The racing world is abuzz with talk on who is going to be the favorite for the 2012 Kentucky Derby, which is scheduled to be run May 5 with a post time of 6:24 p.m. Eastern. Even the longtime morning-line maker for the Kentucky Derby, Mike Battaglia, remains unsure on who to make the favorite for the 2012 Kentucky Derby when post positions are drawn. Such debate means this year's Kentucky Derby could be one of the most wide-open betting races in recent years.

This year's crop of 3-year-olds is widely considered to be one of the deepest in recent memory as most of the top contenders have managed to stay away from injury and remain on course throughout the Triple Crown prep season. As it stands now, with less than three weeks to go before post time for the Kentucky Derby, any one of four Kentucky Derby contenders could ultimately be sent off as the favorite. The four colts vying to be the Kentucky Derby favorite are Bodemeister, Dullahan, Gemologist and Union Rags. This is an exciting thought for bettors, as the odds of the Kentucky Derby favorite could be as high as 5- or 6-to-1 on Derby day.

There is little separating this quartet of Grade 1 winners now that all the major Kentucky Derby prep races are in the books. Bodemeister staked his claim as the Kentucky Derby favorite over the weekend with a scintillating 9 1/2-length victory in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. The son of Empire Maker earned a 108 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort—easily the highest recorded by any of this year's 3-year-olds thus far.

Dullahan stamped himself as a major player in the Kentucky Derby with a come-from-behind victory in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes over a synthetic surface at Keeneland over the weekend. In the Blue Grass, Dullahan, who is a half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, blew past last year's champion 2-year-old Hansen in the stretch and won going away. One potential chink in the armor of Dullahan is he has never won on a traditional dirt surface, though he did run a respectable fourth behind Hansen, Union Rags and Creative Cause at Churchill Downs last year in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Gemologist enters the Kentucky Derby undefeated in five starts for high-profile trainer Todd Pletcher. The son Tiznow passed his first major class test with flying colors when winning the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct in his final Kentucky Derby tuneup. Gemologist will attempt to join Seattle Slew and Smarty Jones as the only undefeated winners of the Kentucky Derby.

Finally, there is Union Rags. The son of Dixie Union has been considered by many to be the best of this generation since last year, but he disappointed his backers when third to Take Charge Indy in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in his final Kentucky Derby prep. However, Union Rags may have been compromised by a questionable ride from Julien Leparoux in that one, however, and is eligible to bounce back in a big way come Derby day.

The lack of a clear-cut favorite means the eyes of the racing world will be watching to see how these four colts train at Churchill Downs over the next three weeks in the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby. Sometimes a horse will tip its hand with an eye-catching workout prior to the Kentucky Derby. We'll just have to stay tuned and see how things shake out.

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