Three out of the five remaining Kentucky Derby prep races happen Saturday in three distinct paths throughout the country. With post times in just a half hour of each other, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and the Santa Anita Derby can help shape the Derby area.
All three races are a part of a live national broadcast on NBCSN from 4:30-6:30 p.m. CT..
Santa Anita Derby chances, analysis and picks The largest of the 3 competitions is the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby.
The Bob Baffert trainee, GAME WINNER, headlines a short field of six. He is the morning-line favorite at 4/5 chances and is most likely the best horse in the race, but his last outing was a tough one, since he was all out in a driveway for half-mile and could not get by Omaha Beach. This was his first race back on the trail after a 4??1/2-month layoff, and one could believe he received some great conditioning from that effort or that he's a little beat up and tired.
His main competition might be ROADSTER (5/2 chances ), who also hails from the Baffert barn. From the Del Mar Futurity, Roadster finished third, beaten just two lengths by Game Winner.
INSTAGRAND, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is your third choice on the morning line in 3/1. He will be looking to expand his sprinter's pace around two turns and the 1??1/8-mile distance. He appears to rebound from his first loss 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 newest and beat Omaha Beach in his previous start. Those 2 endings put him in the combination Saturday.
The area is rounded out by two long shots; SYNTHESIS (30/1), with just one win in nine races, and MORE ICE (30/1), who hasn't won on the dirt.
Game Winner is the only horse that has already secured enough points to move on into the Kentucky Derby. The rest of the horses would need to win run second to have a chance in reaching the gate at Churchill on May 4. This race awards points on a 100-40-20-10 basis to the top four finishers.
The Santa Anita Derby will be run as race No. 8 Saturday's Santa Anita card. Post time is 5:30 p.m. CT..
GAME WINNER 4/5: Should manager these
INSTAGRAND 3/1: Much better than his last ROADSTER 5/2: In fine shape Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland chances, analysis and selections The first Saturday of the Keeneland match 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 decision on the morning line, is coming off a third-place finish at the Fountain of Youth Stakes, where he conducted 2??3/4 lengths supporting Code of Honor. Vekoma was coming off a four-month layoff and should be tighter with this outing with that race under his belt.
The second choice at 7/2 is WIN WIN WIN, who's looking to rebound from a third-place end from the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9. He didn't appear to love two turns for the first time and has been flat in the street, but he ran a decent third. He conducted fairly wide during that race and might be set to get a much superior performance Saturday if put to the mix earlier.
SIGNALMAN (5/1) had a gorgeous autumn campaign but returned to the races from a three-month layoff to run a dismal seventh in the Fountain of Youth. He is a person who could improve his comeback race and should find some focus at the windows.
SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN (10/1) will probably be trying to prove he could run onto the dirt after notching wins in his two most recent outings on the synthetic and a previous turf score in Saratoga. His first start was about the dirt and it wasn't a good one; if you can forgive this first bad effort, he is a participant here.
DREAMAKER (12/1) comes off a gloomy 10th-place finish at the Tampa Bay Derby, but he'd get abandoned at the start and had a fairly rough trip then.
The remaining portion of the field is comprised of a lot of long shots: ADMIRE (15/1) broke his maiden in November and has done nothing since; SIR WINSTON (15/1) has never won on dirt; SO ALIVE (15/1) conducted a distant third in the Sam F. Davis; MARKET KING (20/1) ran third to Omaha Beach from the Rebel; LUCKY LEE (20/1) ran dead last in the Withers; PARSIMONY (20/1) has never won a race; AQUADINI (30/1) just struck his maiden in February and neglected since the favored in his final; MOONSTER (30/1) won his sole career race from eight starts way back in September 2018; and CHESS CHIEF (30/1) just struck his maiden last month after five starts.
The Blue Grass is race No. 10 on the Keeneland card, and post time is 5:23 p.m. CT..
WIN WIN WIN 7/2: Another chance VEKOMA 9/5: Stalking design fits well here
SIGNALMAN 5/1: Needs a fast pace
SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN 10/1: Could like this dirt
MARKET KING 20/1: Decent 3rd at The Rebel
Wood Memorial at Aqueduct chances, analysis and selections The Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial, the final prep race in New York, attracted a field of 11. Points will be given on a 100-40-20-10 point foundation to the top-four finishers, promising the winner and the runner-up a spot in the Kentucky Derby. Tacitus and Haiklal already have enough things to secure their place at Churchill Downs in May.
TACITUS (5/2) is your morning-line favored and can be two-for-three in his career -- including a nice win at the Tampa Bay Derby, where he overcome Outshine by 1??1/4 lengths. The blend of trainer 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 at the Gotham Stakes over this course. He's just a neck away from being a flawless four-for-four, all at Aqueduct, and he seems fairly tough Saturday.
TAX (9/2) was off because shooting the Withers Stakes within this course and distance on Feb. 2, when he held on by a head over Not That Brady. He looks primed for a good effort here and should be about the activity at the cable.
OUTSHINE (6/1) is coming from a fantastic runner-up finish to Tacitus from the Tampa Bay Derby on March 9, along with his recent workouts say he is 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 in the Limehouse Stakes before taking an allowance race last month. Two wins out of three starts rather than off the board says he warrants a look.
OVERDELIVER (20/1) is another who won his debut and proceeded immediately to the stakes amount, finishing second in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa, some 7??1/4 lengths supporting 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 last month and ended last. But he ran a good second to Tax, losing by only a mind in his previous outing at the Withers Stakes. Not That Brady isn't so bad. Live in a cost.
GRUMPS LITTLE TOTS (30/1) just struck his eponymous Feb. 18 within this course in his fourth effort. He would have to enhance a ton to be in the mix today.
MATH WIZARD (30/1) has two wins (by 18 lengths and 6??3/4 lengths) and a second-place end in his past three starts. Talented but overmatched.
JOEVIA (30/1) hasn't been outside of the exacta in three starts and ran a fantastic second to Haikal two races ago, losing by just a neck. This speedy 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 course TAX 9/2: A lot to enjoy TACITUS 5/2: Connections came to play with NOT THAT BRADY 20/1: Live and speedy long shot
FINAL JEOPARDY 8/1: Never off the plank JOEVIA 30/1: Quick and functioning well
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