A day before the first leg of the Triple Crown, and two scratched horses have wided the field at the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, set for Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Black Onyx, a 50-1 longshot, won’t start from the No. 1 position due to a bone chip in his front left ankle, but since the announcement came after the 9 a.m. Friday morning deadline, would-be-alternate Fear The Kitten cannot fill in, according to reports.
The No. 1 position will now be left open, with 19 horses and jockeys vying for the winners circle.
Heavy favorite Orb will start from the No. 16 gate, and next down is Verrazano two spots away at No. 14.
Based on overnight betting, Revolutionary comes in at 5-to-1 and Goldencents and Normandy Invasion are now at 7-to-1, supplanting Orb and Verrazano, though both are still amongst the top four favored. So far today, Verrazano has dropped slightily to 9-to-1.
Giant Finish and Falling Sky are the biggest long-shots, at 40-to-1 and 39-to-1, respectively.
Joel Rosario, ranked third among active jockeys, will man Orb, who’s wins this season include the Florida Derby in March, and the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth.
Verrazano has had more recent success, capturing the Wood Memorial on April 6, and the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9. His trainer, Todd Pletcher, won the 2010 Derby with Super Saver, and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has ridden 13 times at Churchill Down's big race.
Riding Goldencents, Kevin Krigger from the U.S. Virgin Islands has the chance to be the first African-American jockey to win the Derby in 111 years.
Coverage of the race begins at 4 p.m. and the Derby is scheduled for 6:24 p.m. Eastern time. It will be broadcast by NBC, or you can watch their live online stream at NBC Live Extra here.
Golden Soul, 29-1
Normandy Invasion, 7-1
Giant Finish, 37-1
Palace Malice, 23-1
Lines Of Battle, 32-1
Falling Sky, 37-1
Charming Kitten, 29-1
Will Take Charge, 30-1
Frac Daddy, 23-1
Java’s War, 24-1
Prediction: Goldencents by half a length.