Kentucky Derby Saturday May 4, 2019By Abbas J | 02-May-2019
The complexion of the 2019 Kentucky Derby changed dramatically on Wednesday when the morning-line favorite, Omaha Beach, scratched with an entrapped epiglottis. It was a shocking development just days before the most prestigious horse race in the world and the first leg of the sport's Triple Crown. With Omaha Beach out, the top three favorites in the current 2019 Kentucky Derby odds are all trained by Bob Baffert: Game Winner, who is now the overall 2019 Kentucky Derby favorite at 9-2, Improbable (5-1) and Roadster (5-1). A win by any of the three would give Baffert his sixth Kentucky Derby win, which would tie the record by a trainer that's currently held by Ben Jones. Baffert trained Justify and American Pharoah, the last two Triple Crown winners, and has become one of the most recognizable faces in horse racing. The entire 2019 Kentucky Derby lineup will head to the starting gates for a 6:46 p.m. ET post time on Saturday from Churchill Downs. With such a talented 2019 Kentucky Derby field and a major shakeup following the Omaha Beach injury, you'll want to hear what SportsLine's Jody Demling has to say. He'll help you make the optimal 2019 Kentucky Derby picks.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling comes into the Kentucky Derby 2019 on a mind-blowing streak: He has hit the Derby-Oaks double at Churchill Downs nine of the last ten years. That means he held a ticket with the winners of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks nine times in the last decade.
The Derby is just part of a highly successful betting career for Demling, who also nailed his ninth Preakness winner in 14 years at Pimlico last May. He followed that up by predicting Justify's groundbreaking victory in the Belmont Stakes, as well as calling the winners of the Haskell Invitational, Pennsylvania Derby and Lecomte Stakes, just to name a few. He also hit last year's Arkansas Derby and Louisiana Derby.
Demling absolutely crushed this year's Pegasus World Cup, nailing the superfecta for a $678 payout on a $1 bet. He also hit the superfecta at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and picked the winner of the Risen Star Stakes in February, War of Will. He also hit the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta at this year's Arkansas Derby, the final Kentucky Derby prep race. Anyone who has followed him is up huge.
Now, with the 2019 Kentucky Derby lineup set, Demling is sharing his picks at SportsLine. We can tell you he wants no part of Roadster, one of the top Vegas favorites at 5-1 Kentucky Derby odds. In fact, he says Roadster doesn't even crack the top five.
Though the Bob Baffert trainee is coming off a gutty half-length win in the Santa Anita Derby over stablemate Game Winner, Roadster ran 38 feet less than Game Winner, who was wide on both turns. On Tuesday, Roadster drew post No. 17 for the Derby, which could lead to a much wider trip than the one he had at Santa Anita. That could spell danger for anyone choosing to pay the 6-1 premium he's commanding.
In addition, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith passed on the opportunity to ride Roadster in the Kentucky Derby 2019 to jump on Omaha Beach. Smith will be replaced by Florent Geroux, who will be riding Roadster for the first time.
Instead, Demling is high on War of Will, a long shot at 15-1 Kentucky Derby odds. The Mark Casse trainee won the Lecomte and Risen Star Stakes to start the year and stamped himself as one of the top 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders. A physical ailment led to a ninth-place flop in the Louisiana Derby, but Casse says the colt has put that issue behind him. His training at Churchill Downs has seemed to confirm Casse's statements, as War of Will has turned in three straight workouts that were the fastest of any of the 2019 Kentucky Derby horses.
In addition, with the 2019 Kentucky Derby weather forecast calling for rain on Saturday, the track could become sloppy, just as it was last year when Justify outran Good Magic. Not only is War of Will a perfect 1-for-1 on the slop, but the rail at Churchill Downs is the preferred part of the track for those conditions. Leaving from the No. 1 post, War of Will is almost certain to be on the rail and could benefit from Mother Nature's fury.
Demling is especially high on a monumental long shot that would net any backer a colossal windfall. Demling is sharing which horse it is, along with his entire projected leaderboard, over at SportsLine.
Which horse wins the Kentucky Derby? And what huge long shot does Demling say contends? Check out the latest Kentucky Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Demling's picks for the Kentucky Derby.
Game Winner - 9-2
Roadster - 5-1
Improbable - 5-1
Maximum Security - 8-1
Tacitus - 8-1
Code of Honor - 12-1
Win Win Win - 12-1
War of Will - 15-1
By My Standards - 15-1
Tax - 20-1
Vekoma - 15-1
Plus Que Parfait - 30-1
Cutting Humor - 30-1
Haikal - 30-1
Long Range Toddy - 30-1
Spinoff - 30-1
Country House - 30-1
Bodexpress - 30-1
Gray Magician - 50-1
Master Fencer - 50-1