Classic Empire held off Not This Time by a neck to win Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita, so it was no surprise this week when early odds for the 2017 Kentucky Derby placed the two neck-and-neck.
Odds provided by Bovada sportsbook assigned both 2-year-olds as 14-1 shots to win the Run for the Roses. The 143rd Kentucky Derby will take place May 6, 2017, at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Classic Empire, owned by John Oxley and trained by Mark Casse, has won four races in five career starts, including the $2 million Juvenile over 10 rivals at 1 1/16 miles.
Not This Time, who’d won his two previous starts by a combined 18 3/4 lengths and was the 5-2 favorite in the Juvenile, is owned by Albaugh Family Stable and trained by Dale Romans.
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Only two horses have ever won both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby — Street Sense in 2006 and Nyquist in 2015.
Third and fourth choices in Bovada’s odds are Gormley (18-1) and Klimt (20-1), a pair of California horses who fell short of expectations in the Juvenile, finishing seventh and eight, respectively.
The road to the 2017 Kentucky Derby continues Nov. 19 with the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot in Louisiana.
2017 Kentucky Derby odds to win
Classic Empire 14-1
Not This Time 14-1
Practical Joke 25-1
Three Rules 25-1
Favorable Outcome 35-1
Lookin At Lee 40-1
Mo Town 40-1
Big Gray Rocket 50-1
Fact Finding 75-1
Hot Sean 75-1
Random Walk 85-1