We’re only less than a month away from the beginning of triple crown horse racing (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes), and it all begins with the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4.
This year’s field in the 2019 Kentucky Derby provides us with 26 beautiful horses, and the current odds have us ready for a thriller with no current favorite to win ‘The Greatest Two Minutes In Sports’ — instead, it’s a three-way tie between Roadster, Maximum Security and Game Winner, all with 6-1 odds. And not just that, but Tacitus doesn’t fall far behind with 8-1 odds.
Oh, the entertainment that awaits us.
ANALYSIS: Roadster has only been in four career races, but when you look at the results, it’s understandable why the colt is tied among the favorites to take the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Out of four races, Roadster has won three, and showed in another.
In his very first race in a Maiden Special Weights at Del Mar Racetrack (California), Roadster would come out of the gates as a winner. In his next race, also at Del Mar, the colt would score a third-place finish in the Del Mar Futurity – G1. A few months later, Roadster would venture onto his next course at Santa Anita Park, and in his debut at the track in the AlwOC, he would score another victory.
The very next month, he would race again at Santa Anita and would secure his third out of fourth victory — this coming in the Santa Anita Derby – G1. Going up against some stiff competition and winning three out of four, and showing in the other, you now see why Roadster is one of the most legitimate threats to take the Derby.
ANALYSIS: If we’re going by the undefeated record, Maximum Security would be the best favorite to ride with for the highest chance of a payout. In four career races, the 3-year-old has been a flat out a beast with nothing but wins on the resume.
In his first competition, the colt would get a first-place finish in a Maiden Claiming race at Gulfstream Park. A month later, Maximum Security would be back in action, and this time with another victory in an AlwOC race — also at Gulfstream. In another AlwOC race at Gulfstream, the colt would repeat that feat with yet another victory for a clean sweep 3-0 undefeated record. However, it didn’t end there. At the Florida Derby – G1 at Gulfstream Park last month, Maximum Security would get yet another win to put him at 4-0 for his career — a record that could be brought into and challenged in the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
ANALYSIS: Rounding out the three-way tie for the 6-1 odds favorite is Game Winner, a 3-year-old colt who has been in a total of six races in his career — winning four of them, and placing second. In his debut back in August 2018 at a Maiden Special Weights race at Del Mar Racetrack, Game Winner would come out right away with a victory, but there was no stoppage of glory there.
The next three races, the colt would steamroll. In the Del Mar Futurity – G1 at Del Mar just two weeks later, he would come out again on top, and less than a month later, another victory would occur — this time at another track at Santa Anita Park in the American Pharoah Stakes – G1. A fourth win in a row would take place while at Churchill Downs, and in the very prestigious Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – G1. The wins would stop there, but impressive placements would follow in Game Winner’s last two races. In the Rebel Stakes – G2 at Oaklawn Park, he would hold strong after a four-race win streak with a second place finish.
In his most recent race just days ago back on April 6, the colt would have another place in the Santa Anita Derby – G1 at Santa Anita. Not undefeated like Maximum Security, but just as dangerous.
ANALYSIS: In Tacitus’ four-race career, he would debut with back-to-back Maiden Special Weights races — one at Belmont Park, and the other at Aqueduct. At Belmont, it would be a bit of a bumpy start as a fourth-place finish would be the result in his very first race. In the next MSW at Aqueduct, that’s where Tacitus would strike to get his first-career victory. The colt would then follow up another two victories to close out his activity up until this point — one in the Tampa Bay Derby – G2 at Tampa Bay Downs, and the final in the Wood Memorial – G2 at Aqueduct. Three out of four, not bad.
And that’s exactly why his 8-1 odds aren’t far off from the 6-1 favorite. If there was no fourth-place finish on Tacitus’ resume, we could very well be looking at a four-way tie for first place. It just shows you how tight the 2019 Kentucky Derby is going to be.
ANALYSIS: Improbable’s odds debatably should be higher, but the reason for the 11-1 number might be due to the height of competition that he’s faced. Debuting in a Maiden Special Weights race at Santa Anita Park, Improbable would get a victory to begin a cling of wins to collect a three-race win streak.
The second would come in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs, and following that victory, the third straight would happen in the Los Alamitos Futurity – G1 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
In the Rebel Stakes – G2 at Oaklawn Park, Improbable would nearly obtain an undefeated record, but would instead take a second place finish to bring a stretch of three of four wins into the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Not too shabby.
ANALYSIS: It took a while for Omaha Beach to get a victory, but he would put up some top performances with top-three finishes in all five of his races — the first four would be Maiden Special Weights races. In the first MSW race at Del Mar Racetrack, he would put up a show while finishing in third place. About a month later at the MSW at Santa Anita Park, Omaha Beach would nearly get his first win but would fall just short for a second place result.
A few months later in his third-career race, he would fall short again for yet another place in another MSW at Santa Anita. And then, it happened. Omaha Beach’s final MSW, also at Santa Anita, would result in the first win for Omaha Beach. A month and a half later, he would rack up another victory after getting over the hump the race before — his final race, and victory, before the 2019 Kentucky Derby would be the Rebel Stakes – G2 at Oaklawn Park.
