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Kentucky Derby Excitement Building at the Downs

April 30, 2019 3:54 PM | Sports

By Scott Taylor

Omaha Beach Horse

This year’s Kentucky Derby favourite, Omaha Beach. (ASSINIBOIA DOWNS)

If you’re up for a little fun before going out on Saturday night, try having a bite and a bet at Winnipeg’s Assiniboia Downs.

After all, Saturday at 5:50 p.m. CDT, it will be post time for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby and nothing is better than enjoying a meal, a cold beverage and a big wager on the most iconic event in horse racing.

Last year, the magnificent Justify electrified the sport, winning not only the Run for the Roses, but also the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes to lay claim to the third Triple Crown title in the last five years.

This year, racing fans wonder of this year’s Derby favourite Omaha Beach (4-1) has what it takes to win the three biggest three-year-old races in the sport.

There have been a total of 13 Triple Crown winners in history, beginning with Sir Barton in 1919 and including legendary thoroughbreds such as Secretariat (1973), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).

This year, Omaha Beach (4-1) has had the most impressive run to Churchill Downs, with wins over fellow favourites in the latest 2019 Kentucky Derby odds such as Improbable (5-1) and Game Winner (7-1). Trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Omaha Beach is the son of War Front and is coming off a win in the Arkansas Derby.


If you’re looking for a longshot, look closely at War of Will at 20-1. Before an injury at the Louisiana Derby where War of Will limped home ninth, he won three straight races from December through February and beat Derby contenders Plus Que Parfait (30-1) and Country House (30-1). Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, War of Will should pay good value if he comes home in the money.

I like Omaha Beach to win it all with Improbable second and Game Winner third. My long shot at 10-1 is the William Mott-trained Tacitus.

Here are the post positions, trainers, jockeys and odds for the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.

The 2019 Kentucky Derby

Post/Horse (Trainer/Jockey) Odds

1. War of Will (Mark Casse/Tyler Gaffalione) 20/1
2. Tax (Danny Gargen/Junior Alvarado) 20/1
3. By My Standards (W. Bret Calhoun/Gabriel Saez) 20/1
4. Gray Magician (Peter Miller/Drayden Van Dyke) 50/1
5. Improbable (Bob Baffert/Irad Ortiz Jr.) 6/1
6. Vekoma (George Weaver/Javier Castellano) 20/1
7. Maximum Security (Jason Servis/Luis Saez) 10/1
8. Tacitus (William Mott/Jose Ortiz) 10/1
9. Plus Que Parfait (Brendan Walsh/Ricardo Santana Jr.) 30/1
10. Cutting Humor (Todd Pletcher/Corey Lanerie) 30/1
11. Haikal (Kiaran McLaughlin/Rajiv Maragh) 30/1
12. Omaha Beach (Richard Mandella/Mike Smith) 4/1
13. Code of Honor (Claude McGaughey III/John Velasquez) 15/1
14. Win Win Win (Michael Trombetta/Julian Pimentel) 15/1
15. Master Fencer (Koichi Tsunoda/Julien Leparoux) 50/1
16. Game Winner (Bob Baffert/Joel Rosario) 5/1
17. Roadster (Bob Baffert/Florent Geroux) 6/1
18. Long Range Toddy (Steve Asmussen/Jon Court) 30/1
19. Spinoff (Todd Pletcher/Manny Franco) 30/1
20. Country House (William Mott/Flavien Prat) 30/1

Bodexpress (Gustavo Delgado/Chris Landeros) 30/1
Note: Bodexpress could draw into the field if any horse is scratched before Friday at 9 a.m. ET.

Don’t forget, you can watch and wager on the Derby at Assiniboia Downs. A Derby glass will be given away to the first 100 to ask at the desk at the track, starting at 10 a.m. There will be draws for Kentucky Derby merchandise that will take place during the day plus, you can win $100 in wagering vouchers by predicting who will finish first and last in the Derby. There will also be glass giveaways and merchandise draws at all OTB locations as well.

Saturday is Derby Day. We’ll see you at the Downs.