2019 Kentucky Derby: Choosing the Best Picks Among Top Contenders

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 2, 2019

Roadster is seen during morning training at Churchill Downs Thursday, May 2, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 4. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Unlike previous years in which there was a clear-cut favorite, the 2019 Kentucky Derby field has more of a wide-open feel to it. 

With pre-race favorite Omaha Beach scratched from the race, there are five horses with odds of 10-1 or less ahead of Saturday's race at Churchill Downs. 

Three of the favored horses are trained by Bob Baffert, who has won two of the last four Kentucky Derby races with American Pharoah and Justify. 

The Baffert-trained horses and the other two favorites are expected to receive the bulk of the spotlight ahead of the first leg of the Triple Crown, and there is a good chance one of the quintet wins the race. 

                

Kentucky Derby Odds

                       

Best Picks Among Top Contenders

Roadster

Roadster is one of the three Baffert-trained horses with low odds for Saturday's race. 

The horse starting from post position No. 16 should have an edge over Game Winner because he won the last head-to-head meeting between the two at the Santa Anita Derby in April. 

Roadster took first in his final Kentucky Derby tune-up, while Game Winner finished in second in the six-horse race. 

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The co-favorite from the outside post positions will have some work to do to get in front of the pack since there is more effort required to get involved in the competition from the outside. 

But once Roadster settles in, he should be in good shape with experienced jockey Florent Geroux aboard. 

Geroux's recent success at Churchill Downs from his 2018 Kentucky Oaks win with Monomoy Girl could be an X-factor during the final lengths of the race for Roadster. 

                       

Tacitus 

Tacitus is one of the two non-Baffert horses with low odds. Maximum Security is the other. 

Although the three Baffert-trained horses will have plenty of backing, Tacitus might deserve the most attention from bettors given his recent results. 

Tacitus won the Wood Memorial and Tampa Bay Derby in the buildup to the Kentucky Derby, and he has a decent starting position in post No. 8. 

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

The horse trained by William I. Mott also carries a slight edge in jockey experience, as Jose Ortiz has a win in a Triple Crown race from the 2017 Belmont Stakes. 

Unless a surge in wagers comes in between now and Saturday afternoon, Tacitus is likely to remain around the 8-1 or 10-1 range. 

If that is the case, you will not be able to make an argument against betting on Tacitus to finish high because of the value he presents and how well he has run in 2019. 

                      

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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