By: Ricky Fuller
May 3, 2019
A day out, and it looks as if we will be having our third straight wet Kentucky Derby. The models are matching up, along with meteorologists agreeing – We will be getting wet. The morning has a one-hundred percent chance of rain, while the afternoon has a little bit of difference when it will taper off. Either way, we are looking at wet conditions.
When it comes to handicapping wet conditions, there are factors that can be used. There is a Wet Track Figure listed on the racing forms for most horses. Usually you will see it with a WET (###). The higher the number, the better the horse is expected to perform on a wet track. Now don’t put all of your money into these numbers as nearly half of the horses in the Derby field have never raced on a wet track. Also, something I heard long ago, and has stuck with me. When running a race, a horse will pick up nearly an extra 20 lbs in mud weight. Shockingly, close to 10 lbs of this is found in the horses tail. If you happen to catch the pre-race parade, look for horses that have their tail braided, or even better, a bun! It will keep the horse lighter for the last stretch when most of these horses have exhausted themselves.
Besides the weather, we found out that another scratch is official. This comes just two days after the favorite, Omaha Beach scratched and had Bodexpress join the field. The 11, Haikal, has scratched due to an abscess that formed in one of his front hooves. The horse was not at 100%, thus they scratched. This means that we now have 19 horses that will be running tomorrow afternoon.
This is important: After Omaha Beach scratched, all of the horses higher than 12 position shifted one gate to their left. With Haikal scratching, all of the horses lower than 11 position have shifted one position to their right. This means that War of Will will come out of the 2nd gate, and there will be no horse in gate 1. This favors War of Will not being pushed into the rail as much. We now have War of Will from post 2 all the way through the lineup to Bodexpress from post 20.
A couple of notes on just some of the horses. You can see my full analysis on my previous post. Wet tracks
War of Will workouts are looking incredible and he broke his maiden at Churchill on a sloppy track by five lengths. Factor in he will be coming from post 2 as well. I really like this horse.
Tax does not have any experience and could be a wild card to complete an exotic.
By My Standards has a fan club from experts in the field. I’m not really sure why. He was beaten twice in wet conditions and it was not close. Still avoiding this horse, as I don’t see the allure.
Gray Magician is still a toss. One race not hitting the board won’t cut it on Saturday.
Improbable is still a top choice for me. Came second to Omaha by a length in the slop.
Vekoma has only ran on fast tracks. The eggbeater motion will be weighed down with mud and I’m not going to take my chance with him. First time wet starter with a weird run style is forcing me away, however on a dry track I thought his 15/1 was intriguing.
Maximum Security is still interesting. He has one muddy track win. Also to factor in, it is the only race he didn’t set the pace, and came from behind to win by 6 and a half lengths. He’s also unbeaten and has the fastest speed figures. Leaving him off your ticket could be careless.
Tacitus is an absolute monster and possibly my favorite horse in the group. One issue – He hasn’t had to run in wet conditions. Mud in his face, coming from behind. Not sure how it plays out but as my favorite, I will use him.
Plus Que Parfait has ran second in a Grade 2 Stakes race at Churchill Downs in the slop. Moves the meter a little, but this horse has never proven anything besides having the perfect trip in Dubai to earn his derby points.
Cutting Humor, even getting Mike Smith, does nothing for me. Horse may look a little less loss with him up top, but there’s little skill and only a second-place effort in his only slop race.
Code of Honor has some lines that say he should do well in wet conditions. But it is untested. He draws a question mark from me if he will even hit the board. Id say no better than 3rd.
Win Win Win is officially my “long shot”. Bloodlines of this horse can be traced to Smarty Jones, which was the winner on a sloppy track of the 2004 Kentucky Derby. While Win3 is relatively untested on wet conditions, I can’t overlook these connections.
Master Fencer is still on my AVOID list. I want nothing to do with this horse, and I may retire altogether if this horse factors into winning combinations.
Game Winner, while having the new Morning Line favorite odds, doesn’t do much for me here. Untested in wet weather, this California horse is going to be in for a surprise. I do think he runs out wide, as he has done this year before, and avoids a lot of the mud from getting in his face. I do think this horse is one of the best in the field, so he is a must use.
Roadster, like Game Winner, hasn’t experienced this type of weather yet either. However, this horse has been nothing but great after his surgery. Only fools will not bet on Roadster to be there near the end.
Long Range Toddy ran 6th in the Arkansas Derby on a sloppy track. Too far on the outside, plus a bad trip in the slop. Can’t see this horse being there.
I didn’t like Spinoff before, and I still don’t like him now. Hasn’t had to face these conditions either.
Country House did a little better in the Arkansas Derby on a sloppy track by coming in 3rd to Omaha Beach and Improbable. I think starting in the 19th position will be too taxing on this horse, but if I were to take a longer shot to factor – I would probably use this horse as filler.
Bodexpress will come out of the 20th post and did have one start on slop. This is normally a speed horse and both post and conditions are against this horse. Toss.
How I will be tackling the updated odds and conditions:
Place $25 – Improbable, Tacitus, Win Win Win & War of Will ($100 total)
Trifecta $0.50 – 1,5,7,8,14/1,5,7,8,14,16,17/1,2,5,7,8,13,14,16,17 ($105.00 total)*
*with this trifecta, it should pay MASSIVELY. It may be okay to use 16 and 17 to win too.
Doing that on the same ticket puts the price to $147.00. The previous 6 Derbys have had the
betting favorite win. Alternatively, you can also add either an “all” to your 3rd place to really
covered. With a wide open race and sloppy conditions, anything can happen. Good luck and have fun!
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