There’s nothing quite like the Kentucky Derby, and the 2019 edition of the biggest event in horse racing takes place on May 4 at Churchill Downs. Trainers from all over the country have emerged with their top thoroughbreds for the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. The list of 2019 Kentucky Derby contenders is led by Omaha Beach, who comes to Louisville on a three-race winning streak including a pair of stakes races against other top favorites. Omaha Beach and Roadster, who have both won three races in their careers, are 7-2 co-favorites in the latest 2019 Kentucky Derby odds. Another three-time race winner, the Bob Baffert-trained Improbable, is at 5-1, while undefeated Maximum Security is 6-1. Game Winner, who has never finished lower than second place in a race, is 7-1. With such a deep group of 2019 Kentucky Derby horses in the mix at Churchill Downs, a little expert advice can go a long way towards picking a winner. That’s why you’ll need to hear from longtime horse racing handicapper Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg before locking in your own 2019 Kentucky Derby picks and predictions.
A legendary prognosticator and current CBS Sports expert, Goldberg couldn’t have been more dead-on about the 2018 Kentucky Derby. He picked Justify to win, saying he excelled in the slop. The result: Justify sloshed to victory over Good Magic in the rain and mud by two-and-a-half lengths.
The reason Goldberg has been so successful: He goes straight to the source. Last year at the Kentucky Derby, for example, Goldberg chatted up Gary Young, who timed workouts in California and had watched Justify race. “Justify kept getting bigger and stronger,” Goldberg told SportsLine. “I also talked to Baffert’s camp. They know how to train a competitive horse. I knew Justify would win the Derby and Preakness.”
The year before, he chatted up Chad Brown, the trainer for Cloud Computing, before the Preakness. “He was training off the charts, was Chad’s top horse all year, and had a tough trip in the Wood Memorial,” Goldberg said. “Brown skipped him for the Kentucky Derby, rested him, and trained him up for the Preakness.” When Goldberg learned Javier Castellano was getting off Gunnevera to ride Cloud Computing, the Hammer pounced on the 14-1 longshot to win and put him on top of his exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets. The result: Cloud Computing beat Classic Empire in one of the most thrilling Triple Crown races ever.
Goldberg has gotten the 2019 season off to a strong start by nailing the winning horse in the Pegasus World Cup, the richest horse race in North America. He also nailed the exacta at the Gotham Stakes, Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby. Anyone who has followed Goldberg’s lead is way up.
Now with the Run for the Roses quickly approaching, Goldberg is releasing his 2019 Kentucky Derby picks over at SportsLine.
We can tell you Goldberg is high on Tacitus, a longshot at 14-1 Kentucky Derby odds. Tacitus led the field in Kentucky Derby qualifying points after graded stakes wins at the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial in his last two starts. He ended up with 150 qualifying points, 12.5 more than the race favorite, Omaha Beach.
Tacitus has arguably the most impressive pedigree of any horse in the field. He’s sired by Tapit, who has produced 116 graded stakes winners, and is the first foal out of Close Hatches, who won $2.7 million during her racing career. And Goldberg loved the fight he showed his last time out. “This is the horse that trainer Bill Mott says the longer he goes, the better he does,” Goldberg told SportsLine.
Another shocker: Goldberg is fading Improbable, one of the top favorites in the Kentucky Derby 2019 at 5-1. The Baffert-trained entrant won his first three races, but in both of his Kentucky Derby qualifying events, he took second. As a result, he finished just 11th on the 2019 Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 65 qualifying points, fewer than horses like Haikal (50-1 Kentucky Derby odds) and Code of Honor (18-1).
After taking second to Long Range Toddy at the Rebel Stakes, Improbable was second to Omaha Beach at the Arkansas Derby after getting off to a slow start. Goldberg isn’t confident that Improbable has the stamina or starting burst to keep pace in such a large, competitive field. “I don’t like Improbable at all for the Kentucky Derby 2019. I think he’s a miler,” Goldberg told SportsLine.
Goldberg is also all over a double-digit darkhorse to compete for a win in the 2019 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. This horse has all the tools to put together a complete run against the world’s top competition, and if this horse hits as Goldberg expects, you could be looking at a massive payout.
So what are Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg’s 2019 Kentucky Derby favorites and fades? And which huge underdog is a must-back? See the current 2019 Kentucky Derby odds below, then visit SportsLine now to see Goldberg’s picks for the Kentucky Derby, and find out.
Omaha Beach 7-2
Maximum Security 6-1
Game Winner 7-1
By My Standards 14-1
War of Will 16-1
Code of Honor 18-1
Win Win Win 25-1
Long Range Toddy 50-1
Cutting Humor 60-1
Country House 100-1
Gray Magician 100-1
Master Fencer 100-1
Plus Que Parfait 100-1