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Battaglia sets very early morning line for Derby

Moments after Uncle Mo's surprising third-place finish in Saturday's Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, track announcer Tom Durkin declared, "The Kentucky Derby is up for grabs!"

And Churchill Downs' oddsmaker, Mike Battaglia, agrees. So he has taken a crack at a preliminary morning line for the May 7 Derby and installed trainer Bob Baffert's The Factor as the 7-2 favorite. Battaglia's line includes only horses ranked in the top 20 in graded stakes earnings.

The Factor has won his last three starts by a combined 15¼ lengths and will be favored to win Saturday's Arkansas Derby. The other Derby prep this weekend is Keeneland's Blue Grass Stakes, for which Santiva is the probable favorite.

Here's Battaglia's "early" morning line:

The Factor 7-2

Dialed In 4-1

Uncle Mo 4-1

Soldat 10-1

Toby's Corner 10-1

Midnight Interlude 12-1

Mucho Macho Man 12-1

Animal Kingdom 15-1

Pants On Fire 15-1

Santiva 20-1

Shackleford 20-1

Comma to the Top 30-1

Jaycito 30-1

Stay Thirsty 30-1

Astrology 50-1

Decisive Moment 50-1

J P's Gusto 50-1

Master of Hounds 50-1

Twice the Appeal 50-1

Watch Me Go 50-1

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