2019 Kentucky Derby Lineup, Odds, Predictions after Omaha Beach Favorite Scratched

Just a few days before Saturday’s race, morning-line favorite Omaha Beach has withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Richard Mandella said that “entrapped epiglottis” was found in the 3-year-old colt. Now with the former 4-1 favorite out of the race, who replaces Omaha Beach as the new favorite?

At 9-2 odds Game Winner becomes the Kentucky Derby Favorite. Many horse racing experts expect this to be the most wide-open Kentucky Derby in recent years. So is betting the favorite the right move? Let’s take a look at Game Winner and the rest of the field in the 2019 Kentucky Derby and find out for ourselves.

Kentucky Derby Betting Odds

Post PositionHorseCurrent OddsOpening Odds
1War of Will15-120-1
2Tax20-120-1
3By My Standards15-120-1
4Gray Magician50-150-1
5Improbable5-16-1
6Vekoma15-120-1
7Maximum Security8-110-1
8Tacitus8-110-1
9Plus One Parfait30-130-1
10Cutting Humor30-130-1
11Haikal30-130-1
12Omaha BeachSCRATCHED4-1
13Code of Honor12-115-1
14Win Win Win12-115-1
15Master Fencer50-150-1
16Game Winner9-25-1
17Roadster5-16-1
18Long Range Toddy30-130-1
19Spinoff30-130-1
20Country House30-130-1
21Bodexpress30-130-1

Odds by TVG

Analysis

1 War of WIll

Opening Odds: 20-1

Current Odds: 15-1

Trainer: Mark E. Casse

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

War of Will has won three of his last four races but is coming off of a disappointing ninth-place finish in his most recent race. With a preference to run on turf, War of Will may be a little out of his comfort zone in this race.

2 Tax

Opening Odds: 20-1

Current Odds: 20-1

Trainer: Danny Gargan

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Tax has placed first and second in his two races so far this year, including a win in the Withers Stakes. Tax’s potential is on the rise and could be a longshot to keep an eye on come Saturday.

 3 By My Standards

Opening Odds: 20-1

Current Odds: 15-1

Trainer: W. Bret Calhoun

Jockey: Gabriel Saez

By My Standards has been training up to the 145th Kentucky Derby off a 22-1 upset score in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds in late March. By My Standards makes for an interesting bet at 15-1.

4 Gray Magician

Opening Odds: 50-1

Current Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Peter Miller

Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke

Gray Magician has placed second at the UAE Derby Sponsored By Al Naboodah Group and fourth at the Sham Stakes in his two races this year. At 50-1 odds it is a safe bet to stay away from Gray Magician in this one.

5 Improbable

Opening Odds: 6-1

Current Odds: 5-1

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Baffert’s first of three horses in the Derby, Improbable placed second to Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby. With Omaha Beach no longer in the race, Improbable is certainly a horse to keep an eye on.

6 Vekoma

Opening Odds: 20-1

Current Odds: 15-1

Trainer: George Weaver

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Vekoma had a win in his first start, the Nashua S. and most recently the Blue Grass Stakes. His only non-winning placement was a third in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Don’t sleep on Vekoma.

7 Maximum Security

Opening Odds: 10-1

Current Odds: 8-1

Trainer: Jason Servis

Jockey: Luis Saez

Maximum Security is trained by Jason Servis, brother of John Servis who saddled the 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones. Maximum Security won the Florida Derby with ease back on March 30. 8-1 odds provide a solid value for a horse like Maximum Security that is certainly capable of winning this race.

8 Tacitus

Opening Odds: 10-1

Current Odds: 8-1

Trainer: William I. Mott

Jockey: Jose L. Ortiz

Tacitus finished first in the Kentucky Derby points standings with wins at the Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood Memorial. Tacitus is one of Bill Mott’s two horses (Country House). Tacitus is first in point standings for a reason and isn’t a bad bet at 8-1.

9 Plus Que Parfait

Opening Odds: 30-1

Current Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Brendan P. Walsh

Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.

Trainer Brendan Walsh will be saddling his first Kentucky Derby runner with Plus Que Parfait on Saturday. Coming off of a win at the UAE Derby Sponsored By Al Naboodah Group, Plus Que Parfait may be the best bet of any horse at 30-1 odds.

