Sidelines with John Clay

Six horses receive top votes in final Kentucky Derby media poll

From Horse Racing Nation:

The Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Clay says “there’s no reason to doubt” Omaha Beach in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. XBTV’s Zoe Cadman referred to the colt’s final workout as “scintillating.” And Southern California News group reporter Art Wilson, who spends his share of time around trainer Richard Mandella, has “seldom heard him talk so glowingly about one like he has Omaha Beach the past couple weeks.”

Accordingly, Omaha Beach leads the 10th and final edition of the 2019 Kentucky Derby Media Poll assembled by HorseRacingNation.com, with the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Rebel Stakes (G1) winner also the anticipated morning line favorite.

Recently completed, however, was a Derby prep season defined by its parity. Six horses in all received No. 1 votes from representatives of racing industry trade publications and general news outlets, including all others in the Top 5: Game Winner, Roadster, Tacitus and Improbable.

“Omaha Beach has looked the part of a Kentucky Derby favorite since arriving here to Louisville,” said Horse Racing Nation’s Brian Zipse. “But with a long streak of winning favorites due to end, and so many other good contenders, I still see this Derby as a very wide-open affair.”

Added the Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee: “Really looking forward to seeing some surprises in what shapes up as a great Derby.”

Changes were few in the lead up from Omaha Beach’s final prep victory at Oaklawn Park to Derby week.

Code of Honor (seventh), By My Standards (ninth), War of Will (11th) and Spinoff (13th) each advanced a position in the final poll.

Country House, who found himself on the inside of a four-horse pack in his Sunday breeze at Churchill Downs, jumped two spots to 15th.

Japan’s Derby contender, Master Fencer, for the first time solidified a spot in the rankings at No. 20.

“A few days out, I can’t base my rankings on whom I will bet but rather their likelihood of doing well,” said the Paulick Report’s Scott Jagow. “Beyond the top tier, I’ve upgraded longshots I think are intriguing — mainly Spinoff, Win Win Win, Haikal, Long Range Toddy and Plus Que Parfait to at least spice up the exotics. Envisioning big prices this Derby.”

“Everyone’s looking good in the mornings as we get ready for the post position draw, which will be critical to a few of the horses that will want to be forwardly placed in the Derby including likely favorite Omaha Beach,” added Racing Dudes’ Mike Spector.

Then there’s another variable to consider.

“Whether it rains on Derby day could be a big factor in the outcome of Kentucky Derby 145,” said The Downey Profile’s Dick Downey.

“Derby is here and, once again, it’s shaping up to be a phenomenal race,” said Churchill Downs’ Kevin Kerstein. “The story lines are plentiful, the drama is starting to unfold. Who will come out on top? Probably Omaha Beach.”

Kentucky Derby media poll voters and ranking archive

Kentucky Derby Media Poll (Week 10)

Horse (1st-place votes)

Points

Previous

1. Omaha Beach (13)

461

1

2. Game Winner (4)

427

2

3. Roadster (1)

419

3

4. Tacitus (2)

386

4

5. Improbable (2)

382

5

6. Maximum Security

328

6

7. Code of Honor

284

8

8. Vekoma

282

7

9. By My Standards

269

10

10. Win Win Win (1)

264

9

11. War of Will

263

12

12. Tax

231

11

13. Spinoff

177

14

14. Haikal

175

13

15. Country House

155

17

16. Long Range Toddy

154

15

17. Cutting Humor

147

16

18. Plus Que Parfait

101

18

19. Gray Magician

60

19

20. Master Fencer

30

NR

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