At the moment, it appears Curlin will be the betting favorite for the Derby. I expect that he will join a long and distinguished list of undefeated horses that incinerated the betting public’s cash on Derby Day. The Derby is about heroes and the memories of Smarty Jones and Barbaro are still fresh and I expect some bettors are likely to burden Curlin even more by expecting him to emulate the ill-fated undefeated Barbaro thereby driving his odds down even further. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Curlin at 7-2 or less in a twenty horse field.
Twenty horses have entered the Derby undefeated but only six have exited the race that way. Among the vanquished were Indian Charlie at 5-2 in 1998 after four straight wins, Mr. Frisky at 9.-5 in 1990 after 16 wins, Private Terms in 1988 with 7 wins and who can forget the biggest upset of all, Native Dancer at 3-5 in 1953, undefeated in 11 starts prior to the Derby If you factor in that Curlin ran his first race at seven furlongs just 10 weeks ago and will be stretching out to ten furlongs in just 12 weeks and the odds of succeeding get even longer.