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Kentucky Derby 2019 winner: Country House wins after Maximum Security is disqualified

Kentucky Derby 2019 winner: Country House wins after Maximum Security is disqualified
Country House, left, races down the final stretch during the 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4. Country House crossed the finish line second but was named the winner after Maximum Security was disqualified. (John Minchillo / Associated Press)

In the most incredible post-running of the Kentucky Derby, Maximum Security was disqualified for interference on Saturday and Country House was declared the winner of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby.

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It was the first on-track disqualification in the history of the race.

The stewards said Maximum Security came off his line and impeded War of Will.

Country House, the second-longest shot at 65-1 to win the Derby, was ridden by Southern California regular Flavien Prat. Interestingly, Prat was the regular rider of Omaha Beach before he elected to take another ride well before the Derby.

It also gave Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his first Kentucky Derby win.

Maximum Security trainer Jason Servis had, at least for a few minutes, joined his brother John as a winner of the Kentucky Derby. John Servis won with Smarty Jones in 2004.

Maximum Security finished first by 1 ¾ lengths. His performance was exceptional in that he was able to survive very fast early fractions and still have enough left at the end. The first quarter-mile went in 23.31 seconds and the half in 46.35.

Trainer Bob Baffert had three horses in the race and all were expected to give a good run, but it didn’t happen.

Improbable finished fourth, Game Winner was fifth and Roadster was 16th.

-- John Cherwa | 4:40 p.m.

Country Home pays out plenty to his believers

Flavien Prat rides Country House to the finish line during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
Flavien Prat rides Country House to the finish line during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Country Home paid $132.40 to win, $56.60 to place and $24.60 to show after overcoming 65-1 odds to win. It’s the biggest upset in Kentucky Derby history since Donerail overcame even bigger odds to win the 1913 race.

After Maximum Security’s disqualification, Code Of Honor was moved to second and Tacitus was third. The remainder of the field, in order, was Improbable, Game Winner, Master Fencer, War Of Will, Plus Que Parfait, Win Win Win, Cutting Humor, By My Standards, Vekoma, Bodexpress, Tax, Roadster, Long Range Toddy, Spinoff and Gray Magician.

The complexion of the race changed dramatically on Wednesday when it was discovered that Omaha Beach had an entrapped epiglottis, a non-serious condition that was easily correctable but with a three-week recovery time. It would have hindered the horse’s breathing.

Baffert, who had been boasting all week that it was great to be at Churchill Downs without the pressure of being the favorite, suddenly was again the front-runner. The presumption was that Game Winner, loser of his last two races, but considered the strongest of Baffert’s three horses, would be the new favorite.

The bettors had made Improbable the favorite at 4-1 and Maximum Security was next at 9-2.

-- John Cherwa | 4:50 p.m.

Oddsmakers lose big on Country House’s Kentucky Derby win

Jockey Flavien Prat celebrates after riding Country House to victory at the Kentucky Derby on May 4.
Jockey Flavien Prat celebrates after riding Country House to victory at the Kentucky Derby on May 4. (John Minchillo / Associated Press)

Elizabeth Gallagher isn’t much of a gambler. In fact, she isn’t much of a sports fan. But the 72-year-old retiree from Scottsdale, Ariz., found herself inside the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook for the Kentucky Derby and decided she would place a wager like everyone else.

Her daughter placed a $10 bet on Maximum Security. She placed a $10 bet on 65-1 longshot Country House.

Why?

“I liked the name,” Gallagher said. “And the odds.”

When Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, Gallagher congratulated her daughter. Moments later when Maximum Security was disqualified for interference and Country House was declared the winner, she was the one who was being congratulated by everyone in the sportsbook.

“I didn’t think they would change it,” Gallagher said. “I don’t really win. My daughter usually wins so I couldn’t believe when they changed the result.”

