Get ready for the Kentucky Derby by betting on Saturday’s Kentucky Derby prep races at BookMaker. The Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby all take place on Saturday and can be seen on NBCSN. The Wood Memorial has a field of 11 horses with Tacitus listed as the morning line favorite. Tacitus is the son of Tapit who won this race 15 years ago. Let’s look at the race and Wood Memorial Picks.
Wood Memorial Odds and Post Position
1 Tax 9-2
2 Tacitus 5-2
3 Hoffa's Union 6-1
4 Haikal 7-2
5 Final Jeopardy 8-1
6 Overdeliver 20-1
7 Not That Brady 20-1
8 Grumps Little Tots 30-1
9 Math Wizard 30-1
10 Outshine 6-1
11 Joevia 30-1
Six horses are listed at single-digit odds with Tacitus the favorite at odds of 5-2. Tacitus is coming off a win in the Tampa Bay Derby, as he finished just in front of Outshine. The competition on Saturday should be a little tougher, so the odds of 5-2 may be too low. His connections believe the horse is maturing at the right time. “I saw him in December and did not see him again until February and thought he'd made a big step forward, growing into his frame. Bill seems very happy with where he is.” Garrett O’Rourke, manager of Juddmonte’s American breeding operation said, “He is a big horse that still has a lot of growing to do, so the improvement is potentially there for him as he matures. If he gets beaten (in the Wood), then he needs an excuse or some bad luck to go on to the Derby. Otherwise, we'll regroup, but we're hoping that is not going to be the case."
Haikal is the second choice in the betting odds and the horse has already qualified for the Kentucky Derby. His connections want to see if he can handle two turns before deciding on whether to enter him in the Derby. “The only question is the two turns, but we feel like it’ll be no problem. Hopefully he won’t be as far back as he was last time,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said to the media, “He could be in the middle of the pack or last, but he won’t be 15 lengths off the pace like last time.”
Tax is coming off a win in the Withers, but it was not an impressive win, as the horse just barely got past Not That Brady. He will have to improve if he is to win on Saturday, but trainer Danny Gargan said the horse is training well. “He’s training tremendous; he looks good. We’re just hoping we get a clean trip,” trainer Danny Gargan said to the media, “He’s a nice horse and we’re just hoping we can run top-three, so we can go to the Derby.”
Hoffa’s Union and Outshine are listed at 6-1. Hoffa’s Union has new connections after winning at Laurel in February, as Mark Casse takes over as the trainer. Trainer Todd Pletcher has Outshine and Overdeliver in this race on Saturday. “We’re excited about stretching him out to a mile and an eighth,” said Pletcher to the media about Outshine. “We’ve been pointing to the Wood since the Tampa Bay Derby and we’re optimistic from what we’re seeing.”
There is not a great choice in this race at double-digit odds, but perhaps Joevia can hit the board. The horse was second to Haikal in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes in February.
Wood Memorial Picks
I don’t think there is much value in taking any of the top choices in this race, as it is hard to know which of these horses is going to show up with a big effort. If I was going to take one of the favorites I would go with Haikal at odds of 7-2, but I think there is more value on Outshine at odds of 6-1. The horse is trained by Pletcher and he gets John Velazquez in the irons. I will go with Outshine as my top choice in this race.
Check out the latest horse racing odds at BookMaker.eu.