Kentucky Derby Betting: Who Benefits from a Sloppy Track?

Here we go again. Mother Nature turned the Churchill Downs main track into a sea of slop last year. It looks as if we could have similar conditions for this year’s Kentucky Derby betting slate.

Justify floated over the slop track last year to win the Run for the Roses as the Kentucky Derby betting favorite. He went on to become the 13th Triple Crown winner and second in four years for his trainer, Bob Baffert.

Out of the previous 144 runnings of the first jewel of the Triple Crown, there has been a fast track 100 times. There have been 11 occasions the track was labeled as good, seven times the surface was labeled as muddy and seven times where the track was sloppy. This includes last year.

In fact, we have seen more than our fair share of bad weather in recent years. The track has been listed as sloppy five times since 2004. The forecast for Saturday calls for a 100% chance of rain.

Horseplayers have to look to see which of the 20 in the field have experience on and off track. More importantly, which horses have shown an ability to handle it?

The other question is if the horse has not been on an off track, does he have the pedigree to run over it?

Kentucky Derby Betting: Omaha Beach Morning Live Favorite

We can start on the Kentucky Derby horses with Omaha Beach, who is listed as the morning line favorite at 4-1. The colt has raced on dirt four times in his career. Two of those came on wet tracks.

He broke his maiden at Santa Anita on a sloppy track. He also won the Arkansas Derby (G1) in his final prep race. The track was also listed as sloppy.

Game Winner is the second choice in the Kentucky Derby betting at 5-1. The Baffert trainee has not encountered an off track in his six career starts, four of those wins.

The colt does have the pedigree to handle off going, by sire Candy Ride and out of an A.P. Indy mare.

The co-third choices at 6-1 are the Baffert duo of Improbable and Roadster. Although, the latter seems likely to take a bit more betting action on Saturday.

Roadster has four career starts and has not encountered an off track. He does possess a decent enough off-track pedigree, by Quality Road out of the stakes winner Ghost Dancer, who won in her lone trip on a wet track and also dropped stakes winner Ascend who won one of three trips on the off going.

Improbable has a rock solid off track pedigree, by the sire City Zip out of an A.P. Indy mare, her first foal to race. His lone trip on a wet tack was a good runner-up finish to Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby.

When handicapping on Saturday keep in mind the race goes off at 6:50pm ET. The previous race is on turf, so there is a better than two-hour gap between the last race on dirt and the Kentucky Derby. If rains are falling the track will be sealed and much of the water will run off.

If you are looking for a longshot to play on a wet track, look at Tax, Vekoma, Tacitus and Haikal, all with excellent off-track pedigrees.

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