Derby Future #2
This will be a members only blog for the Derby Future wager starting 1/22. A difficult bet since many horses will not even make it into the Derby starting gate. You want to try and find horses that have a good shot at making the starting gate at lower odds, which means you really want to be looking for odds >20-1
#24 - All other 3yos. This is just a place holder estimate to make the PFDS odds add up properly. No handicapping is being done here. Not an awful wager if you could get 5-2. 9-5 is too low.
#1 - Bezos. Has not raced yet for Baffert. Was training quickly in July and then took extended break until December. Something went wrong. Has not been training as quickly since back and only seen one 5F work-out. No thanks.
#2 - Caddo River. Races in Smarty Jones on 1/22 and will likely be favored. I don't like betting horses in future wagers that are running the same weekend. Note he was beaten soundly by Olympiad and won as a 3-10 favorite. No value.
#3 - Capo Kane. Impressive winner of Jerome when stepped up in class while removing Lasix for poor trainer. Track was muddy and field had only 5 horses that were very questionable. Time of race not quick. Wait and see.
#4 - Concert Tour. My favorite of the Baffert contingent. Bred by the West family (who sold Life is Good). Horse won debut impressively after firing some strong 6F works. Will need to step up in class in next start but is an interesting wager if odds drift up to 20-1 or more.
#5 - Essential Quality. Likely 2nd choice in this wager to Life is Good (see below). Defending champ price will be way too short. Lots can go wrong and would be better to wager on him Derby Day.
#6 - Fire at Will. Nice turf horse with good turf pedigree. No guarantees they will go the Dirt route with him at all. No thanks.
#7 - Greatest Honor. Slow developer for Shug. Took 4 starts to break maiden around two turns while 1-2 odds. Pedigree is good for longer distances so early losses not a concern. If he stays 50-1, he's an interesting option.
#8 - Highly Motivated. Well thought of horse trained by Chad Brown but never stretched out beyond 6.5F as a 2yo, I think his odds will go down off the 20-1 morning line. Too many question marks so wait and see.
#9 - Hot Rod Charlie. At 30-1 this horse is worth wagering on so monitor the tote. 1 win in 5 starts but two were on turf and his debut was sprinting. At dirt and two turns he's got a win and a second in the BC Juvenile where horse actually had the lead late. Trained by O'neill this horse is getting no respect. Consider.
#10 - Jackie's Warrior. Now is the time to bet a horse like this if you like him. Was the favorite in Breeders Cup but tired first time around 2 turns. Horse was a monster before that. If you can get 20-1, consider this horse who could bounce back and be a short price derby day. If odds, drop...pass.
#11 - Keemeinmind. Horse is getting a lot of buzz after running a solid 3rd in BC Juvenile and then winning KY Jockey Club. Horse is a deep closer which is a negative. Watch the tote but I'd bet Hot Rod Charlie over this one and you'll get a better price.
#12 - Life is Good. Likely favorite can't be bet in a future wager. Has been fast in both starts and got a strange ride from Mike Smith in the Sham where his stable mate was closing on him strongly late. I'm not saying he can't win but he's not a good bet right now.
#13 - Mandaloun. Was supposed to win the Lecomte and had no excuses. I think his stable mate Prate is more interesting. Not the time to wager on him.
#14 - Medina Spirit. Nice effort in Sham but odds too low and likely not good enough.
#15 - Midnight Bourbon. Great ride by Talamo in Lecomte. This is a nice horse who should rate effectively in future. Interesting option at 30-1 but think his odds will drop. I'm neutral on this one.
#16 - Mutasaabeq. Can win on any surface which is a big positive. Looked strong in Mucho Macho. Very viable option at 30-1
#17 - Olympiad. Looked good beating Caddo and Greatest Honor at 7F back in Sept. Hasn't raced since and sire is Speightstown (sprinter). Mott is a patient trainer so there is no telling where this one ends up. 50-1 is a great price for sure.
#18 - Prate. Juddmonte and Cox appear to like this one. Nice debut winner and the price could drift up much higher than 30-1. A viable longshot right now who could go off at much lower odds Derby day if he makes it there.
#19 - Prime Factor. Very similar commentary on this one as for Prate or Concert Tour. Impressive maiden win, very well bred and great odds 30-1. How do you pick between the three of them?
#20 - Proxy. Ran better than expected in Lecomte without Lasix and was green in the stretch....again! Otherwise no excuses and don't think Godolphin thinks highly of this one given the path he's taken.
#21 - Senor Buscador. I really like this horse and hopefully odds drift way up beyond 20-1. Both his wins have been visually impressive, one at 5.5F, the other at a mile. Horse blew by the competition like they were standing still without even trying. Will need to continue improving while stretching out without Lasix so there is some risk.
#22 - Spielburg. They spent $1M on him and he's heavily raced at age 2. Not the path of a Derby winner even though he did finally win a graded stakes in last race at LA by a head bob. No thanks.
#23 - Wipe the Slate. Demolished by Life is Good in debut and won second start with blinkers on. Trained by O'neill with good owner. Anything is possible and he's 50-1.
Bottom line: Concert Tour, Prate & Prime Factor all look the same on paper but prefer Prate of the group since he rated while winning a 6F sprint in fast time. Hot Rod Charlie is probably the best bet coming out of the BC Juvenile but if Jackie's Warrior drifts way up in odds, you are also getting good value. Senor Buscador is a fun horse for underdog connections but odds need to stay north of 20-1 to consider. He is my top pick right now. #7, #15, #16 also playable if odds stay 30-1 or higher.