With every passing day we draw a bit closer to 2018’s iteration of the famed Kentucky Derby, and while it might still be a bit too early to draw any accurate predictions on the upcoming Run for the Roses, some worthy horses are already topping the qualifying ranks and racing pundit predictions lists.

The road to the Kentucky Derby isn’t easy by any means, and every hopeful is required to over-perform during the qualifying races preceding the first date of the Triple Crown circuit. Only a few horses have lived up to expectations in these difficult premonitory stages while some interesting surprises have risen up to shake up the odds box, making this year’s edition of Churchill Downs’ legendary showdown a great opportunity for tremendous wins.

Without further ado, here is a brief review of the biggest contenders and some dashing newcomers for this year’s Kentucky Derby.

First place on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” leaderboard belongs to Good Magic, trained by household name Chad Brown. This 3-year-old thoroughbred beat Bolt D’Oro (4th) and Solomino (6th) during the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile back in November at Del Mar, giving the eFive Racing house yet another shot at the Derby. Alongside Mick Ruis’s Bolt D’Oro and Bob Baffert’s Solomino, this triumvirate of horse racing power is likely to remain at the head of the rankings ahead of the Kentucky Derby and on the lists of savvy bettors all over.

Enticed, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, is now in 9th place after finishing 4th in the Gr.2 Holy Bull Stakes on February 3rd at Gulfstream Park. This son of Medaglia d’Oro took the top position in the Gr.2 Kentucky Jockey Club last year and could also play an important part on the first Saturday in May. Catholic Boy, trained by Jonathan Thomas and owned by Robert LaPenta, holds the 11th spot; and after a big performance in the Gr.3 Withers at Aqueduct, Avery Island (trained by Kiaran McLaughlin) has climbed up the ranks to 7th.

Among the remaining contenders for 2018’s Kentucky Derby we find plenty of pedigree and a little bit of controversy. Bob Baffert-trained McKinzie – sired by Street Sense – took a victory in the Los Alamitos Futurity only after Solomino was disqualified due to an alleged case of interference with another horse. He also recently won the Gr.3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park and is now 3rd on the leaderboard, just below Florida-bred Firenze Fire, trained by Jason Servis.
New kid on the block and a horse that shot onto many people’s radars after an impressive win in the Holy Bull Stakes is Audible. This son of Into Mischief romped ahead of his competition to win at Gulfstream with much ease and is trained by last year’s Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Todd Pletcher.

Will Pletcher go for a back-to-back win in horse racing’s most prestigious race? Undoubtedly, we will have to wait for more races to finish in the coming months before we can get a clearer look. For now, the above-listed horses are horses to watch in the weeks to come. Start making your own predictions.

Visit SKYBOOK.AG to find the best odds and propositions for the 2018 edition of the Kentucky Derby.

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