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DERBY 145
BETTING GUIDE Horses listed by program number.
Field of 19 will break from gate in posts 2-20.
1. WAR OF WILL
Why he can win: He had won three straight races and was considered a leading
Derby contender before suffering a patella muscle injury during the Louisiana
Derby and finishing ninth. Trainer Mark Casse is due some Derby luck after top
contender Classic Empire was jostled early and finished fourth two years ago.
Why he won’t: No matter the excuse, it’s hard to imagine the ninth-place
finisher from the Louisiana Derby coming back to win the Kentucky Derby. His
speed figures would need to take a big jump to compete with the best in this field.
Morning-line odds: 20-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Ninth in the Louisiana Derby on March 23 at Fair Grounds. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Running style: Up front early and could sprint to the lead Saturday. 2019 3 2 0 0 $370,000
Owner: Gary Barber. 2018 5 1 1 1 $131,569
Trainer: Mark Casse. Career 8 3 1 1 $501,569
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione.

2. TAX
Why he can win: He’s the only horse in the field to have Brisnet Speed Figures
over 100 in his last three races. And his pedigree – by Arch out of the Giant’s
Causeway mare Toll – suggests the 1 ¼-mile Derby distance won’t be a problem.
Why he won’t: He had every chance in the world to beat Tacitus in the Wood
Memorial and just couldn’t get it done. The water will be even deeper in the
Kentucky Derby.
Morning-line odds: 20-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Second in the Wood Memorial – 1 ¼ lengths behind Tacitus – Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
on April 6 at Aqueduct. 2019 2 1 1 0 $277,500
Running style: Near the lead early. 2018 3 1 1 1 $48,800
Owners: R.A. Hill Stable (Randy Hill), Reeves Thoroughbred Racing (Dean Career 5 2 2 1 $326,300
and Patti Reeves), Hugh Lynch & Corms Racing Stable (Lucas Stritsman).
Trainer: Danny Gargan.
Jockey: Junior Alvarado.

3. BY MY STANDARDS
Why he can win: He’s been in the money in all five career starts, and by all
accounts he’s been as impressive as any horse during workouts at Churchill
over the past couple of weeks.
Why he won’t: The “wise-guy” horse never actually wins the Derby, and he
seems to have gained that status. There are big questions about his pedigree
and ability to get the 1 ¼-mile distance.
Morning-line odds: 20-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Won the Louisiana derby by three-quarters of a length over Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Spinoff on March 23 at Fair Grounds. 2019 3 2 0 1 $630,310
Running style: Middle-of-the-pack presser. 2018 2 0 2 0 $23,400
Owner: Allied Racing Stable (Chester Thomas). Career 5 2 2 1 $653,710
Trainer: Bret Calhoun.
Jockey: Gabriel Saez.
4. GRAY MAGICIAN
Why he can win: He’s got some early speed, and his best chance may be
to pull a War Emblem and lead from start to finish.
Why he won’t: UAE Derby winners don’t win the Kentucky Derby, and
UAE Derby runners-up certainly don’t.
Morning-line odds: 50-1.
Last time out: Second in the UAE Derby – three-quarters of a length behind
Plus Que Parfait – on March 30 at Meydan.
Running style: Was more of a late runner earlier in his career but has been CAREER RECORD
forwardly placed more recently. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Owners: Wachtel Stable (Adam Wachtel), Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners 2019 4 0 2 0 $527,140
(Aron Wellman) & Gary Barber. 2018 4 1 1 2 $54,000
Trainer: Peter Miller. Career 8 1 3 2 $584,140
Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke.

5. IMPROBABLE
Why he can win: He has a win at Churchill and did it in impressive fashion,
taking the Street Sense by 7 ¼ lengths on Breeders’ Cup weekend. He came
straight to Churchill after the Arkansas Derby and seems to love the track.
Why he won’t: The ownership group of WinStar Farm, China Horse Club
and Starlight Racing won last year’s Derby with Justify. The last owner to
win back-to-back Derby was Penny Chenery and her Meadow Stable with
Riva Ridge (1972) and Secretariat (1973). CAREER RECORD
Morning-line odds: 6-1. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Last time out: Runner-up in the Arkansas Derby – a length behind 2019 2 0 2 0 $350,000
Omaha Beach – on April 13 at Oaklawn. 2018 3 3 0 0 $269,520
Running style: Has run from off the lead and stalked the pace, Career 5 3 2 0 $619,520
gaining ground late.
Owners: WinStar Farm (Kenny Troutt), China Horse Club (Ah Khing Teo)
& Starlight Racing (Jack Wolf, et al).
Trainer: Bob Baffert.
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

