The countdown is on for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, with plenty of excitement brewing about a race that has no clear favorite. Saturday will mark the 144th race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

There isn't a clear-cut favorite and there is a shortage of true underdogs. But three names to know in the current 26-horse field are Mendelssohn, Justify and Audible.

Mendelssohn, trained by Irishman Aidan O'Brien, has won three consecutive races. In March, the son of four-stakes winner Scat Daddy won the UAE Derby by over 18 lengths.

“He’ll travel over on Monday and go into quarantine. He’ll work on the track on Thursday and Friday,” O’Brien said of Mendelssohn.

Justify, who has won all three of his career races, is trained by Bob Baffert. Justify won the Santa Anita Derby, and like Mendelssohn, is listed at 4/1 after previously being listed at 9/5.

Audible, trained by Todd Pletcher, won the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 31. The last two winners of the race went on to win the Kentucky Derby: Always Dreaming in 2017 and Nyquist in 2016.

The Derby is certainly not a three-horse race. Magnum Moon, who is also trained by Pletcher, and the battle-tested Bolt d'Oro, who finished No. 2 at the Santa Anita Derby and is named after Usain Bolt, are also in the mix. Like Justify, Magnum Moon is undefeated and did not race as a 2-year-old.

The winning purse for this year's Run for the Roses is $2 million with the winner receiving roughly $1.24 million.

2018 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds (

Mendelssohn, 4-1

Justify, 4-1

Audible, 6-1

Magnum Moon, 8-1

Bolt d'Oro, 9-1

Good Magic, 11-1

Hofburg, 16-1

Vino Rosso, 16-1

Noble Indy, 20-1

My Boy Jack, 22-1

Solomini, 22-1

Enticed, 25-1

Promises Fulfilled, 33-1

Free Drop Billy, 33-1

Flameaway, 33-1

Combatant, 40-1

Firenze Fire, 40-1

Lone Sailor, 40-1

Restoring Hope, 40-1

Bravazo, 50-1

Snapper Sinclair, 50-1

Instilled Regard, 50-1

Reride, 50-1

Sporting Chance, 66-1

Dream Baby Dream, 100-1

Givemeaminut, 100-1

Mendelsson in Dubai. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah