Horse Racing

Bayern must justify Kentucky Derby odds

After winning his first two career starts including beating first level allowance foes by 15 lengths, the Bob Baffert trained Bayern took some serious action at Sportsbook in Kentucky Derby futures betting, currently sitting at 16-1, with just five runners at lower prices.

The colt starts as the second choice at 2-1 on the morning line for Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), and needs a top two finish to guarantee himself a spot in the starting gate for the Run for the Roses.

The top 20 in points earn their way into the race, and the current 2014 Kentucky Derby Points Standings show California Chrome comfortably on top with 150 points while 20th place Harry’s Holiday has 20 points.

With 170 points up for grabs in the Arkansas Derby and the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and 17 points at stake next week in the Lexington Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, it is likely going to take more than 20 points to make it into the big dance.

Horseplayers that backed Bayern in the futures betting will be anxious for a good result, but the colt has plenty going for him including his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won this race in 2012 with Bodemeister, who had just three career starts that year.

In fact, Baffert has been money when shipping to Oaklawn Park. Over the past five years, the trainer has started 27 runners and has hit the winner’s circle an amazing 15 times.

Bayern’s Romp on February 13

Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens has ridden the talented colt to both of his victories and will be on board again on Saturday.

His main foe will be the Steve Asmussen trained Tapiture, who is the 9-5 morning line favorite. The colt won the Southwest Stakes (G2) in his first start over the Oaklawn Park main track and then was second as the beaten favorite in the Rebel Stakes (G2) in his last start.

The colt has 42 Derby points and is safely in the field in three weeks. He is currently at 20-1 in Kentucky Derby futures wagering at Sportsbook.

Strong Mandate, currently at 25-1 on the Kentucky Derby odds, needs a strong outing to make it to Louisville. The D. Wayne Lukas trainee has 11 Derby points and a top two finish puts him into the race while a third will put him on the bubble.

Ride On Curlin was third in the Rebel, dueling for the early lead before weakening in deep stretch, beaten a length for the top spot. The colt is 12-1 on the morning line for the race on Saturday and 30-1 in Kentucky Derby futures betting.

For updates on the Kentucky Derby betting lines check out the OddsShark Kentucky Derby Odds page.