Gallagher, who drove to Las Vegas for the weekend and is returning home Monday, turned a $10 bet into a $650 win after the result was changed. Her bet was one of many reasons why Las Vegas sportsbooks went from seeing a profit turn into a loss after the Kentucky Derby result was changed.

“It’s not good,” said Jay Kornegay, the vice president of race and sports operations at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. “We were going to be a pretty decent winner on our future board and now we’re going to be a significant five-figure loser. When you have odds like that it does't take a lot to create a lot of liability and create a big swing. We were in a good position with Maximum Security. We were going to see a good five-figure win and now it flip-flops to a big five-figure loss. That's unfortunate for us.”

-- Arash Markazi | 5:15 p.m.

Elizabeth Gallagher shows off her winning betting slip after winning $650 for picking Country House in the Kentucky Derby.
Elizabeth Gallagher shows off her winning betting slip after winning $650 for picking Country House in the Kentucky Derby. (Arash Markazi / Los Angeles Times)

Final Kentucky Derby odds

Tacitus runs during morning workouts at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Tacitus runs during morning workouts at Churchill Downs on May 2. (Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

Here are the final Kentucky Derby odds by post position as of 6 p.m. EDT with less than an hour to go before the race:

1. War of Will: 16-1

2. Tax: 35-1

3. By My Standards: 17-1

4. Gray Magician: 30-1

5. Improbable: 9-2

6. Vekoma: 21-1

7. Maximum Security: 4-1

8. Tacitus: 5-1

9. Plus Que Parfait: 55-1

10. Cutting Humor: 23-1

11-12 SCRATCHED

13. Code of Honor: 14-1

14. Win Win Win: 15-1

15. Master Fencer: 54-1

16. Game Winner: 6-1

17. Roadster: 10-1

18. Long Range Toddy: 50-1

19. Spinoff: 53-1

20. Country House: 62-1

21. Bodexpress: 73-1

-- John Cherwa | 3:10 p.m.

Hats continue to make a fashion statement at Kentucky Derby

A look at some of the more eye-catching hats worn by women (and some men) attending the 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday.

Rain still in the forecast for the 145th Kentucky Derby

The rains started to hit Churchill Downs around 3:30 p.m. EDT with a light, windy version of precipitation. The ponchos came out although there wasn’t a full scale rush for cover.

At around 4 p.m., the rain became steady but still light.

The track remained fast and was unfazed by the rain. The rain is expected to hang around until at least 7 p.m.

Any way you look at it, it will be less of a factor than last year when about three inches of rain fell.

According to the weather forecast from weather.com, the chance of rain is 70% at 5 p.m., 75% at 6 p.m. and 75% at 7 p.m. The race is scheduled to go off at 6:52 p.m.

-- John Cherwa | 1:16 p.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 21 Bodexpress

Bodexpress runs during a workout at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Bodexpress runs during a workout at Churchill Downs on May 2. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Actual post: 20

Trainer: Gustavo Delgado

Jockey: Chris Landeros

Owner: Top Racing, Global Thoroughbred, GDS Racing Stable

Purchase price: Homebred

Morning Line: 30-1

How he got here: Second in Florida Derby. Made field when Omaha Beach was scratched from race.

Why he’ll win: He’ll be up close early and if the rest of the pack has some trouble, he, maybe, just maybe, could hit the board. He didn’t have enough points to qualify on his own but made the field when Omaha Beach was scratched.

Why he’ll lose: He’s just over his head. In fact, he’s never won a race. A maiden hasn’t won the Derby since 1933 and it’s likely that streak will continue.

-- John Cherwa | 1:15 p.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 20 Country House

Country House runs during a workout at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Country House runs during a workout at Churchill Downs on May 2. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Actual post: 19

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Owner: Mrs. J.V. Shields, E.J.M. McFadden Jr., LNJ Foxwoods

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Purchase price: Homebred

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Morning Line: 30-1

How he got here: Second in the Risen Star, third in Arkansas Derby and fourth in Louisiana Derby.

