2019 Kentucky Derby Predictions
With rain expected in the Louisville area on Saturday, which 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders are the best bets to finish win, place, show today at Churchill Downs?
According to oddsmakers, Tacitus is the favorite at 4/1, followed by Game Winner at 17/4 and Improbable at 5/1. Maximum Security is also 5/1, while Roadster is 7/1 and Win Win Win is 10/1. By My Standards is 13/1, while War of Will is 14/1, Code of Honor is 15/1 and Cutting Humor is 16/1.
Some of the mid-range long-shots include Vekoma at 20/1, Long Range Toddy and Spinoff at 28/1, respectively, and Bodexpress at 30/1. Gray Magician is 36/1, followed by Tax at 38/1 and Plus Que Parfait at 50/1. The two contenders with the longest odds to win the Kentucky Derby on Saturday evening are Country House at 67/1 and Master Fencer at 70/1.
2019 Kentucky Derby Predictions
To Win: Improbable (5/1)
After going undefeated in three starts as a juvenile and spending most of the winter ranked either first and second among most Kentucky Derby contender lists, Improbable finished second in both of his races this year. That said, he lost by a length to Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby, but trainer Bob Baffert also put blinders on Improbable in efforts to focus the horse during the race. Improbable reportedly acted poorly to those blinders and they’ll be removed from the Kentucky Derby. (Omaha Beach was also scratched earlier this week, leaving the Kentucky Derby field relatively wide open.) Improbable’s pedigree is suitable for the Kentucky Derby’s 1 ¼-mile distance and the biggest edge that I see comes in having Irad Ortiz Jr. as his jockey. Ortiz Jr. is riding in career-best form and is tactical when the exact right time is to push his colt. Finally, drawing the No. 5 post position was also extremely beneficial based on the Kentucky Derby’s history, as that post has produced 10 wins and 22 in-the-money finishes in 89 Derby starts. Audible took third a year ago from the No. 5 post.
To Place: Tacitus (4/1)
The son of Tapit had a rough trip in the Wood Memorial but recovered to grind out a 1 ¼-length victory over Tax. He was bumped and checked entering the first turn but still posted a visually-impressive victory. Tacitus is bred to handle the Kentucky Derby’s 1 ¼-mile distance as the son of leading sire Tapit and out of a dam in Close Hatches, who was champion older dirt female of 2014. She also won seven graded stakes at 1 1/16 miles or longer. There isn’t a ton of speed in this year’s Kentucky Derby field and Tacitus is a true closer that has already shown the ability to handle traffic.
To Show: Maximum Security (5/1)
Maximum Security was unchallenged in the Florida Derby, pacesetting wit a 3 ½-length score and will head to Louisville as the only pure front-running horse in the field. He also has a victory in a starter ace at Gulfstream Park on a wet track, which gives me some confidence that he’ll race well today despite the rainy, perhaps muddy conditions at Churchill Downs.
Fourth: Game Winner (17/4)
The 2-year-old champion always seems to be in the mix and I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Maximum Security were flipped in the standings. Gary and Mary West own both Game Winner and Maximum Security and with Game Winner employing a stalking running style, I expect that he’ll be close to Maximum Security when it’s all said and done.