Derby Future 4
Will do my best to tell you what horses to avoid betting on and what horses may be offering value in the final Future betting pool. First of all, avoid betting #6, #8, #13 which are all short prices and plenty can go wrong. You are better off waiting for the Derby. Second avoid horses running this weekend in Tampa Bay, Gotham or San Felipe. The winners are over-bet. The second place horses might be worth considering as 20 points picked up is substantial and they could be overlaid relative to the Derby Day prices. UPDATED AFTER SATURDAY RESULTS.
1. Caddo River - Won a slow Smarty Jones impressively against weak competition. Not racing this weekend could result in some value. Will be stretching out against tougher in Rebel but 20-1 may be worth risk. Did finish ahead of Greatest Honor twice as a maiden. UPDATE: Odds only 15-1, definitely pass.
2. Candy Man Rocket - Won Sam F Davis and likely is racing this weekend in Tampa Bay Derby. Pass. Eligible to continue improvement as lightly raced for good trainer. UPDATE: Ran extremely poor in Tampa Bay indicating something went wrong. Pass.
3. Collaborate - Impressive maiden winner around 1 turn by 12 lengths. Is next start FL Derby? That is huge step up in competition around 2 turns with LASIX off for first time. Need big odds.
4. Concert Tour - Been high on this horse in last Future pools. Not running in San Felipe so potential value this weekend. Appears to be pointed to Rebel Stakes which he could win. My favorite Baffert horse & this may be the week to bet him. UPDATE: Price is only 17-1, pass unless you think this one dominates Rebel field.
5. Dream Shake - Its March and this one has not routed. Lone start sprinting at 20-1 with LASIX on. Lots of question marks and faces much better in San Felipe. UPDATE: Ran 3rd and can improve off effort. Still needs a lot of points to make field. Gave up 2nd to Medina Spirit after previously passing him. Odds only 46-1...pass.
6. Essential Quality - Uber impressive win in sloppy Southwest Stakes has earned his reputation & Derby spot. Wait to bet on him until Derby Day if you like him. UPDATE: Short price, pass.
7. Freedom Fighter - Lost to Concert Tour and pedigree for routes is much weaker. Ships East to Gotham where may face weaker & be competitive. Still a toss for Derby. UPDATE: Ran weakly in Gotham, definitely a sprinter.
8. Greatest Honor - Closers are not supposed to win the Fountain of Youth,. The field was weak and horse appears to spin wheels on turns. When straightened out, he gobbled up the field quickly. Mixed signals but appears to relish the added distance he will get in the future. UPDATE: Short price, pass.
9. Highly Motivated - Still has not raced as a 3yo. Never raced beyond 6.5F as 2yo. Makes first start in 1-turn Gotham this weekend. Let's watch and see. UPDATE: Was a good toss off weak work-out pattern. Still hasn't gone two turns.
10. Hot Rod Charlie - Been high on this one in previous future pools and not running in San Felipe. Maybe ships to Oaklawn or Fair Grounds for next start. Dirt route form is superb & horse is gritty in the lane. Could be a big longshot in the Future Wager. UPDATE: 42-1, yes!
11. Hush of a Storm - Mentioned this horse as local win candidate for synthetic John Battaglia. Not a factor in Derby. Toss.
12. Keepmeinmind - Watch the tote on this one. I've been against the horse as he's been getting a lot of buzz in previous future pools, but spotlight is off him this weekend. He'll race next weekend in Rebel and missed some training time due to bad weather at Oaklawn. Has some good form lines but don't consider him any better than Hot Rod Charlie. UPDATE: 29-1, prefer Hot Rod Charlie but playable.
13. Life is Good - Very over rated right now. Runs in San Felipe. Odds too short. Pass. UPDATE: Brilliant win in extremely fast time. Horse is very head strong and don't know how that translates to 10F. Reminds me of Bodemeister.
14. Mandaloun - Rebounded nicely in Risen Star with blinkers added. Very well bred. The Risen Star was slow so will need to improve in LA Derby which is possible. 20-1 seems fair. UPDATE: 19-1 just fair, pass.
15. Medina Spirit - Saved ground but was tenacious in victory. Already made 3 starts in this form cycle so may start to plateau. Been getting solid 6F drills from Baffert. Gets rematch chance this weekend versus Life is Good and think he comes up short. UPDATE: Horse ran as expected. Very solid but not a derby winner. Pass.
16. Midnight Bourbon - No excuse when beaten in Risen Star. Pass.
17. Prevalence - Impressive in 7F debut but next will face winners in 2-turn test. Missed Fountain of Youth due to illness and next start is unknown. Big longshot as time runs out.
18. Proxy - Has not had a break in training since October and took second in both Fair Grounds preps. May like added distance but think upside on this one is limited.
19. Risk Taking - Impressive win in Withers off the bench. Should improve in next start & skipping Gotham to wait for the Wood which is unconventional. Only has 10 Derby points so would need to run well there. Watch the tote. UPDATE: 43-1 is square, playable.
20. Roman Centurion - Was very impressive in last race and gets major class test in San Felipe. A closing second to Life is Good would be a solid effort. 50-1 seems fair. UPDATE: Ran 4th and will need a lot of points to make field. Was no match for 2nd or 3rd place horses. Toss.
21. Rombauer - Beat up weak foes running on synthetic in slow time. Had front wraps in that effort which is concerning. 2yo dirt form is pretty good. Need to see where this horse runs next. Watch the tote but 50-1 is the right range. UPDATE: This horse is 99-1. Huge long-shot but that could actually be an overlay.
22. Spielburg - Heavily raced and no match for best horses in CA or AR. Easy toss.
23. The Great One - Beaten twice by Spielburg so put him in same class range. Toss. UPDATE: Ran poorly when stepped up in San Felipe. Still a toss.
24. All Other 3yos - This Future Pool is still early and if some unknown horses win stakes this weekend, they are very viable Derby Day. 10-1 would be a gift. UPDATE: If odds stay at 10-1 this is the correct play. You just picked up top 2 finishers of Tampa Bay & Gotham. Plus a lot can still happen in remaining preps. This Derby is still wide open.
Bottom Line - UPDATE: The best play is ALL OTHER 3yo which if it stays at 10-1 is an amazing play. Others you could think about are Concert Tour 17-1, Hot Rod Charlie 42-1, Keepmeinmind 29-1 & Rombauer 99-1. Of these I prefer Concert Tour & Hot Rod Charlie. Both could have big efforts in next starts which will drive down odds. I'm skeptical on Keepmeinmind and Rombauer is likely not a derby horse even though odds are good.