Why he’ll win: Bill Mott may have never won a Derby but he’s great trainer. And Flavien Prat is one of the best young jockeys in the country. So, he has those connections going for him. He has only won one of six races, but has been running in decent company, having lost to some good Derby horses.

Why he’ll lose: His running style to come from the clouds is not a good fit for this race. Trouble will await him at every turn. He may develop into a good 4-year-old but seems overmatched against this group of 3-year-olds.

-- John Cherwa | 1 p.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 19 Spinoff

Spinoff takes part in a morning training session at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Spinoff takes part in a morning training session at Churchill Downs on May 2. (Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

Actual post: 18

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Manuel Franco

Owner: Wertheimer and Frere

Purchase price: Homebred

Morning Line: 30-1

How he got here: Second in the Louisiana Derby.

Why he’ll win: He should be near the front, and if he catches some luck, he could have enough left at the end to hit the board. This is his fifth track in five races, so he travels well. He raced at Gulfstream, Saratoga, Tampa Bay and Fair Grounds.

Why he’ll lose: He’s pretty inexperienced and the fact that John Velazquez jumped off him to ride Code of Honor is not a good sign. He got passed in the stretch by By My Standards in the Louisiana Derby.

-- John Cherwa | 12:45 p.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 18 Long Range Toddy

Long Range Toddy goes on a training run at Churchill Downs on May 1.
Long Range Toddy goes on a training run at Churchill Downs on May 1. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Actual post: 17

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Jon Court

Owner: Willis Horton Racing

Purchase price: Homebred

Morning Line: 30-1

How he got here: Won the Rebel Stakes.

Why he’ll win: He ran a very strong race in one of the divisions of the Rebel Stakes, flying by Improbable to win by a neck. That kind of race could put him on the board. No jockey has more experience as Jon Court -- at 58, he’s the oldest rider to ever run in the Derby. He needs to get to the front of mid-pack to avoid any trouble.

Why he’ll lose: His sixth in the Arkansas Derby was not encouraging, and that was on a sloppy track. He has some experience, but he might be no more than a “B” horse.

John Cherwa | 12:30 p.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 17 Roadster

Roadster takes part in a morning training run at Churchill Downs on May 1.
Roadster takes part in a morning training run at Churchill Downs on May 1. (Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

Actual post: 16

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Owner: Speedway Stables

Purchase price: $525,000

Morning Line: 6-1

How he got here: Won the Santa Anita Derby.

Why he’ll win: Pulled a surprise come-from-behind win in the Santa Anita Derby on a track that was very deep. He was baffert’s “A” horse last year until a third in the Del Mar Futurity where it was discovered he had a throat problem. Geroux is a good jockey but he’s not Mike Smith, but he knows Churchill Downs better. If he can stay close early, he’s got a big shot.

Why he’ll lose: He’s still lightly raced for this point in his career. His style is to come from far behind, which usually doesn’t work in the Derby. With a 19-horse field, he could find trouble.

-- John Cherwa | 12:15 p.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 16 Game Winner

Game Winner runs during a morning workout at Churchill Downs on May 1.
Game Winner runs during a morning workout at Churchill Downs on May 1. (Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

Actual post: 15

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Owner: Gary and Mary West

Purchase price: $110,000

Morning Line: 5-1

How he got here: Won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and second in the Rebel Stakes and Santa Anita Derby.

Why he’ll win: He’s never run a bad race. In the Santa Anita Derby he had a wide trip, got caught in a bit of a speed dual and still lost to stablemate Roadster by only a half-length. He’s got a superior jockey in Rosario. He’s the top horse in Baffert’s barn so he’s got a more than legitimate shot.

Why he’ll lose: He hasn’t won since November and had close losses in the Rebel and Santa Anita Derby. But, how cranked was he for those two races or has he lost a step?

