Dortmund and American Pharoah

Dortmund and American Pharoah

Benoit Photography/Coady Photography

Battaglia Struggling to Decide Derby Favorite

Morning-line favorite will be American Pharoah or Dortmund, but which one?

Mike Battaglia, who sets the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) morning-line odds, is struggling to decide between stablemates Dortmund  and American Pharoah  when it comes to choosing a favorite for this year's classic at Churchill Downs.

Before American Pharoah's victory in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I), Battaglia said he had settled on Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Dortmund as the likely morning-line favorite for this year but after watching American Pharoah coast to an eight-length score in the $1 million Derby prep at Oaklawn Park, Battaglia acknowledged he was wavering between the two.

"I can't separate them," Battaglia said in a Keeneland video. "I don't think there's going to be a dime separating them."

With the morning line, Battaglia provides an estimate of the final odds based on how he thinks the public will wager on the race. The morning-line odds are listed in the program.

Battaglia added that either Zayat Stables' homebred American Pharoah or Kaleem Shah's Dortmund, both trained by Bob Baffert, would be the morning-line choice.

"I think these two stand out over everybody else," Battaglia said.