Legendary trainer Bob Baffert guided Justify to wins in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes last year. It was his second Triple Crown in four years after American Pharoah accomplished the feat in 2015 and just the 13th time a horse had ever won all three races in the same year. On Saturday, Baffert will try to begin another Triple Crown bid at the 2019 Kentucky Derby with three talented horses who are all going off among the favorites. After Richard Mandella's Omaha Beach was scratched with an entrapped epiglottis, Baffert's Improbable is the overall 2019 Kentucky Derby favorite at 9-2, the same as Jason Servis' Maximum Security. Also high up on the odds board are Baffert's two other entrants, Game Winner and Roadster, who are listed at 6-1 and 9-1, respectively, in the current 2019 Kentucky Derby odds. Are three are viable 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders to capture a sixth Garland of Roses for Baffert, but they'll be challenged by an extremely deep field, with nine Kentucky Derby 2019 horses getting 20-1 odds or shorter. So before the horses go to post at 6:50 p.m. ET on Saturday at Churchill Downs, look at the 2019 Kentucky Derby picks from SportsLine guru Jody Demling.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling is coming off three impressive handicapping weekends. He hit the exacta, trifecta and superfecta in the Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes, winning $408.38 on a $38.40 investment. That came one week after nailing the exacta, trifecta and superfecta in the Arkansas Derby. And on April 6, he nailed the exacta and trifecta in the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass Stakes and Wood Memorial. He's excelled picking Kentucky Derby prep races and knows a winning horse when he sees one.
Those horse racing picks continued Demling's astonishing start to 2019, in which he also nailed the superfecta at the prestigious Pegasus World Cup -- a $678 payout on a $1 bet -- and the Robert B. Lewis Stakes.
Plus, he's hit nine of the last 10 Derby-Oaks doubles at Churchill Downs. That means he's held a ticket with the winners of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby all but one time in the last decade. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Demling has analyzed the entire 2019 Kentucky Derby lineup and released where he believes every horse will finish.
One shocker: We can tell you he says Roadster, one of the top 2019 Kentucky Derby favorites at 9-1, doesn't even crack the top five. The Bob Baffert horse will be coming out of the No. 16 post on Saturday, and that wide trip could be problematic for the three-year-old Santa Anita Derby winner.
In that Santa Anita Derby win, Roadster had an easy run on the inside where he was able to hang back eight lengths off the pace before swinging wide down the stretch to run down Game Winner, who ran the entire race from the outside. However, this time around, Roadster will be forced to make the longer run and could be forced into a more frantic early pace.
Demling has locked in his 2019 Kentucky Derby picks for Game Winner, among the favorites at 6-1. The Omaha Beach beach injury will move the Baffert-trained three-year-old inside one position, making the trip a little shorter from the 15th post for the 2019 Kentucky Derby favorite. That's an appealing setup for a horse who showed plenty of speed as an undefeated two-year-old and who finished second to Omaha Beach and Roadster in his last two runs.
Game Winner's connections have been staples of the Kentucky Derby. Jockey Joel Rosario will look to stalk the pace with Game Winner and won the garland of roses in 2013 with Orb. Game Winner's trainer, Baffert, already has five victories on the first Saturday in May and took down this race last year with Justify. Baffert has admittedly been bringing Game Winner along easily this season and the legendary trainer should have him in peak form as he locks into the gate for the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
Demling also has a strong read on Improbable, one of the co-favorites in the latest Kentucky Derby 2019 odds at 9-2. Of the three Bob Baffert horses running as favorites on Saturday, Improbable has the most appealing draw, running from the No. 6 post after Haikal and Omaha Beach were scratched. The three-year-old colt finished second to Omaha Beach in his last start at the Arkansas Derby, but that could wind up being the most important run of the five starts he's made during his career.
That's because Improbable ran in the slop at Oaklawn Park, but still posted one of the three Beyer Speed Figures of 100 or better recorded all year on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. With latest 2019 Kentucky Derby weather forecast calling for rain on Saturday, it could be another wet run. That previous experience in the slop may bode well, and Improbable could be the fastest horse in the field with Omaha Beach out.
Demling is revealing his exact finish positions for Game Winner, Improbable, and every other horse in the 2019 Kentucky Derby field. He is especially high on a monumental long shot who's heating up at just the right time. Find out who it is, and get his full 2019 Kentucky Derby picks, only at SportsLine.
So which horse wins the Kentucky Derby? Where do Game Winner and Improbable finish? And what massive long shot does Demling say contends? Visit SportsLine to see Demling's picks for the Kentucky Derby, and find out.