John Cherwa | 12 p.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 15 Master Fencer

Master Fencer gallops during a workout at Churchill Downs on April 30.
Master Fencer gallops during a workout at Churchill Downs on April 30. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Actual post: 14

Trainer: Koichi Tsunoda

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Owner: Katsumi Yoshizawa

Purchase price: Private sale.

Morning Line: 50-1

How he got here: Got an automatic qualifier from Japan when the first-place horse declined the invitation to the Derby.

Why he’ll win: He won’t. No shot. He’s never even run a Grade 1.

Why he’ll lose: He’s just way overmatched for this caliber of race. Foreign horses generally do not do well in the Derby.

-- John Cherwa | 11:45 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 14 Win Win Win

Win Win Win runs during a morning training session at Churchill Downs on May 1.
Win Win Win runs during a morning training session at Churchill Downs on May 1. (Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

Actual post: 13

Trainer: Michael Trombetta

Jockey: Julian Pimentel

Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Purchase price: Homebred

Morning Line: 15-1

How he got here: Second in Blue Grass and third in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Why he’ll win: He’s been working well this week and ran well in his one race on an off track. Has been running against some class horses, but hasn’t necessarily been beating any of them.

Why he’ll lose: He’s a deep closer and those kind of horses rarely win the Derby. So, he’ll need a little more early speed and lots of luck to hit the board.

-- John Cherwa | 11:30 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 13 Code Of Honor

Code of Honor goes for a morning workout run at Churchill Downs on May 3.
Code of Honor goes for a morning workout run at Churchill Downs on May 3. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Actual post: 12

Trainer: Shug McGaughey

Jockey: John Velazquez

Owner: W.S. Farish

Purchase price: Homebred

Morning Line: 15-1

How he got here: Won the Fountain of Youth and third in the Florida Derby.

Why he’ll win: McGaughey usually only brings live ones to the Derby, such as Orb when he started the streak of six favorites winning in a row. His Fountain of Youth performance was impressive but his Florida Derby race was not. If he can regain the Fountain form, he could be a factor.

Why he’ll lose: He just may not be as fast as the other horses. Connections hope the real Code Of Honor is not the one that showed up on Florida Derby day.

-- John Cherwa | 11:15 a.m.

Corey Lanerie: Getting replaced for the Kentucky Derby ‘feels like a slap in the face’

There was more than a ripple of surprise when Mike Smith replaced Corey Lanerie as the jockey on Cutting Humor. Smith, one of the true gentlemen in the sport, isn’t the kind of jockey who would take a mount from another rider, is he?

In this case, the decision to switch jockeys was made by Jack Wolf, who runs Starlight Racing, Cutting Humor’s owners. While Lanerie will get paid equivalent to where ever the horse finishes, he was surprised he was replaced.

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“It feels like a slap in the face,” Lanerie told Tim Sullivan of the Louisville Courier Journal. “All the hard work we put into our careers, trying to make it to this point, just kind of devastates you. It’s a moment you’ve lived for and tried to wait for all year. Then you think you’ve got it and the next minute they take it from you.”

The move comes less than a year since Lanerie’s wife, Shantel died of cancer.

“I thought this year might have been my year because of all that,” Lanerie told Sullivan. “I felt I would have had an angel with me to help me through.”

Lanerie has ridden in four previous Derbies.

Lanerie getting paid was not an act of generosity but a regulation in Kentucky, and most other places, for a late jockey switch. So, Starlight pays Lanerie and Smith. With a jockey of Smith’s caliber, it’s pretty much assured that he is paid a guarantee regardless of where the horse finishes.

Cutting Humor is considered a longshot with his qualifying win being in the Sunland Derby. Only one horse has ever won the Sunland and Kentucky Derbies, Mine That Bird. He was a 50-1 longshot.

-- John Cherwa | 11:03 a.m.

What time is the Kentucky Derby?

Horses race during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2018, at Churchill Downs.
Horses race during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2018, at Churchill Downs. (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

So, planning your day so you can watch the Kentucky Derby? Trying to figure out how to coordinate the end of the bottle of Maker’s Mark and the departure of the neighbors? (Although somehow those events cosmically line up without any help.)

