The Prep-Races were over, jockeys had been assigned, and the Post Positions were drawn. But the fickle finger of fate wasn’t quite through with the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Late Wednesday afternoon the Morning Line favorite OMAHA BEACH was scratched due to an operable respiratory issue. He was replaced by Also Eligible BODEXPRESS. Then on Thursday morning an abscess was discovered on the foot of HAIKAL, who was then scratched. The two remaining AE’s had already been vanned out of town. So as it stands we have a field of nineteen for the 145th version of the Run For The Roses. Which, if the weather forecast is correct will be a sloppy one, as there is an 80% chance of rain on both Friday and Saturday.
The Daily Racing Blog has taken into consideration each horses propensity for running in sloppy, wet conditions. So here we go.
In order of preference our top three Win Contenders are:
#8 TACITUS This colt ran the best race in any prep leading up to the KD. In the Wood Memorial, he had a disastrous start to the race getting into severe traffic problems not once but twice, and then showed a lot of professionalism in recovering and continuing on with a lot of energy to Win. Which is a good indication that he’ll relish the 1 mile & 1/4 distance. His Breeding is heavy on the stamina side, so he will have something left in the tank coming down the long Churchill Downs stretch run.
TACITUS can be tactical so he won’t be too far back which is critical, as it is best to press or sit off the pace when you are seeking to the Win the KD, especially since the pace on a off track is projected to be slightly below par. Another advantage is his ability to maneuver quickly despite his massive size. Plus, with a Morning Line of 8-1 he will have much better Value than the Bob Baffert triad.
#16 GAME WINNER The Winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is a Baffert reliable grinder type of horse. He just keeps running no matter what the conditions. He does not possess a quick turn of foot but he will carry his energy the 1 1/4 Miles distance with no problem. He had plenty of qualifying points heading into his 2019 preps so it seems Baffert was just trying to get him tightened up and get him ready for a peak effort on the 1st Saturday in May. A reliable board hitter that can definitely get this distance. Will sit mid-pack and then just keep coming. Working well leading up to this…a dependable sort.
#17 ROADSTER Early last summer there was no doubt that he was the top Kentucky Derby candidate in Baffert’s barn. His Winning effort in the Santa Anita Derby showed us why. No horse in the KD has a bigger upside than this one. He should relish the extra distance. Like TACITUS, ROADSTER is tactical and push button so he can be placed wherever he will have the best shot at the Win. He is working very well up to this race.
It is suggested here that you use any one (or all) of the above choices on top of any Exotic Wagers you put together.
Next is what we feel is the B Group, of which any could hit the board.
#7 MAXIMUM SECURITY
#14 WIN WIN WIN
#3 BY MY STANDARDS
Of this group, DRB believes the best Live Long-Shots to Win are: #14, 2, 19, and 3.
We feel very confident about TACITUS, and suspect that our other two top choices will get bet down to odds not worth the risk. We feel this is a evenly matched group, so we’re always inclined to take the better Value horse. So with that said, our play will be:
Trifecta Key, #8 with 2,3,5,6,7,14,16,17,19. Exacta Box #8 with 2,3,5,6,7,14,16,17,19. With Win bets on #2,3,8,14,19.
Best of luck no matter how you play it, and enjoy Kentucky Derby Day !