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The Kentucky Derby is a billionaire's bonanza, and here's how they're placing their bets

American Pharaoh Kentucky Derby
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The 143rd Kentucky Derby is expected to go down as one of the most difficult handicaps in many years.

But beating the odds at Churchill Downs this Saturday is nothing new for the billionaire owners behind these magnificent thoroughbreds.

Derby favorite, Classic Empire, is backed by Texas oilman, John Oxley. The former polo player previously backed 2001 Kentucky Derby winner, Monarchos.

Legendary rock & roll producer, Jerry Moss, the "A" in A&M records, returns to the track with two top contenders, Gormley and Royal Mo. His previous entries all have musical roots, including Zenyatta, named after the Police's album, Zenyatta Mondatta, and Giacomo, after rocker Sting's son.

UAE Derby winner Thunder Snow represents Godolphin Racing, owned by Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

Practical Joke is owned Seth Klairman of Baupost Group, one of the world's largest hedge funds. The colt was originally purchased for $135,000.

Media mogul John Malone has skin in the game with Tapwrit, while Malagacy has shared ownership from family members of the Del Monte Fruit empire.

Then there's Batillion Runner, owned by Vincent Viola, executive chairman of Virtu Financial and former head of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Bode Miller, six time Olympic medal winning skier, is betting Fast and Accurate crosses the finish line first.

The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby is May 6th. If you can't go to Churchill Downs on Saturday, you can watch the coverage on NBC, beginning at 2:30 pm ET.

Coverage will also be streamed on NBC Sports Live.