Derby Future 5
This is the final Derby Future wager and there is a 100 point Florida Derby prep. As I've stated in previous Future Wager blogs: A) you don't want to bet a favorite & B) you don't want to bet horses that are running this weekend. We are looking for value as defined by a horse with a shot to win the Derby that will go off at much lower odds Derby day than they are in Future Wager 5. I expect there will be limited opportunities but let's take a look:
1. Big Lake - Scratched
2. Caddo River - This horse was an underlay in Future Wager 4 and over rated off slow Smarty Jones win. Beaten badly and an easy toss.
3. Collaborate - Races in FL Derby with LASIX off for first time. $600K colt is well intentioned but is moving up off fast 1-turn MSW win. An underlay whether he wins or loses. UPDATE: Ran poorly, toss.
4. Concert Tour - Will be one of top 3 betting choices. The chance to bet this one early has passed. He is a legit contender but too much risk right now with another race to run.
5. Crowded Trade - Ran well in 2nd lifetime start in Gotham losing by a nose. Horse hung late and major improvement is possible in Wood memorial but will need to as Gotham stakes was very slow. Watch tote as 50-1 would be interesting. UPDATE: 37-1 currently, too short.
6. Dream Shake - Ran acceptable in San Felipe in 2nd lifetime start in okay time. Will need to improve a lot in Santa Anita and that is very possible. Was 2 lengths back of Medina Spirit who had much more racing experience. Another one that is interesting at 50-1. UPDATE: 58-1 currently, playable.
7. Essential Quality - Deserving favorite. Southwest Stakes victory was very impressive. Will get one more start before Derby. Wait and see.
8. Greatest Honor - Took step backward in Fountain of Youth running slower than Holy Bull and getting into race later while spinning wheels on the turn. Still impressive he won and should relish added distance. Will face much tougher in FL Derby. Can't bet him if he wins. However, if he runs a solid 3rd with excuses watch the tote. You need at least 12-1 in that case to bet him although his running style is a concern KY Derby day. UPDATE: Well beaten in 3rd, ran similar to FOY stakes. 7-1 is too short.
9. Helium - Undefeated colt won Tampa Bay Derby on dirt in acceptable time. The Beyer figure seems too slow so he will likely be overlooked in the betting. The big negative is he will take 8 week break before Derby and be stretching out from 8.5F to 10F. Seems like owners don't want to take chance and have him run badly in next start but if you can get 50-1 that is acceptable. UPDATE: 24-1, too short
10. Hidden Stash - No excuse that he couldn't run by Helium who needed a race while this horse was eligible for improvement. The $50K purchase price for a Tapit really concerns me. Don't know plans for another race. You need a huge price near 100-1 to play this one. UPDATE: 53-1, too short.
11. Highly Motivated - Disappointing favorite was a horrible play in Gotham off questionable works. He needed that race and may get ignored in the betting. Still hasn't gone 2 turns and pedigree doesn't scream 10F. Eligible for significant improvement in next start and 50-1 is a fair price. UPDATE: 26-1 is too short.
12. Hot Rod Charlie - We bet this one at 53-1 in last Future Wager and now is not the time to bet him off smart LA Derby victory in 1:55 for 9.5F. That win was 2nd 3yo start. Horse has superb dirt form and tactical speed. Eligible to improve in Kentucky Derby in 3rd start of year. Legitimate contender. UPDATE: 11-1 is a pretty decent price. Playable if you didn't already bet him in earlier future pool.
13. Hozier - Pretty nice effort in Rebel Stakes to take 2nd but is a step down from Concert Tour. Hate to be redundant but 50-1 for a Baffert horse would be nice. Will watch the tote. UPDATE: 56-1, playable
14. Mandaloun - Really disappointed in LA Derby with no excuses and primary reason has to be the distance. Toss.
15. Medina Spirit - Solid colt but we've seen his best and he's not eligible for improvement. He may win Santa Anita but his price in this Future Wager still won't be good enough.
16. Midnight Bourbon - Really nice effort in LA Derby but that was his 3rd start of year where he was eligible to improve. Pedigree is rock solid for 10F. This is a nice horse to use underneath in exactas in the Future wager or on Derby Day.
17. O Besos - Improved significantly in LA Derby stretching out to 9.5F but that was 5th race of form cycle. Will get rest and may run back to that effort in KY Derby but would only use underneath with his running style. UPDATE: 59-1 is playable but horse is on the bubble of making Derby at all. Pass.
18. Prevalence - This horse is getting a lot of buzz off allowance win where he went off at 1-10. Might be the real deal but price isn't worth the wager. Still hasn't tried stakes company, two turns or races without LASIX.
19. Proxy - Keeps picking up pieces and LA Derby effort with blinkers on disappointed. He is heavily raced and the 6 weeks rest will help but he is an underneath horse only. UPDATE: 71-1 is playable but think this an underneath horse only. Also on the bubble of making the Derby.
20. Risk Taking - I like the path this one is taking, skipping the Gotham to run in Wood. He will need to run well or he won't make KY Derby field but if he does his odds would drop dramatically. The Withers time was slow so like the others I'm looking for at least 50-1. UPDATE: 34-1, pass.
21. Rock Your World - Has only raced on turf and never longer than a mile. Don't know where this horse is running next. Santa Anita Derby? Toss for now. UPDATE: 23-1, why is this horse taking so much money?
22. Spielburg - Heavily raced and a notch below the best of this crop. Might be a strong contender in FL Derby but will be an underlay no matter how he finishes. UPDATE: Ran poorly, toss.
23. Weyburn - This horse was beaten and then fought back gamely to win Gotham. Horse was stretching out off sloppy 7F victory as 2yo and trainer indicated horse is difficult to train. Gotham Stakes was slow and will need to do it again in Wood against tougher going 2 turns. 50-1 seems right. UPDATE: 30-1, pass
24. All Other 3yos - You would need a new shooter to win one of the big stakes races to make this a plausible bet. 20-1 is a square price if you can get it. UPDATE: 7-1 is a fair price with Known Agenda winning and 4 more 100 point Derby preps where new horses can emerge.
Bottom Line - Will update this after Saturday races and looking at tote. I want at least the prices indicated in my notes above and that figures to happen on only 1 or 2 horses. The LA Derby horses are good ones to consider underneath in any exacta plays. UPDATE: The only horses truly worth playing in Future Wager 5 are #6 Dream Shake & #13 Hozier (although I think Hozier is a step below Concert Tour). Dream Shake is really the best option in this Future Pool with significant improvement possible in Santa Anita Derby. The other consideration is #24 ALL OTHER 3yos at 7-1. Good luck!