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Tacitus

Belmont Stakes 151 – Field, Odds, Preview, Selections & Best Bets

POST POSITION HORSE ODDS
1 Joevia 30/1
2 Everfast 12/1
3 Master Fencer 8/1
4 Tax 15/1
5 Bourbon War 12/1
6 Spinoff 15/1
7 Sir Winston 12/1
8 Intrepid Heart 10/1
9 War of Will 2/1
10 Tacitus 9/5

RACE SUMMARY

  • Taprit in 2017 was the last horse to get beaten in the Kentucky Derby, skip the Preakness and come in and win the Triple Crown 3rd leg the Belmont Stakes. 4 of the 10 starters in 2019 are looking to win the Belmont off a similar form profile; TACITUS, MASTER FENCER, TAX & SPINOFF.
  • Tonalist in 2014 was the last horse to win the Belmont Stakes fresh after skipping both the Derby & Preakness. JOEVIA, SIR WINSTON & INTREPID HEART fit those same criteria having been specifically targeted at the Belmont.
  • Preakness winner and Kentucky Derby hard luck story, WAR OF WILL is looking to become the 1st horse since Afleet Alex in 2005 to run in all 3 legs of the Triple Crown & complete the Preakness Stakes / Belmont Stakes double after tasting defeat in the Derby.
  • That leaves EVERFAST & BOURBON WAR. They’ve got to defy the most significant history if they’re to win the 2019 Belmont Stakes. They skipped the Derby & were beaten in the Preakness. Not in over 2 decades, since Touch Gold in 1997, has a horse profiled in such a manner in the lead-up and gone on the win the Belmont.

No more needs to be said about the controversy that unfolded in the Kentucky Derby surrounding War of Will and Maximum Security. But it could certainly argued that if not for the severe check on the turn at Churchill Downs, War of Will could be going for the Triple Crown this weekend. He faces a stiffer test here up to the mile and a half trip (2400m) and having drawn out as opposed to the Derby and Preakness, wherein both races he drew post 1 and got a cosy run just in behind the speed on both occasions. Having said that it is only a small field of 10 runners and he does have good tactical gate speed so he should be able to find himself getting a similarly cushy run again here in the Belmont if speed maps play out according to plan. Judging by his Preakness win where he was very strong through the line, he shouldn’t have any trouble staying the mile and 1/2, he looks a dour type who doesn’t have an explosive turn of foot but rather just keeps on grinding away at a solid clip. I think the trip will suit. He’s my clear top pick to win the 151st Belmont Stakes. I think he’s much underrated, I know it’s a big IF, but again I’ll say it, if not for being Skittled by Maximum Security in the Derby, we could be talking another Triple Crown in 2019 and he’d be starting 1/2 ($1.50), not 2/1 ($3.00).

Tacitus the early favourite ran on well in the Derby. But I wasn’t enthralled with the effort. He does have the freshness War of Will win be lacking but does he have Waar of Will’s tenacity?

Next best Bourbon War coming fresh into the Belmont since an average Florida Derby run was he was a beaten favourite behind Maximum Security, but that form does stack right up so a win certainly wouldn’t shock.

TIPS

1. 9-War of Will @ 2/1

2. 10-Tacitus @ 9/5

3. 5-Bourbon War @ 12/1

2019 Kentucky Derby: Runner by Runner Preview, Horse Odds, Tips, Selections and Best Bets

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2019 KENTUCKY DERBY ODDS

Morning Line Odds + Current Odds 1:40PM (KENTUCKY TIME)

 

1 War of Will

Morning Line Odds:

20-1

Current Odds:

17-1

2 Tax

Morning Line Odds:

20-1

Current Odds:

35-1

3 By My Standards

Morning Line Odds:

20-1

Current Odds:

16-1

4 Gray Magician

Morning Line Odds:

50-1

Current Odds:

30-1

5 Improbable

Morning Line Odds:

6-1

Current Odds:

5-1

6 Vekoma

Morning Line Odds:

20-1

Current Odds:

21-1

7 Maximum Security

Morning Line Odds:

