Three out of the five remaining Kentucky Derby prep races happen Saturday at three different paths throughout the country. With post times in just a half an hour of each other, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and the Santa Anita Derby will help shape the Derby area.
All 3 races are part of a live national broadcast on NBCSN from 4:30-6:30 p.m. CT..
Santa Anita Derby chances, analysis and selections The biggest of the three contests is that the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby.
The Bob Baffert trainee, GAME WINNER, headlines a brief area of six. He’s the morning-line favored at 4/5 odds and is most likely the best horse in the race, but his last outing was a tough one, as he had been out in a drive for half-mile and couldn’t get by Omaha Beach. That was his first race on the track following a 4??1/2-month layoff, plus one could believe he obtained some great conditioning from that effort or he’s a bit beat up and tired.
His main competition may be ROADSTER (5/2 chances ), who hails from the Baffert barn. In the Del Mar Futurity, Roadster finished third, beaten just two spans by Game Winner.
INSTAGRAND, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is the third option on the morning line at 3/1. He will want to extend his sprinter’s speed around two turns and the 1??1/8-mile space. He appears to rebound from his first reduction at the Gotham Stakes after winning his first two races by ten spans apiece.
NOLO CONTESTO (6/1) ran second to Roadster after bobbling at the rest in his latest and conquer Omaha Beach in his previous start. Those two endings place him in the combination Saturday.
The field is rounded out by two long shots; SYNTHESIS (30/1), with one win in nine races, and MORE ICE (30/1), who hasn’t won on the dirt.
Game Winner is the only horse which has secured enough points to proceed to the Kentucky Derby. All other horses would have to win or run next to have a chance at reaching the gate at Churchill on May 4. This race awards points onto a 100-40-20-10 foundation to the top four finishers.
The Santa Anita Derby is going to be run as race No. 8 Saturday’s Santa Anita card. Post time is 5:30 p.m. CT..
GAME WINNER 4/5: Should boss these
INSTAGRAND 3/1: Much better than his past ROADSTER 5/2: In nice shape Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland chances, analysis and picks The first Saturday of the Keeneland meet is highlighted by the 95th running of the Grade 2, $1 million Blue Grass Stakes, to be run at 1??1/8 miles. It seems to be an open affair one of the best several favorites in a field of 14.
VEKOMA, the 9/5 choice on the morning line, is coming from a third-place finish in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, where he ran 2??3/4 lengths behind Code of Honor. Vekoma was coming off a four-month layoff and should be tighter with this outing with this particular race under his belt.
The second choice at 7/2 is WIN WIN WIN, who’s seeking to rally from a third-place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9. He did not seem to appreciate two ends to the first time and has been flat in the lane, but he ran a good third. He ran fairly wide throughout that race and may be place for a far better performance Saturday if placed to the mix earlier.
SIGNALMAN (5/1) had a beautiful fall campaign but returned to the races out of a three-month layoff to conduct a dismal seventh in the Fountain of Youth. He is a person who could improve his comeback race and ought to find some focus at the windows.
SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN (10/1) will be trying to prove he could run onto the dirt after notching wins in his two most recent outings on the synthetic and a preceding turf score in Saratoga. His initial start was about the dirt and it wasn’t a great one; if you can forgive that first poor attempt, he is a player here.
DREAMAKER (12/1) comes off a gloomy 10th-place end in the Tampa Bay Derby, but he did get abandoned at the start and had a pretty rough trip after that.
The rest of the area is comprised of a bunch of long shots: ADMIRE (15/1) broke his maiden in November and has done nothing since; SIR WINSTON (15/1) hasn’t won on dirt; SO ALIVE (15/1) conducted a distant third at the Sam F. Davis; MARKET KING (20/1) ran third to Omaha Beach in the Rebel; LUCKY LEE (20/1) ran dead last in the Withers; PARSIMONY (20/1) hasn’t won a race; AQUADINI (30/1) simply broke his maiden in February and failed as the favored in his last; MOONSTER (30/1) won his only career race from eight starts way back in September 2018; and CHESS CHIEF (30/1) just struck his maiden last month following five starts.
The Blue Grass is race No. 10 on the Keeneland card, and place time is 5:23 p.m. CT..
WIN WIN WIN 7/2: Another Opportunity VEKOMA 9/5: Stalking style fits well here
SIGNALMAN 5/1: Needs a fast pace
SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN 10/1: Could like this dirt
MARKET KING 20/1: Decent 3rd in The Rebel
Wood Memorial at Aqueduct odds, analysis and picks The Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial, the final prep race in New York, drew a field of 11. Points will be given on a 100-40-20-10 point basis to the top-four finishers, guaranteeing the winner and the runner-up a spot in the Kentucky Derby. Tacitus and Haiklal have enough points to secure their spot at Churchill Downs in May.
TACITUS (5/2) is your morning-line favored and can be two-for-three in his profession — such as a nice win at the Tampa Bay Derby, where he beat Outshine by 1??1/4 lengths. The blend of coach Bill Mott and jockey Jose Ortiz will get some activity on the tote board.
HAIKAL (7/2) comes into this contest on a three-race win streak, including a win in the Gotham Stakes within this program. He’s only a neck from being a flawless four-for-four, all at Aqueduct, and he looks pretty tough Saturday.
TAX (9/2) was away because shooting the Withers Stakes within this route and space on Feb. 2, when he held on by a head over Not That Brady. He looks primed for a good attempt here and should be about the activity at the cable.
OUTSHINE (6/1) is coming from a good runner-up finish to Tacitus in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9, and his current workouts state he’s in great shape.
HOFFA’S UNION (6/1) has won his only start, a maiden event at Laurel by 15 lengths. Not sure he is good enough to compete here.
FINAL JEOPARDY (8/1) broke his maiden in his first outing and then ran third at the Limehouse Stakes before shooting an allowance race a month. Two wins out of three starts rather than off the board says that he deserves a look.
OVERDELIVER (20/1) is just another who won his debut and proceeded immediately to the bets level, finishing second from the Pasco Stakes at Tampa, some 7??1/4 lengths behind Win Win Win. However, with only two career races and being a route, I will pass.
NOT THAT BRADY (20/1) tanked in the Gotham past month and ended last. However he ran a fantastic second to Tax, losing by only a head in his previous outing in the Withers Stakes. Not That Brady is not that bad. Live at a price.
GRUMPS LITTLE TOTS (30/1) simply broke his eponymous Feb. 18 within this course in his fourth effort. He would need to improve a ton to be in the mix now.
MATH WIZARD (30/1) includes two wins (by 18 lengths and 6??3/4 lengths) and a second-place finish in his past three starts. Talented but overmatched.
JOEVIA (30/1) has never been outside of the exacta in three starts and ran a fantastic moment to Haikal two races ago, losing by just a neck. This quick colt will be forwardly placed and may stick around for a piece.
The Wood Memorial is race No. 10 on the Aqueduct card with a post time of 5 p.m. CT..
HAIKAL 7/2: Loves this Program TAX 9/2: A lot to enjoy TACITUS 5/2: Connections arrived to play with NOT THAT BRADY 20/1: Live and speedy long shot
FINAL JEOPARDY 8/1: Never off the board JOEVIA 30/1: Speedy and functioning well
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