The Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #2

February 7th 2016 
Updated February 14th 2016 4:15 PM CST (see below)

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool #2 will be active this coming Friday February 12th at 11 AM CST through Sunday February 14th at 5PM CST. There are 13 new horses in this pool (shown with an asterisk).

Derby Wager Pool 2

1. Airoforce 20-1
2. Awesome Banner* 30-1
3. Brody’s Cause 30-1
4. Cherry Wine* 50-1
5. Cocked and Loaded 50-1
6. Collected* 30-1
7. Danzing Candy* 30-1
8. Discreetness* 50-1
9. Exaggerator 20-1
10. Gettysburg* 50-1 <–raced in Sam F. Davis Stakes 2/13/16 & finished a disappointing 5th
11. Gift Box 30-1
12. Greenpointcrusader 20-1
13. Gun Runner 50-1
14. Mo Tom* 50-1
15. Mohaymen 8-1
16. Mor Spirit 15-1
17. Nyquist 12-1
18. Shagaf* 30-1
19. Smokey Image* 30-1
20. Tom’s Ready* 50-1
21. Vorticity* 50-1
22. Whitmore* 50-1
23. Zulu* 30-1
24. Mutuel Field (All Others) 4-5

*Wagering interest not included in KDFW Pool 1

At this point in the future wager pool, I believe that the 2016 Kentucky Derby winner is somewhere in this pool so I would not place any bets on “All Others.” I expect that the bettors two favorites will be Mohaymen and Nyquist. I would give the nod to Mohaymen over Nyquist right now. However, I feel that 8-1 odds for Mohaymen is too short at this stage of the future wager pools. I still like Brody’s Cause and Exaggerator.

Overall, I was surprised that Mike Battaglia dropped Swipe, Flexibility and Sunny Ridge from Pool #1.  I was also surprised by the inclusion of these three horses: Whitmore, Tom’s Ready and Cherry Wine. I wouldn’t waste any money on these three nor would I place any money on Vorticity and Gun Runner.

Two horses that I feel will be liked too much by bettors and have final odds much lower than their on-track accomplishments warrant are: Mor Spirit and Zulu. Mor Spirit is a Bob Baffert-trained horse and his times and Beyer Speed Figures in the Los Alamitos Futurity and Robert B. Lewis Stakes aren’t even close to what Dortmund’s were last year. Zulu is a Todd Pletcher horse who is undefeated in 2 starts but has never raced further than 7 furlongs. He might be a “Miler” in the mode of Liam’s Map but I am skeptical of him being a threat in the Kentucky Derby at this point.

So below are five key horses to consider for your future wager.  Below these five are some other horses to consider if you can get a “price.”

1) MohaymenMorning Line Odds: 8-1

The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt is undefeated in 4 starts and posted an impressive time of 1:42.07 in the Holy Bull Stakes. When you watch that race and realize that he didn’t get off to the best start—yet he dealt with some traffic and then mowed down the field without being shown the whip–you have to be impressed. He is easily a sub 1:42 sec horse at the 1 1/16th mile race distance. Mohaymen is a half brother to the horse Frosted but he is way ahead of him at this stage of his career. His sire was Tapit so his pedigree suggests that he will like stretching out past 1 1/16th mile. His next start will be the Fountain of Youth Stakes on February 27th at Gulfstream Park.

Career: 4 Starts 4-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: 1:36.01 – Nashua Stakes
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:42.07 – Holy Bull Stakes
Best 1 1/8th Mile Time: 1:50.92 – Remsen Stakes
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 95- Holy Bull Stakes

2) Nyquist – Morning Line Odds: 12-1

The 2015 Eclipse 2 Year Old Male Horse of the Year. Winner of three Grade 1 Stakes races: The Del Mar Futurity, the FrontRunner Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. My way too early Kentucky Derby favorite proved that his declining Beyer Speed Figures wasn’t a concern with an impressive win in the Juvenile. The Doug O’Neill-trained colt is still undefeated in five starts. His stalking racing style reminds me of a young American Pharoah. Just remember the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile curse–the last horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile that went on to win the Kentucky Derby was Street Sense in 2007. He is being pointed for the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park on February 15th and then the Florida Derby on April 2nd.