10 Cutting Humor

Opening Odds: 30-1

Current Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher

Jockey: Corey J. Lanerie

After a seventh-place finish at the Southwest Stakes in February, Cutting Humor followed up with a win at the Sunland Park Derby in March. Cutting Humor will have a hard time finding that kind of success against this field.

11 Haikal

Opening Odds: 30-1

Current Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Kiaran P. McLaughlin

Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

Haikal will be making his first start outside of New York‘s Aqueduct, where he has spent his 5-3-1-1 career thus far. Don’t expect Haikal to find the same kind of success at Churchill Downs.

13 Code of Honor

Opening Odds: 15-1

Current Odds: 12-1

Trainer: Claude R. McGaughey III

Jockey: John R. Velazquez

 Code of Honor finished third in the Florida Derby (G1) last out. A horse that runs well in distance races, Code of Honor is perhaps the best double-digit odds horse in the Derby.

14 Win Win WIn

Opening Odds: 15-1

Current Odds: 12-1

Trainer: Michael J. Trombetta

Jockey: Julian Pimentel

Win Win Win has placed second (Toyota Blue Grass Stakes) and third (Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby) in his last two races. This Florida horse should see himself in the middle of the pack for most of this race but isn’t a serious threat to finish first.

15 Master Fencer

Opening Odds: 50-1

Current Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda

Jockey: Julien R. Leparoux

 Master Fencer is the third horse based in Japan to run the Kentucky Derby, Ski Captain (14th in 1995) and Lani (ninth in 2016). Expect Master Fencer to finish towards the bottom of the pack in this one and save your money for a better option.

16 Game Winner

Opening Odds: 5-1

Current Odds: 9-2

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Joel Rosario

 It is no surprise that one of Bob Baffert’s three horses is the new favorite. Game Winner’s last two results were second-place finishes to Omaha Beach. 9-2 odds is a pretty good value for a favorite.

17 Roadster

Opening Odds: 6-1

Current Odds: 5-1

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Florent Geroux

The final Baffert horse, Roadster, won the Santa Anita Derby with a great final turn. Could this be the horse that gets Baffert his sixth Kentucky Derby victory? At 5-1 odds, it is certainly worth a bet.

18 Long Range Toddy

Opening Odds: 30-1

Current Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Steven M. Asmussen

Jockey: Jon Kenton Court

Long Range Toddy has won in the Clever Trevor and Springboard Mile Stakes, the latter of which is a Road to the Kentucky Derby prep-race. Long Range Toddy may be a rising star in horse racing and will be an interesting horse to watch come Saturday. 30-1 odds provide some nice value for this longshot.

19 Spinoff

Opening Odds: 30-1

Current Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher

Jockey: Manuel Franco

Spinoff is coming off of a second-place finish at the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby Stakes. Any horse trained by Todd Pletcher is a horse that can’t be counted out and is certainly capable of a high finish in Saturday’s race.

20 Country House

Opening Odds: 30-1

Current Odds: 30-1

Trainer: William I. Mott

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Bill Mott’s second horse in the Derby, Country House, has three Top 4 finished in its last three races dating back to mid-February. Although Country House probably won’t win on Saturday, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the lead pack heading into the final turn.

21 Bodexpress

Opening Odds: 30-1

Current Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Gustavo Delgado

Jockey: Chris Landeros

The late addition thanks to the scratch of Omaha Beach, Bodexpress is coming off of a second place at the Xpressbet Florida Derby, losing to Maximum Security. Bodexpress placed ahead of Code of Honor in that race, so the potential is there. As with Country House, Bodexpress could find itself in the lead pack towards the end of the race, although winning seems like an improbability.

Predictions

The last six Kentucky Derby Winners were all favorites, so the bulk of the money will be coming in on Game Winner, as it should with 9-2 odds. However, I look for Improbable to pick up the win in this year’s Kentucky Derby, with Game Winner finishing a close second.

Winner: Improbable

Best Longshot: Spinoff

 

Projected Top 10 Finishes:

 

1Improbable5-1
2Game Winner9-2
3Tacitus8-1
4Maximum Security8-1
5Code of Honor12-1
6By My Standards15-1
7Roadster5-1
8Win Win Win12-1
9Spinoff30-1
10Tax20-1

 

Calvin is a sports betting enthusiast that has been in the business for over 10 years. He has created successful betting formulas for seven different sports. way too serious Packers, Mets, and Avalanche fan that hates everything Pittsburgh, despite living there.

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