Horse Racing Odds - 2019 Kentucky Derby Picks

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The Run for the Roses took an interesting turn when pre-race favorite Omaha Beach was scratched earlier this week. The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby was expected to be one of the closer races in recent memory and things just tightened up a bit more.

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Bob Baffert-trained Game Winner moved to the top of the odds board by default at +521 with four other horses listed with odds of +900 or lower. The betting favorite has won the last five Kentucky Derby races, but that streak could be in jeopardy with both Tacitus and Roadster at +625 and Improbable at +675 all having the chops to escape victorious.

2019 Kentucky Derby

Date and Time: Saturday, May 4, 2019, 6:50 p.m. ET

Location: Churchill Downs, Lexington, KY

Kentucky Derby TV Coverage: NBC

Odds to win 2019 Kentucky Derby

Game Winner +521

Tacitus +625

Roadster +625

Improbable +675

Maximum Security +887

War of Will +1622

By My Standards +1622

Code of Honor +1625

Tax +2062

Vekoma +2263

Win Win Win +2263

Spinoff +2566

Haikal +4050

Cutting Humor +4227

Gray Magician +4550

Long Range Toddy +4550

Country House +5250

Plus Que Parfait +6050

Master Fencer +6550

There is no dominant horse among the field like Justify, who claimed the Kentucky Derby last year on his way to the Triple Crown. Trained by Baffert, Justify was easily the pick to win the Run for the Roses, and Baffert is at it again with three horses entered and all of them at the top of the odds list.

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Game Winner rose to the top of the board despite losing his last two races. He went undefeated as a two-year-old, capping his season at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs for his third G1 win. Placing in his last two starts didn’t scare oddsmakers. Game Winner was a half-length behind stablemate Roadster in the G1 Santa Anita Derby and finished a nose behind Omaha Beach at the Rebel Stakes.

Baffert has other horses in the race with Roadster possibly the best of the trio. The colt emerged as a Derby favorite by beating Game Winner at Santa Anita, his third win in four career starts. And he’s jumped back on the scene after being silent for some time due to injury.

Roadster is known as a strong finisher but he will be without the only jockey ever to ride him. Hall of Famer Mike Smith chose to mount Omaha Beach with Baffert going to Florent Geroux.

Leading the Kentucky Derby points race is a nice talking point and that brings us to Tacitus, who is getting plenty of love from some horse racing experts. He amassed 150 points following back-to-back wins in the Wood Memorial and Tampa Bay Derby. And he gives trainer Bill Mott a strong chance of picking up his first Derby win. Sired by the legendary Tapit, Tacitus will attempt to become the first Wood Memorial winner to take first at the Kentucky Derby since 2000.

Baffert’s third entry is Improbable, who finished second in both his 2019 starts. The colt came up a length shy of Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby and was a neck behind Long Range Toddy in the Rebel Stakes. A perfect record as a two-year-old, including a five-length spread at the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity put him on the radar early. Improbable also gets a favorable post running out of the fifth stall.

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There are a few longshots that stand out in the field. By My Standards is a smooth galloping colt that hasn’t been affected by longer distances in his races. Also, Long Range Toddy is offered at a good price after a disappointing finish in the Arkansas Derby. However, he had a Derby spot locked up and was uncomfortable in the slop. That race should actually prepare him for Saturday, and with odds of +4550 he’s worth dropping a few bucks.

Kentucky Derby Prediction: 1) Tacitus 2) Game Winner 3) Maximum Security

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