Career: 5 Starts 5-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:43.79 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 89 – Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

3) Brody’s Cause – Morning Line Odds: 30-1

Dale Roman’s winner of the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes. His sire was Giant’s Causeway who had a great career on the other side of the pond and finished 2nd in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic. This colt has excellent closing speed that he demonstrated above in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity as well as in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with his 3rd place finish. He looks to be a First Saturday in May horse. I think his 30-1 Morning Line Odds are a bit too long with his closing speed (I expected 20/1 M/L odds). He is being pegged for the Tampa Bay Derby March 12th. 

Career: 4 Starts 2-0-1-0
Best 1 Mile Time: 1:37.64 – Churchill Down MSW – Race #5
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:43.27 – Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 88 – Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity

4) Exaggerator – Morning Line Odds: 20-1

A Desormeaux brothers colt, they feel that he is more talented than Swipe. He finished 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and then followed this effort with a win in the Delta Downs Jackpot with a 92 Beyer Speed Figure. Exaggerator’s sire was Curlin (2007 Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner). Remember, his jockey Keith Desormeaux is a three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby. His next start is expected to be the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita February 15th. 

Career: 6 Starts 3-1-0-1 
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:43.43 (calculated) Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 92 – Delta Downs Jackpot

5) Smokey ImageMorning Line Odds: 30-1

He is undefeated in six starts, but five of his wins were at the 7 furlong distance or shorter. He might prove to be a better dirt-miler than a Derby horse. His next start is pegged to be the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park March 12th. That race will probably be a great litmus test to determine if this horse is for real as a Derby contender–or one who has just raced against inferior competition. However, a horse who has a nose for the finish line in 6 starts should not be ignored. I like him right around 30-1 or longer odds.

Career: 6 Starts 6-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:43.49 – California Cup Derby
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 85


Other horses to consider if you can get a “price” (live odds greater than 50-1)

Discreetness – winner of the Smarty Jones Stakes, undefeated in 4 starts. He has yet to race further than 1 mile.
Gift Box – Chad Brown’s colt resumed training January 19th. He finished 3rd behind Mohaymen and Flexibility in the Remsen Stakes.

Pay close attention to Exacta betting in this pool. This is where you can reap big rewards for just a few bucks.

Update February 13th 4:15 PM CST

Here are the top ten horses based upon current live odds:

  1. #24 – All Others – 3/1
  2. #15 – Mohaymen – 4/1
  3. #17 – Nyquist – 7/1
  4. #16 – Mo Spirit – 12/1
  5. #3 – Brody’s Cause – 14/1
  6. #1 – Airoforce – 15/1
  7. #19 – Smokey Image – 18/1
  8. #9 – Exaggerator – 22/1
  9. #23 – Zulu – 23/1
  10. #14 – Mo Tom – 30/1

My thoughts thus far–too much money is chasing Mohaymen (4/1 live odds) and Nyquist  (7/1 live odds) right now. We are still roughly 12 weeks out from the Kentucky Derby and a lot can happen between now and the first Saturday in May. To give you a perspective, American Pharoah had 5/1 final odds in the Kentucky Derby Pool #4 last year and he was given 5/2 Morning Line Odds for the Kentucky Derby when his live odds ended up at 2.9/1.