6. VEKOMA
Why he can win: He’s won at Belmont, Aqueduct and Keeneland, so the
track doesn’t seem to matter for this one. Trainer George Weaver is an
Atherton High School graduate, and a Derby victory would provide a
heck of a story at reunions.
Why he won’t: He’s won 3 of 4 career races, so maybe Vekoma’s unorthodox
running style is irrelevant. It’s just hard to imagine a horse who runs like that
winning the Kentucky Derby. CAREER RECORD
Morning-line odds: 20-1. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Last time out: Won the Blue Grass by 3 ½ lengths over Win Win Win on 2019 2 1 0 1 $637,600
April 6 at Keeneland. 2018 2 2 0 0 $151,250
Running style: He’s usually near the lead early. Career 4 3 0 1 $788,850
Owners: R.A. Hill Stable (Randy Hill) and Gatsas Stables (Mike Gatsas).
Trainer: George Weaver.
Jockey: Javier Castellano.
7. MAXIMUM SECURITY
Why he can win: He’s the only undefeated horse in the field and really
hasn’t been challenged in any of his four races, the closest margin being
3 ½ lengths in the Florida Derby. As oddsmaker Mike Battaglia said, it’s
possible this horse is a “freak.”
Why he won’t: His career debut was in a $16,000 claiming race, and trainer
Jason Servis hasn’t hidden the fact that Maximum Security wasn’t exactly
a standout horse early in his career. He got away with an easy lead in the
Florida Derby, and that won’t happen in the Run for the Roses. CAREER RECORD
Morning-line odds: 10-1. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Last time out: Won the Florida Derby by 3 ½ length over 2019 3 3 0 0 $638,600
Bodexpress on March 30 at Gulfstream Park. 2018 1 1 0 0 $10,800
Running style: Up front early. Career 4 4 0 0 $649,400
Owners: Gary and Mary West.
Trainer: Jason Servis.
Jockey: Luis Saez.

8. TACITUS
Why he can win: He’s won three straight races with improving speed figures
each time. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott is due to win his first Kentucky Derby,
and the gray Juddmonte Farms homebred may give Mott his best shot.
Why he won’t: With only four races under his belt, Tacitus is still a bit green
when compared to some of the other top Derby contenders. Given Justify’s
Triple Crown run last year, perhaps experience no longer means much on the
Derby trail. But it still would be nice to see a couple more races underneath him. CAREER RECORD
Morning-line odds: 10-1. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Last time out: Won the Wood Memorial by 2019 2 2 0 0 $610,000
1 ¼ lengths over Tax on April 6 at Aqueduct. 2018 2 1 0 0 $43,000
Running style: Not much speed from the gate. Likely in the middle Career 4 3 0 0 $653,000
of the pack or toward the back early in the race.
Owner: Juddmonte Farms (Prince Khalid Abdullah).
Trainer: Bill Mott.
Jockey: Jose Ortiz.

9. PLUS QUE PARFAIT


Why he can win: Maybe he didn’t like the Fair Grounds. Throw out those
two duds, and Plus Que Parfait has a solid 2-1-2 in five starts. That includes
a second and a third at Churchill Downs.
Why he won’t: The last two winners of the UAE Derby – Thunder Snow in 2017
and Mendelssohn in 2018 – finished last in the Kentucky Derby. Even trainer
Brendan Walsh admitted the travel to and from Dubai takes a toll on horses.
Morning-line odds: 30-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Won the UAE Derby by three-quarters of a length over Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Gray Magician on March 30 at Meydan. 2019 3 1 0 0 $1,504,000
Running style: Middle-of-the-pack presser who comes on late. 2018 4 1 1 2 $86,400
Owner: Imperial Racing (Michael Foley). Career 3 1 1 0 $1,590,400
Trainer: Brendan Walsh.
Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
10. CUTTING HUMOR
Why he can win: If you’re into the final-fractions theory, this is your horse.
In winning the Sunland Derby, his times for the final furlong and final three
furlongs were the fastest of any horse in the Kentucky Derby field.
Why he won’t: Mine That Bird is the only winner of the Sunland Derby to win
the Kentucky Derby and did so at 50-1 odds. Cutting Humor may be just as
big of a long shot.
Morning-line odds: 30-1.
Last time out: Won the Sunland Derby by a neck over Anothertwistafate CAREER RECORD
on March 24 at Sunland Park. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Running style: While not too far back, he has patiently tried to stalk the 2019 3 1 1 0 $471,267
pace and make a late charge. 2018 3 1 1 1 $45,700
Owner: Starlight Racing (Jack Wolf). Career 6 2 2 1 $516,967
Trainer: Todd Pletcher.
Jockey: Mike Smith.

