Kentucky Derby 2019: Early Look at Favorites in the Field and Latest Vegas Odds

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2019

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  Justify #7, ridden by jockey Mike Smith leads the field to the finish line to win the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

There is still over a week to go until the 2019 Kentucky Derby, and the field of 20 that will run for glory at Churchill Downs has yet to be set.

However, there are a number of early front-runners in the betting.

Omaha Beach is sure to be well backed having won three races on the bounce, including the Arkansas Derby earlier this month:

Tacitus also goes into this year's Derby on a run of three victories that followed a fourth-placed finish on debut last year.

Meanwhile, trainer Bob Baffert will potentially be looking to Roadster to make it three Roses wins for him in five years after successes with Justify last year and American Pharoah in 2015.

Both those horses went on to win the Triple Crown after winning the Kentucky Derby.  

Here is a look at the early odds for the first leg of the Triple Crown, per


Omaha Beach 4-1

Game Winner 9-2

Improbable 5-1

Maximum Security 5-1

Roadster 5-1

Instagrand 7-1

Tacitus 8-1

Haikal 10-1

Long Range Toddy 12-1

Vekoma 12-1

Code Of Honor 16-1

Spinoff 20-1

War Of Will 20-1

Win Win Win 20-1

Cutting Humor 25-1

By My Standards 30-1

Plus Que Parfait 30-1

Owendale 35-1

Country House 40-1

Gray Magician 40-1

Master Fencer 40-1

Tax 40-1

Anothertwistafate 45-1

Bodexpress 60-1

Bourbon War 60-1

Signalman 60-1

Sueno 60-1


There are many factors that can make the difference when it comes to winning the Derby, and some are out of the hands of the trainers, jockeys and owners.

The weather can have a big impact, as can the post position draw, which takes place on Tuesday.

A starting position on the rail or the wide outside could scupper even the best horse's chances of winning arguably America's most prestigious race.

However, there are some key knowable components to look for when trying to pick a winner.

This year's field looks set to be open, but there are a number of contenders who look to be in perfect form.

Tacitus' most recent victory came at the Wood Memorial Stakes earlier this month over nine furlongs—the Derby is 10.

He prevailed over Tax, another Derby contender, despite enduring early traffic, a good sign given the 20-horse field at Churchill Downs can often lead to messy starts:

Tacitus' trainer, Bill Mott, has never had a Derby winner in eight attempts, but 2019 could be the year for the 65-year-old.

Omaha Beach has proved in recent wins that he is a stayer, which is always a crucial attribute in the Derby.

If it comes to a test of stamina down the stretch at Churchill Downs, the Richard Mandella-trained colt will be the one to back. 

Also in his favour is the fact he will be jockeyed by two-time Derby winner Mike Smith.

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 08:  Bob Baffert, trainer of Triple Crown and Belmont Stakes contender Justify, looks on after morning workouts prior to the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 8, 2018 in Elmont, New York.  (Photo by Michael Reav
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Roadster won the Santa Anita Derby back on April 6, a race whose winner has gone on to win in Kentucky three times in the last seven years.

Baffert knows what he is doing when it comes to winning at Churchill Downs. As well as Roadster, he should have two other contenders in the Derby field this year: Game Winner and Improbable.

That is a fine trio as the 66-year-old looks to add a sixth victory in the Run for the Roses to his estimable body of work. 


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