Here’s your answer to the most asked question every first Saturday in May.

The 2019 Kentucky Derby goes off about 3:52 p.m. PDT (that’s L.A. time, folks.) on NBC.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 10 Cutting Humor

Cutting Humor takes part in a training run at Churchill Downs on May 2.
Cutting Humor takes part in a training run at Churchill Downs on May 2. (Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

Actual post: 11

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Mike Smith

Owner: Starlight Racing

Purchase price: $400,000

Morning Line: 30-1

How he got here: Won the Sunland Derby.

Why he’ll win: The talk around this horse is the jockey switch from Corey Lanerie to Mike Smith, who became available after Omaha Beach was scratched. Nicely rested with 21 days since last start. Will have to work to stay near the front of the pack.

Why he’ll lose: The Sunland Derby is not a traditional launching pad to winning the Kentucky Derby. Only Mine That Bird has done it. Connections have to hope that his seventh in the Southwest at Oaklawn Park is more his quality.

-- John Cherwa | 11 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 9 Plus Que Parfait

Kentucky Derby hopeful Plus Que Parfait takes part in a training run at Churchill Downs on April 29.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Plus Que Parfait takes part in a training run at Churchill Downs on April 29. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Actual post: 10

Trainer: Brendan Walsh

Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Owner: Imperial Racing

Purchase price: $135,000

Morning Line: 30-1

How he got here: Won the UAE Derby.

Why he’ll win: Well, he looked good winning the UAE Derby. He’s actually decent looking of you throw out his 13th in the Risen Star and fifth in the LeComte, both at the Fair Grounds. Has a second and third at Churchill Downs.

Why he’ll lose: It’s a lot to ask of a horse to travel to and from Dubai and come back on 35 days between races. You can’t throw out his two Fair Grounds races.

-- John Cherwa | 10:45 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 8 Tacitus

Tacitus takes part in a workout run at Churchill Downs on May 1.
Tacitus takes part in a workout run at Churchill Downs on May 1. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Actual post: 9

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Owner: Juddmonte Farms

Purchase price: Homebred

Morning Line: 10-1

How he got here: Won the Wood Memorial and Tampa Bay Derby.

Why he’ll win: Seems to be improving with each start, winning his last three races after finishing fourth in his debut. Has beaten Tax and Win Win Win. Has a superior trainer in Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who is still looking for his first Kentucky Derby win, so he’s due.

Why he’ll lose: He could use a little more experience and he will have to come off the pace since that’s his style. Generally, Derby winners need to be forwardly placed.

-- John Cherwa | 10:30 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 7 Maximum Security

Actual post: 8

Trainer: Jason Servis

Jockey: Luis Saez

Owners: Gary and Mary West

Purchase price: Homebred

Morning Line: 10-1

How he got here: Won the Florida Derby.

Why he’ll win: He’s undefeated in four starts, so he’s done nothing wrong. We also don’t know how much of an upside this horse has. He won an allowance by 18 lengths. He likes to go to the lead, which keeps him out of trouble. He has won in the slop.

Why he’ll lose: He wasn’t highly thought of starting his career in a $16,000 maiden claimer. Luckily for the Wests, nobody claimed him. This could be the first time he has dirt in his face and you never know how that will affect him.

-- John Cherwa | 10:15 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 6 Vekoma

Actual post: 7

Trainer: George Weaver

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Owners: Gatsas Stable, R.A. Hill Stable

Purchase price: $135,000

Morning Line: 20-1

How he got here: Won the Blue Grass Stakes and third in the Fountain of Youth

Why he’ll win: Looked good winning the Blue Grass Stakes despite an unorthodox running style. His early speed could keep him out of trouble. Could be flying under the radar and should bring a good price. This is his fifth different track in five races having run at Belmont, Aqueduct, Gulfstream and Keeneland. Superior jockey in Castellano.