13. CODE OF HONOR


Why he can win: Trainer Shug McGaughey doesn’t show up at the Derby
unless he thinks he has a solid chance to win, and he hasn’t had a Derby
horse since Orb’s victory in 2013. Sunday’s speedy workout (four furlongs
in 46.80 seconds) showed promise that Code of Honor could be closer to
the pace than he’s been in recent races.
Why he won’t: His career-best Brisnet Speed Figure of 95 is a cut below the
best horses in this field, and there are concerns that he’s just not fast enough CAREER RECORD
to be there at the end. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Morning-line odds: 15-1. 2019 3 1 0 0 $332,070
Last time out: Third in the Florida Derby – 6 ¾ lengths behind 2018 2 1 1 0 $146,750
Maximum Security – on March 30 at Gulfstream Park. Career 5 2 1 1 $478,820
Running style: Closer.
Owner: William Farish.
Trainer: Shug McGaughey.
Jockey: John Velazquez.

14. WIN WIN WIN


Why he can win: Sunday’s workout at Churchill, in which he chased down
Tacitus and Country House down the stretch, was impressive. He’s never
finished out of the money (3-2-1) in six career starts.
Why he won’t: He’s a closer, and there likely won’t be a hot pace in this Derby.
Morning-line odds: 15-1.
Last time out: Second in the Blue Grass – 3 ½ lengths behind
Vekoma – on April 6 at Keeneland. CAREER RECORD
Running style: Closer. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Owner: Live Oak Plantation (Charlotte Weber). 2019 3 1 1 1 $296,000
Trainer: Michael Trombetta. 2018 3 2 1 0 $71,300
Jockey: Julian Pimentel. Career 6 3 2 1 $363,300
15. MASTER FENCER
Why he can win: Because you believe in miracles?
Why he won’t: He’s the first horse to qualify via the Japan Road to the
Kentucky Derby. Only four horses foaled outside of the United State have
won the Derby, the last being Sunny’s Halo (Canada) in 1983.
Morning-line odds: 50-1.
Last time out: Ran second, losing by 1 1/2 lengths, in a 1 1/8-mile race
on March 31 in Nakayama, Japan.
Running style: Scouting info is limited, but he appears to be a versatile CAREER RECORD
horse who can run up front but doesn’t mind distance. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Owners: Katsumi and Yasuyo Yoshizawa. 2019 3 1 1 0 $157,970
Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda. 2018 3 1 1 0 $76,422
Jockey: Julien Leparoux. Career 6 2 2 0 $234,392

16. GAME WINNER


Why he can win: He still might be the most talented horse in the field, as he
enjoyed a dominant 2-year-old campaign that was capped by a victory in the
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill. Perhaps jockey Joel Rosario has learned a
thing or two from his two defeats earlier this year.
Why he won’t: Close losses to Omaha Beach in the Rebel and to Roadster in
the Santa Anita Derby are nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s possible Game
Winner has a lost a step since last year. Do you trust a horse in the Derby who CAREER RECORD
hasn’t won a race since November? Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Morning-line odds: 5-1. 2019 2 0 2 0 $350,000
Last time out: Second in the Santa Anita Derby – a half-length behind 2018 4 4 0 0 $1,496,000
Roadster – on April 6 at Santa Anita Park. Career 6 4 2 0 $1,846,000
Running style: Stalker.
Owner: Gary and Mary West.
Trainer: Bob Baffert.
Jockey: Joel Rosario.

