Wood Memorial (G1). Mo Tom has finished third and fourth in his last two starts, including the Louisiana Derby, but won the LeComte Stakes before that. Mor Spirit finished second to Exaggerator at the Santa Anita Derby and has a shining record of first and second-place finishes in all seven starts. Creator got off to a slow start in his career, but he has improved and beat Suddenbreakingnews to win this year's Arkansas Derby (G1).

One thing to keep in mind is it's not just the thoroughbreds running this race, the jockeys play an important role too. Victor Espinoza has ridden the last two Derby winners: California Chrome and American Pharoah, with the latter going on to win the Triple Crown. Harry Rosenblum stated that Espinoza will ride Whitmore (33/1) in the Kentucky Derby, but we won't know for sure until the field is set on Wednesday. Check back at Bodog for updates and insights into the most exciting two minutes in sports.


*Odds as of April 29, 2016