Game Winner Odds: 2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Series

The 2018 champion juvenile Game Winner had a perfect season, winning all four of his starts capped off by winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita. Here’s a look at the Game Winner odds for the Run for the Roses.

By the time December rolled around the Bob Baffert trainee was a solid +800 early betting favorite on the Kentucky Derby odds, a good five months before the first Saturday of May.

Now just weeks before the Run for the Roses the colt’s price has dropped to +700, good for second choice in early betting for the Kentucky Derby, behind only his stablemate Roadster, who is now the favorite at +500 after his victory in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

While Game Winner is still getting plenty of respect in the wagering, the colt has come up short in his two starts in 2019.

He returned off a 4.5-month break in the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park, a race that was split into two divisions. Hammered down to the chalk, he finished gamely but came up a nose short to Omaha Beach, who was making his stakes debut after breaking his maiden in his previous start.

The colt figured to move forward off that effort in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), but again he was beaten, this time by Roadster, beaten a half-length in a runner-up finish.

Horseplayers have not backed off the colt, who figures to go off as one of the top three betting choices on the Kentucky Derby odds.

His trainer not only trains the favorite Roaster, but also the third choice Improbable (+800) who makes his final prep on Saturday in the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.

Game Winner Odds: Will He Offer Value in Derby Wagering?

Now horseplayers must decide if Game Winner will move forward enough in his third start of the year to turn the tables on Omaha Beach and Roadster and whether he will offer enough value in the wagering.

This is a colt who broke his maiden in his debut and reeled off three straight Grade 1 wins as a two-year-old – the Del Mar Futurity, American Pharoah and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

His two losses have made him look vulnerable, but with Baffert calling the shots this colt should not be dismissed. Baffert has won the Run for the Roses five times and in two of the last four years swept the Triple Crown, first with American Pharoah in 2015 and with Justify last year.

Game Winner is bred to handle the 1.25-mile Derby distance. The colt is by Candy Ride and out of an A.P. Indy mare.

With a wide-open field, the main question horseplayers must ask is if the Game Winner odds are going to offer any betting value at the Kentucky Derby.

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