Kentucky Derby Sleepers: Looking for Live Longshots

Picking the winner of the Kentucky Derby is easy right? Simply choose the favorite and then after the two most exciting moments in sports just go money your tickets.
That plan has worked six years in a row, beginning with Orb at 2013, who returned $12.80 for a $2 win wager, and including last year where Justify got the work done as the favorite, returning his backers $7.80. What the heck is happening?
From 2005 until 2012 the average win mutual was $41, and we had two upset winners who paid over $100–Giacomo ($102.60) in 2005 and Mine That Bird ($103.20) at 2009.
This season Game Winner is your 9-2 morning line favorite after the scratch of Omaha Beach on Wednesday.
The Bob Baffert trainee is the real deal, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last year, resulting in him winning the Eclipse Award for top juvenile of 2018. He has lost both of his starts this year, but put in strong efforts in runner up finishes.
He is a logical favorite but has to cope with two of the stablemates that both have strong credentials, Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster and Arkansas Derby (G1) runner up Improbable. They are the co-second choices on the morning line in 5-1.
Yes, Hall of fame Trainer Bob Baffert, who has saddled the Triple Crown winner in two of the previous four decades will be sending out the best three betting choices in the race. It’ll be the first time in the history of the Kentucky Derby a coach has had the three gambling options.
That is a whole lot of firepower for one barn and makes it just a little less likely a longshot will win this year’s edition.
But they still have to conduct the race. About Kentucky Oaks Day, we watched the winner juvenile turf filly of 2018 Newspaperofrecord return to defeat chances of 1-5 in the Edgewood (G3).
Thus, let’s search for three Derby longshots that might have a chance to be in the search when they come into the stretch under the Twin Spires on Saturday day:
Tacitus (8-1)
Tacitus is coming from a good looking win in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct going nine furlongs, He started off his three-year-old effort by winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). He broke his maiden over a wet track and contains a strong off course pedigree. He is by Tapit and the first foal to race out of the stakes winner Close Hatches, a multiple Grade 1 winner who made $2.7 million and has been the champion older female in 2014.
The colt is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who hasn’t had any success in the Derby (0 8, the ideal finish with Hofburg past year (seventh). The Wood has not been a productive race within the previous 15 decades or so. We have to return to Funny Cide in 2003 to find the last Derby winner to prep there. Overall 20 Derby winners utilized the Wood as a prep. The colt looks as though he still has some upside and should get a good trip sitting mid pack with a perfect place.
Code of Honor (12-1)
Code of Honor is trained by Shug McGaughey who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Orb from the slop. I have liked this colt since his runner up finish in the Champagne (G1) last year in his second career start. He failed to fire in the Mucho Macho Man in his three-year-old introduction, checking in fourth, also bounced back with a clever win in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at 9-1.
Last out in the Florida Derby (G1) that he had been bumped coming out of the gate, raced near the back of the bunch behind a dawdling pace and made up some ground late. He needs pace and may not get it, but I am confident jockey John Velazquez will get this man close enough that he will have an impact late.
Spinoff (30-1)
Trained by Todd Pletcher who has two Derby wins under his belt (Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming at 2017), this colt is lightly raced and flying under the radar. He was third at the Saratoga Special (G2) last summer at Saratoga and has set in two impressive efforts this season. He gathered first-level allowance company by 11 3/4 lengths at Tampa Bay Downs off a six-month layoff. He then left his stakes debut in the Louisiana Derby (G2) where he tracked the early pace, took on the lead heading for house but got run down By My Standards. He is bred to like a wet track and will be a big cost. The outside post is not ideal, but he has enough tactical speed to be in the mix early.
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will soon be covering the Triple Crown for OddsShark along with his full card reports with choices, evaluation, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found every day at

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