Homeracing

Game Winner Heads First 2019 Kentucky Derby Top 5 Power Rankings

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D.S. Williamson

November 25th, 2018

Game Winner's a solid choice to win the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The Bob Baffert trainee that easily  handled his opponents in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile offered 6/1 odds to win the Run for the Roses in the first Kentucky Derby Futures Pool.

Makes sense because the favorite has won the last 5 runnings of the Derby. It's impossible not to rank Game Winner first on my Derby Power Rankings. The undefeated Candy Ride sired colt has looked every bit as talented as American Pharoah and Justifed looked before their Triple Crown runs.

My rankings could change significantly once the Road to the Kentucky Derby really starts, though. Check out the Top 5!

Game Winner Heads First 2019 Kentucky Derby Power Rankings

1. Game Winner - Bob Baffert

He's 4-for-4 with 3 of the 4 victories coming in Grade 1 races. Game Winner won the Del Mar Futurity, the American Pharoah Stakes, and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Right now, it's not even close because no other 2-year-old has shown the ability to either press the pace and motor past front runners, or hang back and make a run. Game Winner's already versatile.

If Bob improves him at all and Game Winner doesn't get hurt, Baffert could stare at another Triple Crown come early June.

2. Coliseum - Bob Baffert

Yep, he's only a maiden winner, but, man, this horse is bred to be something! Tapit is the top-rated sire in North America. Tapit charges $300,000 per live foal. That's a lot of money Winstar Farms and the China Horse Club shelled out for this colt. Coliseum should only get better while he broke his maiden at first asking by over 6 lengths. He's easily the one to watch to beat Baffert's already established star.

3. Instagrand - Jerry Hollendorfer

Hollendorfer put him on the bench before the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Maybe, Jerry's trying to conserve the son of Into Mischief before unleashing him onto unsuspecting foes in February. That would make sense. Lest we forget, Jerry saddled Instilled Regard to a 4th place finish in this year's Kentucky Derby at 85/1 odds. Before the freshening Instagrand was the top-rated 2-year-old in North America.

4. Code of Honor - Claude McGaughey

Shug scratched him out of the Breeders Cup Juvenile. He no doubt would have gone off as the second choice. McGaughey might be trying to win another Kentucky Derby because while the horses that ran in the BC Juvenile are taking a break, McGaughey's running Code of Honor in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct on Dec. 1.

If Code of Honor wins there, expect Derby watchers to start singing his praises. The William Farish owned colt almost caught Complexity in the Grade 1 Champagne after breaking his maiden at first asking.

5. Improbable - Bob Baffert

He's yet another one of those Winstar Farm and China Horse Club owned runners from the Bob Baffert barn. Improbable not only broke his maiden in his first lifetime race, but he also won the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs by 7 1/2 lengths. Baffert might enter him into the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 8.

 
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