Top 10 Derby (04/21/16)

By Dan Zucker
Top 10 Horses in the 2016 Kentucky Derby

The 142nd Kentucky Derby is run on the first Saturday in May from legendary Churchill Downs. Considered the “fastest two minutes in sports,” only the legendary Secretariat completed the nine furlongs in under two minutes. American Pharoah, last year's Derby winner, went on to become only the 12th horse to complete horse racing's Triple Crown (winning the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in addition to the Derby).

Here are the Top 10 most likely winners of the 2016 Kentucky Derby as provided by


Undefeated in seven races lifetime, Nyquist has already earned over $3mm – both accomplishments that American Pharoah didn't reach before his Derby win. Nyquist is trying to become the second horse to win the Breeders' Cup Two-Year Old Championship and the Kentucky Derby since 1984 (only Street Sense accomplished this feat in 2006). Purchased for $400k out of the Fasig-Tipton Two-Year Old in Training Sale just over a year ago, a Kentucky Derby win could already secure his place in history and lay the foundation as a stallion prospect.


This lightly raced colt has three wins from four starts while having banked over $700k. Outwork has shown a consistent ability to be on or close to the lead, always a good place to be in a 20 horse field. His Sire Uncle Mo is also the sire of Top Contender Nyquist.

Cherry Wine

A winner of just two races in eight starts lifetime, Cherry Wine has stepped up his game considerably in his last two starts. Called a “deep closer” because he accelerates later in the race (as compared to Outwork), his jockey will be weaving him between horses down the stretch.


Winner of the Santa Anita Derby just two weeks ago, Exaggerator has been heavily campaigned with already nine races lifetime, though let's remember that California Chrome won the 2014 Derby in his eleventh start.

Dazzling Gem

Ranked 24th on the Derby Point Leaderboard, Gem will need at least three horses with more points to defect before next Friday. He's knocked on the door his last two races and could be poised for improvement, though it might take more than racing luck to find the winner's circle.

Dazzling Candy

This California speedball was knocked down a rung after collapsing on the lead in the Santa Anita Derby (won by Exaggerator). The condition of the track that day was sloppy which could have contributed to his tiring.


This $2.2m yearling purchase was handed his first defeat lifetime by Nyquist in the Florida Derby. Mohaymen broke from the outside post, a considerable disadvantage in the race and was overlooked by players while torching money coast to coast at odds of 4/5.

Brody's Cause

His last win was a marked improvement, most noticeably because of the jockey change. Brody is a late closer and has shown a strong but inconsistent late kick, a challenging running style in a field of this size.

My Man Sam

With only one win from four starts, My Man Sam is an inexperienced runner who's yet to hit the big stage. He's shown improvement recently, but he'll need the race of his life to hit the Derby board.

Mor Spirit

He's yet to run a bad race as seen by his lifetime record of three wins and four seconds from seven lifetime starts. A winner of $650k lifetime, only Mor Sprit, Cherry Wine and Brody's Cause have wins at Churchill Downs. Ridden by HOF Jockey Gary Stevens and trained by Bob Baffert (same trainer as Triple Crown winner American Pharoah), his human connections are an advantage in a big race.

Odds to Win the 2016 Kentucky Derby

Rank Horse Play Value Pattern Final Figure Wynn William Hill Future Pool 4
1 Nyquist Top Contender SOFT w77.5 4/1 3/1 3/1
2 Outwork Breakout NPT w71.3 14/1 20/1 14/1
3 Cherry Wine Breakout NPT 75.2 30/1 40/1 26/1
4 Exaggerator Breakout SOFT w73.4 9/1 8/1 12/1
5 Dazzling Gem Breakout NPT 74 Not listed Not listed 59/1
6 Danzing Candy Breakout NPT 67.4 30/1 25/1 7/1
7 Mohaymen Average 73.6 10/1 8/1 3/1
8 Brody's Cause Breakout w76.0 12/1 12/1 4/1 (field)
9 My Man Sam Too Slow 75.2 18/1 25/1 4/1 (field)
10 Mor Spirit Too Slow 70.6 12/1 16/1 9/2