Picking the winner of the Kentucky Derby is simple ? Simply choose the favorite and after the two most exciting moments in sports only go money your tickets.
That plan has worked six years in a row, starting with Orb at 2013, who returned $12.80 for a $2 win wager, and for example last year at which Justify got the job done as the favorite, returning his backers $7.80. What the heck is happening?
By 2005 until 2012 the typical win mutual was $41, and we had two upset winners who paid over $100–Giacomo ($102.60) at 2005 and Mine That Bird ($103.20) in 2009.
This year Game Winner is the 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, leading to him winning the Eclipse Award for top juvenile of 2018. He has lost both of his starts this season, but set in strong efforts in runner up finishes.
He’s a logical favourite but has to deal with two of the stablemates that both have solid credentials, Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Roadster and Arkansas Derby (G1) runner up Improbable. They’re 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 a couple of the previous four years will likely be sending out the top three gambling choices in the race. It will be the first time in the history of the Kentucky Derby a trainer has had the three betting choices.
That’s a 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.
But they still need to run the race. On Kentucky Oaks Day, we saw the champion juvenile turf filly of 2018 Newspaperofrecord go down to defeat chances of 1-5 in the Edgewood (G3).
Thus, let us look for three Derby longshots that May Have an Opportunity to be in the hunt when they come into the stretch under the Twin Spires on Saturday day:
Tacitus is coming from a great 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 over a wet track and contains a strong off course 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 earned $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 any success in the Derby (0 for 8, the best finish with Hofburg past year (seventh). The Wood has not been a successful race within 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 seems as though he has some upside and should find a good trip 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 liked this colt because his runner up finish in the Champagne (G1) last year in his second career start. He failed to fire in the Mucho Macho Man within his three-year-old introduction, checking in fourth, also bounced back with a smart win in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at 9-1.
Last out in the Florida Derby (G1) 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 desires pace and may not get it, but I am confident jockey John Velazquez will get this guy close enough he will have an impact late.
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 beneath the radar. He was third in the Saratoga Special (G2) last summer at Saratoga and has set in two remarkable efforts this season. He gathered first-level allowance company by 11 3/4 lengths at Tampa Bay Downs off a six-month layoff. Then he made his stakes debut in the Louisiana Derby (G2) where he tracked the early pace, took over the direct heading for house but got run down by By My Standards. He is bred to enjoy a wet track and will be a big cost. The outside post is not ideal, but he’s sufficient tactical speed to be in the mix .
Handicapper Michael Dempsey will soon be covering the Triple Crown for OddsShark along with his full card reports with choices, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for important buys are available daily at turfnsport.com.
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