Right now, Exacta bets using these two and taking some flyers on a few other horses with Win bets look to be the best betting options. Brody’s Cause is 14-1 at the time of this update, so a $20 Win bet in this pool would pay back around $300. He offers more value at this point. Gift Box at 57-1 is very intriguing. Remember that he ran a 1:43 flat in a 1 1/16th mile race on a sloppy track at Belmont on October 3rd as a 2 year-old. See race HERE

Todd Pletcher’s Gettysburg (half brother to American Pharoah) was an intriguing prospect until when he ran a disappointing 5th in the Sam F. Davis Stakes today (see below)

Danzing Candy at 29-1 looks like a good option in this pool since he ridden by Mike Smith.

“All Others” currently at the time of this update is 3/1. Don’t forget that “All Others” in this pool includes Swipe who is supposed to resume training February 16th, Bob Baffert’s Cupid (half brother to Mohaymen due sharing the same sire Tapit) and Linda Rice’s Matt King Coal who resumed  training February 7th.

-Michael

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Looking ahead to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sentient Jet Juvenile and early 2016 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Updated: 10/25/2015

With the Breeders’ Cup Sentient Jet Juvenile race coming up in less than two weeks on October 31st, it is time to take a closer look at the favorites for that race as well as next year’s Kentucky Derby contenders. Yours truly will be there. Here are eleven 2-year-old colts to keep an eye on. I don’t feel that they can really be ranked at this point but I generally feel that Nyquist and Brody’s Cause are the top two thus far. Greenpointcrusader if you want a third.

In terms of Beyer Speed Figures, this appears to be the worst crop since 2006 because we have yet to see a 2 year-old colt or filly eclipse the 100 Beyer Speed mark thus far. But the 2006 2 year-old class eventually produced Curlin who didn’t race until his 3 year-old campaign but generated $10.5 million dollars in career earnings. So this could be the late-bloomer class and some of these horses race to their level of competition. I bet we see a horse produce a 100 Beyer in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Below are short bios on the top 2 year-olds who have been pre-entered into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile race. My pick to win the race is Greenpointcrusader:

Nyquist* – Winner of two Grade 1 Stakes: The Del Mar Futurity and the FrontRunner Stakes. My way too early Kentucky Derby favorite. The Doug O’Neill-trained colt Nyquist is undefeated. However, it is concerning that his Beyer Speed Figures are on a descending plain (89->82->79). But his stalking racing style reminds me of a young American Pharoah. Definitely, a 1st Saturday in May horse provided he isn’t on the downward spiral. He will likely win the Eclipse Top 2 Year Old Male Horse award provided he finishes in the top 3.

Career: 4 Starts 4-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:44.89 – FrontRunner Stakes
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 79,82  Average: 80.5
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 89 – Best Pal Stakes

Brody’s Cause* Dale Roman’s winner of the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes. His sire was Giant’s Causeway who had a great career on the other side of the pond and finished 2nd in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic. On closer inspection, this horse has excellent closing speed. No matter what happens in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, he looks to be a 1st Saturday in May horse.

Career: 3 Starts 2-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: 1:37.64 – Churchill Down Maiden Special Weight – Race #5
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:43.27 – Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 88,74  Average: 81
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 88 – Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity

Greenpointcrusader* Winner of Champagne Stakes where he received a 94 Beyer Speed Figure. Curiously enough, his time was 0.37 seconds faster than last year’s Champagne Stakes winner Daredevil (who received a 107 Beyer) on a similar sloppy sealed track. Excellent pedigree: sire Bernardini (Rachel’s Valentina’s sire), grand sire A.P. Indy, great-grand sire Seattle Slew. His sire Bernardini won the 2006 Preakness Stakes, Travers Stakes, the Jockey Club Gold Cup and finished 2nd in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Greenpointcrusader’s 94 Beyer Speed figure in the Champagne Stakes is the top Beyer Speed figure for a 2 year-old colt for a distance 1 mile or greater. And it appeared that he will have no problems stretching out a couple more furlongs. He is my pick to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile provided that he doesn’t draw the rail.

