SNIDER: Kentucky Derby now wide open

Rick Snider
May 03, 2019 - 8:52 am

The Kentucky Derby looked a cinch for Omaha Beach before breathing problems caused the colt to be withdrawn. Suddenly, it’s a wide-open race on Saturday complicated by expected rain that should have bettors looking past favorites for a pricey payoff.

You’re looking for long shots and mudders, pricey payoffs and four-figure triples. We’re talking Jordans and Jimmy Choo money.

By My Standards (15-1) will win the first leg of the Triple Crown over runner-up Maximum Security (8-1) with Win Win Win (12-1) third and favorite Game Winner (9-2) fourth. (That's 3-7-14-16 for those without a racing form handy.)

There are two ways to typically win the Derby. Either be a speedball that steals it early or stalk slightly off the leaders and pass the tired field in the final eighth mile.

This field has several early speedsters like Vekoma that have a puncher’s chance of never looking back. But, it’s supposed to rain throughout Saturday and Vekoma and company don’t have the overall speed to hold off a superior field. They’ll burn each other out by the final turn.

And then here comes the field. By My Standards has improved every race and comes off a Louisiana Derby victory. He’s probably fourth entering the final turn and swings wide like every race in his five-outing career. The key is not getting blocked by a tiring horse so look for By My Standards to come late.

Maximum Security is 4-0, but the only signature win was the Florida Derby and the times weren’t sensational. He may lead with one-sixteenth of a mile remaining before surrendering, but good enough to include in your triples. The colt has won once over a muddy track.

Win Win Win won twice at Laurel Park under trainer Michael Trombetta and jockey Julian Pimentel before mixed results in Kentucky. He has hit the board in all six races, so use the colt in your triples.

Game Winner took his first four races, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but was a close second in both 2019 starts. A Southern California runner accustomed to hard tracks will get bogged down in the Louisville mud to prevent a late kick. He may be the best horse, but not on Saturday.

Want a real long shot for a lottery-like payoff? Long Range Toddy is 30-1 and has occasionally pulled an upset. Throw $2 on him for fun.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks


Rick Snider joined The Sports Junkies Friday (34:00) to handicap the 145th Kentucky Derby.