Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia saw enough from Classic Empire in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby that he’s prepared to make him the favorite for the May 6 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
“I was really impressed with the way Classic Empire was able to come back like he did in a 12-horse field and run such an awesome race,” Battaglia said. “I think he’ll be cranked up for the Derby. I think he will be the favorite.”
" I [still] think he has more talent than all of them. For his first race at a mile and an eighth, he did everything good horses do.”
Battaglia said Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming and Wood Memorial winner Irish War Cry could be co-second choices for the Kentucky Derby.
“Those two are close,” Battaglia said. “The rest of them, I don’t see it.”
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