Rain is once again expected at Churchill Downs leaving fans scrambling to figure out who will perform best in the mud at the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Omaha Beach’s scratch complicates our picks in more ways than one. Omaha Beach proved himself in the slop better than any horse in the field. Not only was the horse the favorite, but he seemed to prefer adverse weather.
The Kentucky Derby is now unpredictable with the conditions combined with the favorite being scratched. The good news is that there are several horses in the field that have performed well in the rain. It is important to note that too much weight can be put on the weather. Last year, we saw favorite Justify glide straight through the mud to the Winner’s Circle.
If you are looking for horses to cross off, the Courier-Journal mentioned the following horses as fades if the track is muddy: Long Range Toddy, By My Standards, Gray Magician and Win Win Win. Game Winner does not necessarily have experience running in the mud, but has the speed that should allow him to compete up front outside the fray in the middle of the pack.
Weather can be a difficult thing to predict, but here is a look at the Weather.com forecast for Churchill Downs on Saturday.
A few isolated thunderstorms developing during the afternoon. Gusty winds and small hail are possible. High near 85F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%…Scattered thunderstorms during the evening, then cloudy skies overnight. Low 69F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Here are my picks for the best mudders heading into the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby Mudders Picks 2019: Best Horses in the Rain
War of Will (20 to 1)- The horse drew the No. 1 post which has scared people off, but the spot is tied for the second-most Kentucky Derby wins. Not only has War of Will won on a wet track, but did so at Churchill Downs by five lengths, per America’s Best Racing. The horse is coming off a ninth-place finish at the Louisiana Derby but has won three of his last four races.
Improbable (6 to 1)- Omaha Beach won a wet Arkansas Derby, but Improbable finished second. The Bob Baffert horse will not have to deal with Omaha Beach this time around and is already among the favorites. Improbable has never finished worse than second and has three wins on his resume heading into the Derby.
Improbable also has the speed to avoid getting mud kicked in his face during the race. According to Horse Racing Nation, Improbable is one of only two horses in the field who recorded a Beyer Figure greater than 100.
Plus Que Parfait (30 to 1)- Well back in the odds, but the horse could be worth a small flyer. Plus Que Parfait came in second in the mud at the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs. According to America’s Best Racing, he is one of only three horses in the field that has experience at a wet Churchill Downs track. The horse is coming off a UAE Derby victory.