2019 Kentucky Derby Preps: Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes, Santa Anita Derby

2019 Kentucky Derby Preps: Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes, Santa Anita Derby

Written by on April 3, 2019

The biggest day for Kentucky Derby prep racing happens this Saturday on April 6. Over at Aqueduct, they run the Wood Memorial while at Santa Anita the best on the West Coast will try to secure Kentucky Derby points in the Santa Anita Derby. Over at Keeneland in Kentucky, they run the Blue Grass Stakes. Check out the 2019 Kentucky Derby betting odds, then read an analysis and free picks for this Saturday’s three Derby prep races!

2019 Kentucky Derby Preps: Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes, Santa Anita Derby

  • When: Saturday, April 6
  • Where: Aqueduct Racetrack, Keeneland Racetrack, Santa Anita Park

Aqueduct Racetrack – Wood Memorial

** Probable Entries
  • Not That Brady
  • Grumps Little Tots
  • Joevia
  • Overdriver
  • Final Jeopardy
  • Tacitus
  • Outshine
  • Haikal
  • Tax

The 2019 Wood Memorial should have a low-odds favorite in Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby winner Tacitus. The Bill Mott trainee broke his maiden and then won the Tampa Bay Derby after closing along the rail. But, the Tampa Bay Derby set up for Tacitus after he got to close chasing a 45 half-mile and got a dream trip up the rail while the race favorite went wide.

Tax got to go up the rail in his last win, the Grade 3 Withers, while Haikal got the benefit of a blistering pace to chase, like Tacitus did, when winning the Gotham Stakes. All three chalks are plays against for the win money.

The horse that makes sense and should offer odds is Final Jeopardy. Trainer Jason Service pulled a fast one with undefeated Maximum Security in last week’s Florida Derby. He could do the same with the son of Street Sense who finished third in the Limehouse Stakes before stretching out and winning a one-mile allowance in his last. Final Jeopardy gets the nod in a competitive race.

Wood Memorial Betting Pick: Final Jeopardy

Keenland Racetrack – Blue Grass Stakes

** Probable Entries
  • Moonster
  • Chase the Ghost
  • Chess Chief
  • Ankeny
  • Admire
  • Lucky Lee
  • Sir Winston
  • Our Braintrust
  • Hoffa’s Union
  • Market King
  • So Alive
  • Win Win Win
  • Dream Maker
  • Somelikeithotbrown
  • Vekoma
  • Signalman

Vekoma, Signalman, Our Braintrust, and Somelikeithotbrown figure to attract the most win money. All four, especially Signalman, could be tough in this. But, like always, the Blue Grass Stakes is a close to impossible race to handicap.

Three-year-olds get really good this time of the year. One horse entered in the Blue Grass that could get really good on Saturday is the D. Wayne Lukas trained Market King. The Into Mischief sired colt rushed out to the lead in the Rebel Stakes in his last. Omaha Beach and Game Winner swallowed him up, but he fought hard along the rail to lock down third place.

If he runs off easier fractions in the Blue Grass Stakes, he could take these gate-to-wire. If D. Wayne wants him to rate, it looks like he can do that as well. Market King should also offer a great price even though Omaha Beach or Game Winner would be odds-on in this.

Bluegrass Stakes Pick: Market King

Santa Anita Park – Santa Anita Derby

** Probable Entries
  • Sparky Ville
  • Extra Hope
  • Synthesis
  • Game Winner
  • Instagrand
  • Nolo Contesto
  • Roadster

Bob Baffert’s got a couple in here with two-year-old champion Game Winner and the improving Roadster. Game Winner couldn’t get by Omaha Beach in the Rebel Stakes. He most definitely will be on his toes on Saturday and although he will go off even money or maybe even 4/5, Game Winner deserves much respect.

Roadster beat Nolo Contesto in an allowance race in his last. He’s grown up a lot both physically and mentally since last year. He might be peaking at the right time and before Game Winner beat him in the Del Mar Futurity, many thought he was Baffert’s top three-year-old prospect.

Although Roadster did fight entering the gate in the allowance race win, he didn’t fight jockey Mike Smith along the backstretch, impressively relaxing and taking back before allowing Smith to glide him to the outside where he cruised to the lead, took over, and sped off. Roadster will also offer much better odds in the Santa Anita Derby than either Game Winner or Instagrand. Back Roadster to cash.

Santa Anita Derby Betting Pick: Roadster