Why he’ll lose: Whatever happened in the Fountain of Youth can’t happen here or he’s done. He hasn’t run over a wet surface so that could be an issue. And, again, he has an unorthodox running style.

-- John Cherwa, 10 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 5 Improbable

Actual post: 6

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Owners: WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and Starlight Racing

Purchase price: $200,000

Morning Line: 6-1

How he got here: Second in the Rebel and Arkansas Derby

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Why he’ll win: He’s the most temperamental of Baffert’s three horses, which could translate into fire out of the gate. He lost his last outing to Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby, but Omaha Beach is out of the race. No one gets a horse ready for the Derby like Baffert. Definitely has a shot in this race. Has the same ownership as Justify.

Why he’ll lose: He was a bad actor in the gate last out in the Arkansas Derby and it could all be over at the start. And don’t forget the long load with a 19-horse field. All his positives could also be his negatives.

-- John Cherwa | 9:45 a.m.

Kentucky Derby Field: No. 4 Gray Magician

Actual post: 5

Trainer: Peter Miller

Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke

Owners: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable

Purchase price: $18,000

Morning Line: 50-1

How he got here: Second in the UAE Derby

Why he’ll win: He’s got some early speed, which could benefit him and keep him out of trouble. Miller says he’s got the distance and if he doesn’t get into a speed duel that could also help. Still, it would be quite the surprise if he beats 18 horses.

Why he’ll lose: No horse has ever done well coming over from Dubai. In his only wet track experience, he weakened in an allowance. Going to take way better than his second place at Laurel. Only 35 days since shipping to and from Dubai.

-- John Cherwa: 9:30 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 3 By My Standards

Actual post: 4

Trainer: Bret Calhoun

Jockey: Gabriel Saez

Owners: Allied Racing Stable

Purchase price: $150,000

Morning Line: 20-1

How he got here: Won the Louisiana Derby.

Why he’ll win: He’s the “wiseguy” horse or the “buzz” horse, whichever term you prefer. Everyone is always looking for the horse under the radar and this year it’s him. Win in the Louisiana Derby was a surprise at 22.50-1. His stretch run rally got some attention and he has been improving these past couple weeks. We don’t know how good he will be yet. Forty-two days since last race.

Why he’ll lose: He’s only run once out of the maiden ranks. This will be a giant step up in class. He needs to be forwardly placed and there will be a lot of company jockeying for that position. It could all be over at the break, however.

-- John Cherwa | 9:10 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 2 Tax

Actual post: 3

Trainer: Danny Gargan

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Owners: R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch, Coms Racing Stable

Purchase price: Claimed for $50,000

Morning Line: 20-1

How he got here: Won the Withers and second in the Wood Memorial.

Why he’ll win: Owners bought the gelding as a $50,000 claimer from Caliborne Farm. He showed he has a lot of grit when he stumbled at the start of the Withers at Aqueduct and still won by a head. He has some early pace, which is one way to stay out of trouble.

Why he’ll lose: Always be wary of the New York horses as they haven’t done well lately. Lost to Tacitus in the Wood Memorial and no reason to think he can beat him this time.

-- John Cherwa | 9 a.m.

Kentucky Derby field: No. 1 War Of Will

Actual post: 2

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Owner: Gary Barber

Purchase price: $298,550

Morning Line: 20-1

How he got here: Won the Risen Star and Le Compte races, both at Fair Grounds.

Why he’ll win: Throw out a terrible ninth-place performance in the Louisiana Derby and he has three wins in a row. It’s unclear how he will do against tougher competition. He won a race over the slop to break his maiden victory on a wet track. Veteran private clocker Gary Young said to Mike Willman on his radio show said that War Of Will’s five-furlong workout in 59.00 was “lights out.”

Why he’ll lose: Same old argument, he hasn’t really face any top horses but does catch a break that the one hole is open.

-- John Cherwa | 8:40 a.m.

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