10-1

Current Odds:

9-2

8 Tacitus

Morning Line Odds:

10-1

Current Odds:

5-1

9 Plus Que Parfait

Morning Line Odds:

30-1

Current Odds:

55-1

10 Cutting Humor

Morning Line Odds:

30-1

Current Odds:

24-1

11 Haikal 30-1 SCR

12 Omaha Beach 4-1 SCR

13 Code of Honor

Morning Line Odds:

15-1

Current Odds:

13-1

14 Win Win Win

Morning Line Odds:

15-1

Current Odds:

14-1

15 Master Fencer (JPN)

Morning Line Odds:

50-1

Current Odds:

53-1

16 Game Winner

Morning Line Odds:

5-1

Current Odds:

6-1

17 Roadster

Morning Line Odds:

6-1

Current Odds:

10-1

18 Long Range Toddy

Morning Line Odds:

30-1

Current Odds:

50-1

19 Spinoff

Morning Line Odds:

30-1

Current Odds:

49-1

20 Country House

Morning Line Odds:

30-1

Current Odds:

61-1

21 Bodexpress

Morning Line Odds:

30-1

Current Odds:

90-1

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War Of Will (1)

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(trainer: Mark Casse owner: Gary Barber)
Not so many horses go well from gate 1 in this race so Mark Casse’s colt has it all to do, especially as one not fully proven at Grade 1 level.

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Tax (2)

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(trainer: Danny Gargan owner: RA Hill Stable & Reeves Racing)
Just behind Tacitus in the Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct, which was expected, and it’s unsure how much improvement we can expect but he is a son of Arch whose progeny tend to progress well.

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By My Standards (3)

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(trainer: Bret Calhoun owner: Allied Racing Stable)
The surprise winner of the Louisiana Derby back in March, Bret Calhoun’s runner is drawn in gate 3 and could run into trouble early in the race but as an inexperienced horse, he could improve significantly.

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Gray Magician (4)

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(trainer: Peter Miller owner: Wachtel Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred & Gary Barber)
Ran behind Plus Que Parfait over in Dubai, a race that doesn’t inspire too much, and before that, he had been beaten enough times in lower grade races to suggest this race is too hot.

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Improbable (5)

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(trainer: Bob Baffert owner: Win Star Farm, China Horse Club & Starlight Racing) 
Bob Baffert’s star has been beaten twice this season, but both in hot prep races and the son of City Zip is, of course, a Grade 1 winner already.

He got home nicely last season over a mile and battled to the line when beaten by Omaha Beach (now scratched due to an entrapped epiglottis) in the Arkansas Derby, but six furlongs to a mile run right through his pedigree so staying this mile-and-a-quarter distance after battling from gate 5 to get a good early position may not show him to very best effect.

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Vekoma (6)

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(trainer: George Weaver owner: RA Hill Stable & Gatsas Stables)
Although beaten in the Fountain of Youth by Code Of Honor, this horse has continued to progress throughout his early career and was striding home beautifully when winning the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

The progeny of Candy Ride has so far shown lots of speed but the sire himself was a very good Grade 1 winner over this distance and so there is plenty of hope that he can last home. Another improved showing would give Javier Castellano’s mount a great chance.

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Maximum Security (7)

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(trainer: Jason Servis owner: Gary & Mary West)
Having made all the running to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby and braking from gate 7, Jason Servis’ runner has an obvious chance in this race but some say he got the run of the race back at Gulfstream and he cannot have things his own way in this event.

Code Of Honor didn’t perform that day and neither did favourite Hidden Scroll, but this son of a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner could do no more and he remains a chief contender for the crown.

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Tacitus (8)

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(trainer: Bill Mott owner: Juddmonte Farms)
The top points scorer in the Road to the Kentucky Derby has been the only horse to have won two major preps, Bill Mott’s son of record-breaking sire Tapit has been given a good gate position and is one of few colts who seems sure to improve on the day.

Jose Ortiz should be able to get a good toe in behind the leaders and will have enough in hand for the stretch run too to give himself a major chance of the win.

