Kentucky Derby odds: Classic Empire, Always Dreaming among early betting favorites

With the 143rd Kentucky Derby just around the corner, oddsmakers have already set the lines and released early predictions about the favorites to win this year's race.

After Nyquist unsurprisingly took the trophy in 2016, this year's Derby odds are more uncertain. While Classic Empire and Always Dreaming are the early betting favorites to win the G1 series this coming Saturday, horse injuries and lack of pattern in build-up race winners have positioned this year's Derby predictions as more of a guessing game.

"I think it's as wide open as we've seen in a long time," trainer Dale Romans said of this year's event to the Los Angeles Times. "...It could be any horse in this race."

Click through to see this year's Kentucky Derby odds favorites:

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Kentucky Derby odds: A look at the 2017 favorites
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Kentucky Derby odds: A look at the 2017 favorites

Classic Empire: 4/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Always Dreaming: 9/2

Updated May 4, 2017

Gunnevera: 12/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Gormley: 16/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Hence: 16/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Irish War Cry: 6/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Thunder Snow: 18/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Practical Joke: 20/1

Updated May 4, 2017

McCraken: 6/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Irap: 18/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Girvin: 16/1

Updated May 4, 2017

Tapwrit: 25/1

Updated May 4, 2017

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As of May 4, Bovada has Classic Empire leading with 4/1 odds. Always Dreaming and Irish War Cry closely follow with 9/2 and 6/1 odds respectively.

The Churchill Downs Derby is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year -- kicking off the "Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing" series for three-year-old colts, comprised of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

SEE ALSO: A one-eyed horse called Patch is set to go in the Kentucky Derby

20 horses and jockeys are set to compete in the Kentucky Derby each year, where they will race the track in hopes of winning the $2 million prize.

Here is a full list of horses competing in this year's Derby:

Classic Empire
Always Dreaming
Irish War Cry
Gunnevera
McCraken
Irap
Tapwrit
Gormley
Thunder Snow
Girvin
Practical Joke
Conquest Mo Money
J Boys Echo
Hence
Lookin At Lee
State of Honor
Cloud Computing
Patch
Battle of Midway
Sonneteer
Royal Mo
Untrapped
Fast and Accurate

The event is scheduled to begin at 6:34 p.m. EDT, with coverage beginning earlier in the day on NBC.

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