ANALYSIS: Vekoma had some great performances during his first four races of his career, including winning three of them. Starting out in his Maiden Special Weights race at Belmont Park, the 3-year-old colt would start out things great with a victory. A couple of months later, he would follow up with another win — this time in the Nashua – G3 at Aqueduct. After four months of inactivity, Vekoma would show a little rust showing for third place in the Fountain of Youth – G2 at Gulfstream Park.
The rust would be cleaned off a month later, however, in the Blue Grass Stakes – G2 at Keeneland. Another horse with three out of four on his resume, another horse who will battle for the 2019 Kentucky Derby crown.
ANALYSIS: Code of Honor’s debut, the Maiden Special Weights at Saratoga Race Course, would go perfectly with a first-place finish, but after that, things would get a little rocky. In his second-career race at the Champagne – G1 at Belmont Park, he would fall just short of a second straight victory after finishing second. Things would get a little more ‘ehh’ for Code of Honor in his third race in the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park. There, he would get a fourth-place finish to not win, place or show. Next up at the Fountain of Youth – G2 at Gulfstream, recovery would come with flying colors with a victory.
Another solid performance would happen almost a month later at Gulfstream as well, it would be a third-place finish in the Florida Derby – G1. As you see, he isn’t the biggest threat to win the Derby, and this is where the odds really start to get distant.
ANALYSIS: Out of four career races, Win Win Win would get just one ‘win’ here before the 2019 Kentucky Derby. In his debut race in the Heft at Laurel Park, the 3-year-old would nearly get the victory but would take second place. A month later, however, he would go ahead and seal up his first victory in the Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs.
Win Win Win wouldn’t repeat a victory after that, but he would have two more solid finishes before the Kentucky Derby. In the Tampa Bay Derby – G2 at Tampa Bay Downs, he would show for third place and would follow that up with improvement by finishing second in the Blue Grass Stakes – G2 at Keeneland. Not the most flashy numbers, but top-three finishes are all over his resume.
ANALYSIS: Out of five races so far in his career, Long Range Toddy has been splendid with top-three finishes in all of them, and this includes three victories. His first win would come in the Clever Trevor at Remington Park, which would also be the debut of his career. He would repeat that feat at the same track in his next race, this time in the Remington Springboard Mile.
Moving on to Oaklawn Park for the next three races, Long Range Toddy would get his start in the Smarty Jones Stakes where he would place a solid second. In the Southwest Stakes – G3 at Oaklawn, he would have another solid finish, though there was a little decline with a third-place finish. However, a rebound would happen in the final race at Oaklawn where he would get a win in the Rebel Stakes – G2. Three out of five, again, not bad.
ANALYSIS: Things would start out horribly for Anothertwistafate when he would nearly fall out of the Top 10 with a 9th place finish in his debut race at the Maiden Special Weights at Santa Anita Park. But he would respond with massive success with three straight first-place finishes. In his second race, another MSW at Golden Gate Fields, is where he would collect his first win. A month later in another stakes race at Golden Gate, he would grab another victory for his second straight.
His third straight win? You guessed it. That came at Golden Gate as well, this time in the El Camino Real Derby. In the Sunland Derby – G3 at Sunland Park, he would nearly get a fourth straight victory but would fall just short for still an impressive second-place finish. I bet his owner and trainer wish the Kentucky Derby was actually the Golden Gate Derby.
ANALYSIS: To explain Bourbon War’s 25-1 odds, he only pulled a win, place and show three out of five of his career races. In the very first, a Maiden Special Weights at Aqueduct Racetrack, he would pull in a victory. In the Remsen – G2 at Aqueduct, he would fall outside of the top three for a fourth-place finish. But a rebound would happen in the third race, where Bourbon War would pull in another win in the AlwOC at Gulfstream Park — the next two races were also located in Gulfstream. In the Fountain of Youth – G2, he would fall just short of a third-career victory after achieving a place.
However, in his final race before the 2019 Kentucky Derby, the Florida Derby – G1, he would fall outside of the top three for a fourth-place finish. Bourbon War and his team will have to step up the pace if they want any glory in this year’s two-minute slugfest.
ANALYSIS: War of Will would have a long slate of races with eight total, but there’s a bit of disappointment among his team with only three wins attached to his resume entering the 2019 Kentucky Derby. In his debut race, a Maiden Special Weights at Woodbine, he would start out good by getting a show in third place. In War of Will’s next race, the Summer – G1 also at Woodbine, he would place by finishing in second.
More disappointment would arrive when he would tally a fourth-place finish in the Bourbon – G3 at Keeneland. It would get a bit worse before it got better too: He would fall to a fifth-place finish in the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – G1 at Churchill Downs. But then, winning happened — three in a row.
In another MSW at another race at Churchill Downs, War of Will would get his first career victory. At Fair Grounds in the Lecomte – G3, he would tally another No. 1 finish for two-in-a-row. And last but not least, in another race at Fair Grounds, he would get his third straight victory — the Risen Star – G2. In his last race at Fair Grounds, and last race before the 2019 Kentucky Derby, he would once again almost fall out of the top 10 with a 9th place finish in the Louisiana Derby – G2. Needless to say, some work needs to be done before the big day on May 4.