Vekoma Odds: 2019 Kentucky Derby Contender Series

On paper, Vekoma is a player having won three of his four career starts. But his gait is certainly turning off some horseplayers in terms of the Kentucky Derby odds for 2019. Here’s a look at the Vekoma odds for the Run for the Roses.

The colt looks as if he is paddling water as he runs, an odd sight indeed for a colt with so much talent. Therefore, it is tough to picture him with that awkward style holding off 19 foes in the stretch under the Twin Spires on the first Saturday of May.

The colt showed promise in his juvenile season last year. He broke his maiden in his debut. Then, he won the one-mile Nashua (G3) in his stakes debut at Aqueduct on November 4.

The George Weaver trainee returned in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park on March 2. There, he ran third behind Code of Honor and Bourbon War, beaten 2.75 lengths at odds of 3-1 in a field of 11.

Instead of staying for the Florida Derby (G1), he shipped to Keeneland for the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) as his final Derby prep. He needed to pick up points to stamp his ticket to Louisville.

The colt did not disappoint, prompting the early pace and drawing away in the stretch to win by 3.5 lengths. His front legs were pointing outward as he headed to the finish line as the betting favorite.

The Blue Grass has produced 23 Kentucky Derby winners. This is second only to the Florida Derby which has produced 24.

However, the Blue Grass in recent years has not been such a key race. We have to go back to Street Sense in 2007 to find the last Kentucky Derby winner to use the Blue Grass as a prep.

Last year, Good Magic used the Blue as a final prep. He then ran second in the Kentucky Derby to Justify, who went on to win the Triple Crown.

Vekoma Odds: Trails Favorite on Kentucky Derby Lines

The Blue Grass win by Vekoma stamped him as a contender. The early Vekoma odds for the Kentucky Derby are at +1200. This is good for seventh choice in the wagering.

Weaver has started just one runner in the Run for the Roses, with Tencendur checking in 17th in the 2015 edition.

Weaver was an assistant trainer from 1997 to 2002 for Todd Pletcher. He was around many top horses during that time period, including Invisible Ink. He was the runner up in the 2001 Derby.

His jockey is Javier Castellano, considered one of the best in the game. But he has come up short in a dozen tries in the first jewel of the Triple Crown. His best finish came aboard Audible last year in a third-place finish.

Vekoma’s sire Candy Ride is known for producing long-winded runners. He won the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar at 1.25 miles.

He is out of the mare Mona de Momma. She is a multiple graded stakes winner, including winning the Humana Distaff (G1) at Keeneland in 2010 at seven furlongs.

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