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Plus Que Parfait (9)

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(trainer: Brendan Walsh owner: Imperial Racing)
Winner of the UAE Derby over in Dubai, he is here on merit but his overall profile is one of a colt who is somewhat behind many of the other contenders in the race.

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Cutting Humor (10)

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(trainer: Todd Pletcher owner: Starlight Racing)
Despite winning the Sunland Park Derby back in March, it’s hard to see Todd Pletcher’s colt getting involved in the finish here.

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Haikal (11)

(trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin owner: Shadwell Stable)

SCRATCHED

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Code Of Honor (13)

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(trainer: Claude McGaughey owner: WS Farish)
Having won an unsatisfactory renewal of the Fountain of Youth and finished third in the Florida Derby, it’s fair to say he is not the main contender from that part of the country and will need to improve a lot to hit the board here.

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Win Win Win (14)

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(trainer: Michael Trombetta owner: Live Oak Plantation)
Having run behind Tacitus and Vekoma in prep races this year, it’s hard to believe he can get around this field from gate 14 fast enough to take the honours.

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Master Fencer (15)

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(trainer: Koichi Tsunoda owner: Katsumi Yoshizawa)
Japan would love to win this race, especially for breeding purposes, but this horse simply doesn’t look good enough and his gate position doesn’t help matters.

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Game Winner (16)

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(trainer: Bob Baffert owner: Gary & Mary West)
With 4 wins (including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) and two seconds to his name, Bob Baffert’s money-spinning colt remains a leading contender but it’s unsure whether he can hit the Grade 1 heights he hit last year and from gate 16 he has his work cut out for him under Joel Rosario.

He did have to race wide last time also though and perhaps should have beaten Roadster in the Santa Anita Derby so he is not without a chance, especially after Omaha Beach’s withdrawal.

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Roadster (17)

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(trainer: Bob Baffert owner: Speedway Stable)
Just when Game Winner and Improbable looked like disappointing him, Bob Baffert unearths another star and this son of Quality Road won the Santa Anita Derby last time in the style of a horse who will appreciate this extra eighth of a mile.

Let’s not forget that he was favourite to beat Game Winner in the Del Mar Futurity last year and certainly has more to offer, his wide gate being the only negative about him as we go into the weekend.

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Long Range Toddy (18)

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(trainer: Steve Asmussen owner: Willis Horton Racing)
This is the colt who beat Improbable in a division of the Rebel Stakes of course, but he disappointed in the Arkansas Derby and has to break from gate 18.

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Spinoff (19)

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(trainer: Todd Pletcher owner: Wertheimer & Frere)
He was a good second in the Louisiana Derby but he would be uncertain to turn around the form with By My Standards and he is drawn very wide.

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Country House (20)

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(trainer: Bill Mott owner: Mrs JV Shields Jnr, EJM McFadden Jr & LNJ Foxwoods)
Bill Mott’s runner has some solid form, but having run consistently behind many Derby contenders this year there is no real reason he should improve past them now from gate 20.

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Bodexpress (21)

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(trainer: Gustavo Delgado owner: Top Racing, Global Thoroughbreds & GDS Racing)
Drafted in at the 11th hour after the defection of favourite Omaha Beach, the Florida Derby runner-up needs to improve somewhat and has to make do with gate 20.

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THE KING’S 

2019

KENTUCKY DERBY SELECTIONS

WKR - GET YOUR TIPS FROM THE KING

1. (15) GAME WINNER 6-1

2. (7) MAXIMUM SECURITY 9-2

3. (8) TACITUS 5-1

4. (17) ROADSTER 10-1

5. (10) CUTTING HUMOUR 24-1

6. (6) VEKOMA 21-1

 

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SUGGESTED BETS:

1. (15) GAME WINNER 6-1 — 8 units win

2. (7) MAXIMUM SECURITY 9-2 — 6 units win

3. (8) TACITUS 5-1 — 4 units each way

4. (17) ROADSTER 10-1 — 3 units each way

 

 

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