It has become a wide open race atop the Kentucky Derby odds with favorite Omaha Beach getting scratched due to concerns over an ongoing throat ailment. With Omaha Beach out of the picture a trio of Bob Baffert colts now dominate, with Game Winner joining Roadster as +350 favorites atop the Kentucky Derby odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Game Winner enjoyed an outstanding start to his career in 2018, posting wins in each of his first four outings including three graded stakes race victories, but has struggled of late, recording second-place finishes in his past two outings going into the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
With 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Joel Rosario as his mount, Game Winner finished second to Roadster at the Santa Anita Derby, and also turned in a second-place performance behind Omaha Beach at the Rebel Stakes.
Triple Crown-winning jockey Mike E. Smith rode Roadster to victory at Santa Anita, and was expected to be aboard the Northern Dancer descendant at this weekend’s Run for the Roses. However, following his victory at Santa Anita, Smith elected to switch his ride to Omaha Beach, with Florent Geroux taking over as Roadster’s mount.
Improbable is the other Baffert-trained colt at the top of the Kentucky Derby odds, sitting third at +500. With current earnings leader Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, Improbable claimed victory in his first three races before suffering a stunning upset at the Rebel Stakes, where he finished second to Long Range Toddy.
However, Improbable looked to be in familiar form at the Arkansas Derby, where he came up just short in a thrilling head-to-head duel with race winner Omaha Beach.
Further down the 2019 Kentucky Derby odds at online betting sites, Tacitus sits fourth with +600 odds, just ahead of undefeated Maximum Security at +700, while two-time Kentucky Derby winner John Velazquez will be aboard Code of Honor, who lags at +1000.
Mounted by 2018 Kentucky Derby second-place finisher Jose Ortiz, Tacitus is coming off wins in the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial, while Maximum Security remained perfect with a solid win in the Florida Derby and has now reached the winner’s circle in all four of his career races.
Velazquez previously claimed the Garland of Roses aboard Animal Kingdom in 2011 and Always Dreaming in 2017. However, he will not be the lone rider with multiple Kentucky Derby wins in this year’s race following the late breaking news that Smith will take over as the jockey for Cutting Humor.
The Todd Pletcher-trained colt is coming off a win at the Sunland Derby, but even with Smith aboard, Cutting Humor continues to lag at +2500 odds to win the Kentucky Derby.
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