With the Kentucky Derby just over two weeks away, there is still time to make future’s bets before the post positions are announced. With a trio of Bob Baffert runners topping the list of shorter priced horses, there is a lot of value looking elsewhere. Let’s take a look at two other runners in the double digit odd range before the post position draw.
Maximum Security 12/1
He’s undefeated through four career starts and showed moving from optional claiming to graded stakes racing was not too big a step, winning the Florida Derby by three and a half lengths. The stretch out in distance did not seem to cause problems as he secured the front end early and produced another comfortable victory.
Pending a clean break, he will almost surely be on the front end attempting to set the pace. He has led from start to finish in three of four career races, and his early speed should help secure good early position. Timing wise he consistently puts up some of the fastest of the day and compared to the rest of the Derby field, his times look like standouts. Although his times look good, he remains a question mark on Derby day coming out of an unproven sire, and having never been challenged or contested on the lead – something which will almost surely happen in the Derby.
Although not his fault, the quality of competition he has raced against is problematic, as he has yet to meet any of the main Derby contenders. With only one graded stakes start and one start longer than a mile, the Derby will undoubtedly be a tall order.
Tacitus won the Tampa Bay Derby off a four month layoff having only raced against maiden company before. In the Tampa Bay Derby, he settled in nicely unhurried in fourth. When unleashed at the quarter mile pole, he angled outside and put away another Derby contender in Tax in the deep stretch. The early fast fractions certainly helped him secure the win earning a 105 Equibase Speed Figure and 93 Beyer Speed Figure in that victory. This type of race serves as a good prep as there is almost surely bumping and a difficult time navigating in the Kentucky Derby with 19 other runners.
Tacitus is not a horse dependent on the front end, or one who relies on fast early fractions. He has already shown racing versatility, with an ability to stalk the pace or come from behind as a closer. Having versatility is key for a Kentucky Derby runner as post positions may cause a runner to be farther back than desired, and there is almost always difficulty navigating through the larger field.
Pedigree wise, he looks great and the distance of the Derby should not be an issue. In fact for Tacitus, going as long as a mile and a quarter could be a distance he excels at. His sire Tapit has sired three of the last five winners of the Belmont Stakes in Tonalist, Creator and Tapwrit, and has been one of the leading dirt sires in North America. At 14/1, there is a lot of upside and he is worth considering in all of your Derby wagers.