LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Justify has been made the early 3-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with Europe-based Mendelssohn the second choice in a full field of 20 horses.
Trained by four-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, Justify drew the No. 7 post on Tuesday. Six horses have won from there, most recently Street Sense in 2007.
Justify, the undefeated winner of the Santa Anita Derby, is one of two horses in Saturday’s 1 ¼-mile race who didn’t race at age 2. The other is 6-1 third choice Magnum Moon. No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby after not racing as a 2-year-old.
More history is working against Mendelssohn. A horse coming from Europe has never won America’s greatest race. Trained by Irishman Aidan O’Brien, UAE Derby winner Mendelssohn is the 5-1 second choice. He drew the No. 14 post.