Selecting the winner of the Kentucky Derby is simple ? Just choose the preferred and then after the two most exciting moments in sports just go cash your tickets.
That strategy has worked six years in a row, starting with Orb in 2013, that returned $12.80 for a $2 win wager, and including last year at which Justify got the work done as the favorite, returning his backers $7.80. What the heck is happening?
From 2005 until 2012 the typical win mutual was 41, and we had two mad winners that paid over $100–Giacomo ($102.60) in 2005 and Mine That Bird ($103.20) at 2009.
This season Game Winner is the 9-2 morning line favorite after the scratch of Omaha Beach on Wednesday.
The Bob Baffert trainee would be the real deal, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last year, leading to him winning the Eclipse Award for high juvenile of 2018. He has lost both of his starts this year, but set in strong efforts in runner up finishes.
He’s a logical favorite but has to cope with two of his stablemates that both have solid credentials, Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster and Arkansas Derby (G1) runner up Improbable. They’re the co-second options on the morning line at 5-1.
Ironically, Hall of fame Trainer Bob Baffert, who has saddled the Triple Crown winner in two of the past four years will likely be sending out the top three betting choices from the race. It will be the first time in the history of the Kentucky Derby a trainer has had the three gambling choices.
That is a whole lot of firepower for a single barn and which makes it only a little less probable a longshot is going to win this year’s edition.
However, they still need to conduct the race. About Kentucky Oaks Day, we saw the winner juvenile turf filly of 2018 Newspaperofrecord return to defeat chances of 1-5 in the Edgewood (G3).
So, let’s look for three Derby longshots that might have an Opportunity to be in the hunt when they come in the stretch under the Twin Spires on Saturday day:
Tacitus is coming from a good looking win at the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct going nine furlongs, He started off his three-year-old campaign by winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). He broke his maiden on a wet track and contains a strong off track pedigree. He is by Tapit and also the first foal to race out of the stakes winner Close Hatches, a multiple Grade 1 winner who made $2.7 million and was the champion older female in 2014.
The colt is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who hasn’t had some success in the Derby (0 for 8, the best finish with Hofburg last year (seventh). The Wood has not been a successful race over the past 15 years or so. We must go back to Funny Cide in 2003 to locate the last Derby winner to prep there. Total 20 Derby winners utilized the Wood as a prep. The colt looks as if he still has some upside and should get a fantastic excursion sitting mid-range 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’ve enjoyed this colt because his runner up finish in the Champagne (G1) last year in his second career start. He failed to shoot at the Mucho Macho Man within his three-year-old introduction, checking in fourth, also bounced back with a smart triumph in the Fountain of Youth (G2) in 9-1.
Last out in the Florida Derby (G1) he was bumped coming out of the gate, raced near the back of the pack behind a dawdling pace and made up some ground late. He desires pace and might not get it, but I am confident jockey John Velazquez will find this man close enough that he will have an impact late.
Trained by Todd Pletcher with two Derby wins under his belt (Super Saver in 2010 and Always Dreaming at 2017), this colt is lightly raced and flying beneath the radar. He was third in the Saratoga Special (G2) last summer at Saratoga and has put in two impressive efforts this season. He rolled over 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 monitored the early pace, took on the lead heading for home but got run down By My Standards. He’s bred to like a wet track and is going to be a major price. The outside post is not ideal, but he has enough tactical speed to be in the mix .
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Triple Crown for OddsShark along with his entire card reports with choices, evaluation, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for important tracks can be found every day at turfnsport.com.