17. ROADSTER
Why he can win: There was a time last summer that trainer Bob Baffert
believed Roadster was the best 2-year-old in his barn. Surgery fixed
the breathing issue that was discovered after his only loss, and the two
victories this year at Santa Anita have showed promise.
Why he won’t: He doesn’t have enough experience, and he lost Hall of Fame
jockey Mike Smith to Omaha Beach. The Santa Anita Derby set up perfectly,
with the early leaders wearing down each other and Roadster picking up the CAREER RECORD
pieces. The No. 17 post position is 0 for 40 in the Derby. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Morning-line odds: 6-1. 2019 2 2 0 0 $634,200
Last time out: Won the Santa Anita Derby by a half-length over Game 2018 2 1 0 1 $72,000
Winner on April 6 at Santa Anita Park. Career 4 3 0 1 $706,000
Running style: Near the pace early.
Owner: Speedway Stable (Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner).
Trainer: Bob Baffert.
Jockey: Florent Geroux.
18. LONG RANGE TODDY
Why he can win: He showed what’s he’s capable of in the Rebel, rallying to
beat Improbable by a neck and securing his spot in the Kentucky Derby.
Why he won’t: Granted he was on a sloppy track, but his 83 Brisnet Speed
Figure in the Arkansas Derby is the lowest last-race number of any horse in
the Kentucky Derby field.
Morning-line odds: 30-1.
Last time out: Sixth in the Arkansas Derby – 14 lengths behind Omaha Beach
– on April 13 at Oaklawn Park. CAREER RECORD
Running style: Middle of the pack. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Owner: Willis Horton Racing. 2019 4 1 1 1 $533,334
Trainer: Steve Asmussen. 2018 4 3 0 0 $321,125
Jockey: Jon Court. Career 8 4 1 1 $854,459

19. SPINOFF
Why he can win: He’s finished in the money in all of his races, and it’s
dangerous to simply throw out a Todd Pletcher trainee. He figures to be
near the front early and could have something left in the tank if the early
fractions aren’t too fast.
Why he won’t: He only has four career starts, and he lost Hall of Fame
jockey John Velazquez, who chose to ride Code of Honor instead.
Morning-line odds: 30-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Second in the Louisiana Derby – three-quarters of a length Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
behind By My Standards – on March 23 at Fair Grounds. 2019 2 1 1 0 $212,000
Running style: Up front early. 2018 2 1 0 1 $48,000
Owner: Wertheimer et Frere (Alain & Gerard Wertheimer) Career 4 2 1 1 $260,000
Trainer: Todd Pletcher.
Jockey: Manny Franco.

20. COUNTRY HOUSE


Why he can win: He may well be in 20th place entering the first turn, but
maybe everybody will tire in front of him and jockey Flavien Prat can work out
the perfect trip down the stretch.
Why he won’t: There doesn’t appear to be a lot of early speed in this race,
which doesn’t set up well for a horse like Country House who likes to come
from way off the pace. With just one career victory, it’s hard to make much of a
case for him. CAREER RECORD
Morning-line odds: 30-1. Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Last time out: Third in the Arkansas Derby – 6 ¾ lengths behind 2019 4 1 1 1 $245,800
Omaha Beach – on April 13 at Oaklawn Park. 2018 2 0 1 0 $14,375
Running style: Closer. Career 4 3 0 1 $260,175
Owners: J.V. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden Jr. & LNJ Foxwoods
(Larry, Nanci and Jaime Roth).
Trainer: Bill Mott.
Jockey: Flavien Prat.
AE-21. BODEXPRESS
Why he can win: It’s the 100th anniversary of Sir Barton’s victory as a
maiden, so why not Bodexpress? He does have some early speed, so he
should be up close early, despite the outside post position.
Why he won’t: Of the last eight maidens to run in the Kentucky Derby,
only one has even finished in the top 10 (Nationalore was ninth in 1998).
Brokers Tip (1933) was the last of three maidens to win the race.
Morning-line odds: 30-1. CAREER RECORD
Last time out: Second in the Florida Derby – 3 1/2 lengths behind Year Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
Maximum Security – on March 30 at Gulfstream Park. 2019 3 0 2 0 $199,150
Running style: Near the pace early. 2018 2 0 1 0 $9,550
Owners: Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbred and GDS Racing Stable. Career 5 0 3 0 $208,700
Trainer: Gustavo Delgado.
Jockey: Chris Landeros.