Career: 3 Starts 2-1-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: 1:36.25 – Champagne Stakes
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: N/A
Last Two Beyers: 94,82 Average: 88
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 94 Champagne Stakes

Riker – The Canadian colt is undefeated after wiring the Grey Stakes field. But note that he has only competed at Woodbine which uses a synthetic surface. His grand sire Candy Ride still holds the track record (1:59.11) for the Pacific Classic. His sire Twirling Candy had a decent career, winning 7 out 11 races.

Career: 4 starts 4-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:44.31 – Grey Stakes
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 84,79  Average: 81.5
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 90 – Colin Stakes

Exaggerator – A Desormeaux brothers colt, Exaggerator’s sire was Curlin (2007 Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner). Exaggerator finished 2nd in the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes and won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special.

Career: 4 Starts 2-1-0-0 
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:43.43 (calculated) Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 86,85  Average: 85.5
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 86 – Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity

Ralis – Another promising colt from Doug O’Neill’s stable, winner of the Hopeful Stakes with a 93 Beyer Speed Figure. However, he had a disappointing 6th place finish in the sloppy Champagne Stakes. I won’t judge him too harshly for that.

Career: 6 Starts 2-1-0-1
Best 1 Mile Time: 1:38.65 (calculated) – Champagne Stakes
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: N/A
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 66,93  Average: 79.5
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 93 Hopeful Stakes

Conquest Big E – A Mark Casse trained colt, his sire was Tapit (champion sire in 2014 and leading sire in 2015). A half-brother to Tonalist and Frosted, he will like distance. He was purchased as a yearling for $700,000.

Career: 2 Starts 2-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:44.42 – Keeneland Maiden Special Weight – Race #3
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 75,72  Average: 73.5
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 75 – Keeneland Maiden Special Weight – Race #3

Cocked and Loaded* – Winner of the Iroquois Stakes and the Tremont Stakes. He has Seattle Slew in his bloodlines on both the sire and dam side.

Career: 4 Starts 3-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:44.94 – Iroquois Stakes
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 82,61  Average: 71.5
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 82 – Iroquois Stakes

Swipe – Finished 2nd in the FrontRunner Stakes. He has finished 2nd to Nyquist in his last 3 starts but gave him his best battle in the FrontRunner Stakes.

Career: 6 Starts 1-4-1-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:45.01 (calculated) – FrontRunner Stakes
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 78,74  Average: 76
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 78 – FrontRunner Stakes

In addition to these horses, the following 2 year-olds have been pre-entered into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: Fellowship, Rated R Superstar, Sticksstatelydude, Tale of S’avall, Tom’s Ready and Unbridled Outlaw.

Hollywood Don, Isotherm, Siding Spring, and Waterloo Bridge have also been pre-entered into both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Juvenile Turf with 1st preference for the turf race.

Two horses not entered into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile that you should keep an eye on:

Gift Box – Consider in just his 2nd start, this Chad Brown-trained colt produced a time of 1:43:00 on a sloppy track at Belmont–good for a 93 Beyer Speed Figure. That was faster than American Pharoah’s time of 1:45.78 in the sloppy Rebel Stakes at the same 1 1/16th mile distance. And American Pharoah was a 3 year-old in the Rebel. Call me curious to see what this colt will do in his next start on a dry, fast track at a distance of a mile or more. As was his challenger in his last start, Matt King Coal.

Career: 2 Starts 1-0-1-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: 1:43.00 – Belmont Maiden Special Weight- Race #11
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: 93,?  Average: ?
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 93 – Belmont Maiden Special Weight- Race #11

Sudden Surprise – This Todd Pletcher-trained colt is undefeated in 3 starts. However, he has yet to stretch out past 7 furlongs.

Career: 3 Starts 3-0-0-0
Best 1 Mile Time: N/A
Best 1 1/16th Mile Time: N/A
Last Two Beyer Speed Figures: ?,?
Best Beyer Speed Figure: 89 – Saratoga Maiden Special Weight – Race #3

* indicates a horse who has qualified for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Sentient Jet) race.


 –Michael