The favorites don’t win it all in horse racing, including at the Kentucky Derby. That is also why horses with longer odds than the top ones shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored by bettors looking to cash in at Churchill Downs. Omaha Beach, Game Winner, and Roadster are the most-discussed ponies heading into the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but one of the horses we have listed below could just pull the rug from underneath them. Read on for a breakdown of three sleepers we think have the potential to shock in the first leg of the Triple Crown.
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Sleeper Picks and Predictions for the 2019 Kentucky Derby
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky USA
When: May 4 2019, 6:50 PM ET
Lines: View all 2019 Kentucky Derby lines
Triple Crown Lines: Odds on a Triple Crown winner in 2019
TV Broadcast: NBC / NBC Sports
In the first race of his career, Tacitus had struggled for a bit, with a forgettable fourth-place finish at Belmont Park in October last year. It has been a very different story for the William I. Mott-trained horse, as Tacitus has been lights out since that race, racking up three victories in a row. He won at the Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2) last March, beating fellow Kentucky Derby entry Win Win Win, who finished third. Then Tacitus showed his deep tank when he topped the Wood Memorial (Grade 2) on April 6 on a 1 1/8-length track. Mott has plenty of success this year as a trainer, as his horses have 26 first-place finishes, 2o runner-up campaigns, and 23 third-place runs out of 152 starts. Handling Tacitus at the track is jockey Jose Ortiz from Puerto Rico, who has ridden 90 winners this season. Ortiz won the 2017 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey of the Year, the same year he led all jockeys in earnings for the second year in a row.
Long Range Toddy (+1400)
Whatever momentum Long Range Toddy got from his fantastic win at the Rebel Stakes (Grade 2) last March, it all fizzled in his following race. Long Range Toddy faded at the Arkansas Derby (Grade 1) on April 13, when he failed to place and notched just a sixth-place position at the end of the race. That seemingly forgettable performance by Long Range Toddy, however, only lessened the fanfare around him and increased the legitimacy of the claim that he’s a sleeper for this weekend’s race at Churchill Downs. It’s also interesting to note here that Long Range Toddy is going to be the 20th horse trained by Steven M. Asmussen to race at the Kentucky Derby – the most by any trainer in the history of the race that has yet to win the event. Asked about Long Range Toddy in the horse’s last workout at Churchill Downs before the 2019 Kentucky Derby, analyst Joe Kristufek had the following to say, per Jonathan Linter of Horse Racing Nation:
“Long Range Toddy last time was OK. I thought this was a little better. This has always been one of those horses where I’ve been in between whether or not I like him, I don’t like him, or somewhere stuck in the middle.”
By My Standards (+3000)
By My Standards’ hoofs could still be smoking weeks after his last race. See, the Allied Racing Stable-owned horse has been dominant in his last two races, winning both a maiden special weights race at Fair Grounds last February and at the Louisiana Derby (Grade 2), which was the colt’s first graded stakes race. By My Standards hasn’t finished lower than third place in five races since debuting at an MSW race at Churchill Downs last November. At +3000 to win the 2019 Kentucky Derby, By My Standards could be the horse to make the sleepers proud. He’s been garnering solid reviews of late, thanks to what he’s been showing in his workouts and preparations. Trainer Bret Calhoun is impressed with what By My Standards has shown in a recent pre-race work, via Horse Racing Nation:
“Well, that couldn’t have gone any better,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “It’s just a blessing how well he’s doing entering the Derby. He’s doing everything we’ve asked him to do and just moves so effortlessly around the racetrack.
Speaking of Calhoun, the horses he trained has won 39 times this year out of 176 starts.
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