With wagering beginning today on the second of three pools in the 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Steve Haskin, senior correspondent for The Blood-Horse
, analyzes the 23 individual horses and mutuel field and their respective morning-line odds.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, for which the second pool closes Sunday, is a $2 minimum wager and is a win bet only. It offers racing fans the opportunity to wager on contenders for the Kentucky Derby well in advance of the race at odds that could be better than those they would receive on the day of the race. There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Information on the Kentucky Derby and real time odds on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are available at the official Kentucky Derby Web site at http://www.kentuckyderby.com.Click here to view Brisnet.com past performances of Future Wager horses
The Future Wager offerings and Haskin's analysis:
1 -- Afleet Alex
, 10-1 – He'll be bet down after his explosive debut, in which he earned a 106 Beyer and a .25 on the Ragozin Sheets, both sensational numbers for a debut. Ran a full second faster than the classy 4-year-old Pro Prado and galloped out seven furlongs in a wicked 1:22 2/5. It'll be very interesting to see what he does coming back in two weeks going two turns. All class and a good bet at anything even close to 10-1..
2 -- Bandini
, 15-1 – If I had to make one bet that will look good come Derby Day, it would be on him. There's a little apprehension about his having five weeks to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after the Florida Derby (gr. I), but trainer Todd Pletcher is convinced it's the right timing for him. Just like everything about this colt – looks, style, action, pedigree, and he's still learning. When he dropped his head and shoulder and leveled off in the Fountain of Youth, he looked like he was just beginning to run as he hit the wire. He has a long, fluid stride and is just a beautiful, classy horse to look at.
, 30-1 – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is always dangerous with a good horse, and he's already proven he's a good horse. Needed the race in the San Vicente (gr. II), for which Lukas accepts the blame, and should show big improvement in the San Felipe (gr. II), although that's going to be a very tough race. As of now, I like Going Wild a little better, because of his consistency and his progression, but wouldn't be surprised to see him run a big race in the San Felipe and step back into the Derby picture. Lukas is very dangerous first race back off a blame.
, 5-1 – His debut was just what you would hope for and showed he's still the same professional, machine-like horse from last year. Still not crazy about having only two starts before the Derby, especially since he's the type of horse who throws his ears all around and does just what he has to win. But he doesn't carry much flesh, so it's a good possibility two starts is about all he can handle if he's going to get through the Triple Crown. Bottom line is that he's all racehorse and has never been beaten.
5--Don't Get Mad
, 20-1 – Stablemate of Declan's Moon, he could wind up higher than 20-1, and is a good gamble with his devastating turn of foot. But so far, he's only done it in sprints, and until they stretch out and show that same acceleration, you just don't know. What I like about him is that he has the potential to be something really special after turning in that blistering final eighth in the San Vicente, a race he had every right to finish fourth of four in. Ellis is shocked he's done so well sprinting; does that mean we haven't seen anything near his best yet? Very intriguing horse.
6--Fusaichi Rock Star
, 15-1 – His price is way too low; probably should be doubled, especially since he got sick on Baffert and now has some catching up to do. Big, strong, long-striding colt, he's still on the Derby trail, and we'll just have to see how quickly he recovers and gets back in training.
, 30-1 – Don't sell this horse short just yet. If he bounces back with a big effort in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III), which he's certainly capable of, he'll be awfully tough to beat in the Wood Memorial (gr. I). He's apparently over his cut and bruise, returning with a sharp five-furlong drill in 1:00 3/5. Remember how highly regarded he was before the Whirlaway, and at the price he's going to be, he might be worth a small wager.
, 30-1 – He threw a shoe in the Sham, which gives him some sort of excuse, which makes his 30-1 odds seem too high considering he's been right there with Declan's Moon and Going Wild. If you want to take a chance that he'll return to his Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) form in the San Felipe, you should get him at pretty decent price.
, 20-1 – He took a step forward in his second-place finish in the Santa Catalina, in which he broke awkwardly, was bumped hard by Declan's Moon, and actually dropped back to last before being steered to the rail. He rated nicely in third, then put his head in front and battled with Declan's Moon for about an eighth of mile, while stuck on his left lead. Drew three lengths clear of Spanish Chestnut, but couldn't match strides with the champ. He'll get a lot out of this race and is a live horse at a good price.
, 50-1 – He's unproven and has not been tested for class, but he has the respect of rival trainers and could be any kind off his impressive two-turn allowance score. He has the pedigree and is in good hands with Dave Hofmans. Certainly worth a small wager at these odds, especially if he should jump up and run huge in the San Felipe.
, 20-1 – Hasn't gotten the respect he deserves for a horse who's won three stakes and possesses a dynamite stretch kick. Big knock against him is breeding, with his first three sires all sprinters and lots of speed in his female family. But he's already won three two-turn stakes, and he was born on April Fool's Day, so the joke may be on his detractors. He'll get a real gut check in the Rebel against Afleet Alex and Rockport Harbor.
, 10-1 – Although he defeated Bandini in the Fountain of Youth, I don't think he should be shorter odds. He ran a big race and rebounded nicely off his disastrous third in the Holy Bull. Need to see one more race to get an idea just how good he really is. He'll have a rematch with Bandini in the Florida Derby, where he'll be facing a more seasoned horse than he did last week. If he can beat him again, then he has to be considered a major Derby contender.
, 20-1 – All we know right now is that he apparently has a great deal of talent. How that equates to the Derby we'll find out in the Louisiana Derby. If you want to take the chance he's as good as everyone says, then this is your big opportunity to get down on him. A second or third on Saturday will prove he's that good and has the class; a win will indicate he may be a freak. But, either way, he's on course to have only two starts prior to the Derby and only four lifetime.
14--Lost in the Fog
, 20-1 – Trainer says he's 50-50 to hop on the Derby trail, while owner says he wants no part of the Derby, and seemed pretty adamant about it. He has a ton of speed and showed in the Swale (gr. II) he can rate behind a horse. Pedigree actually indicates he'll run long, as he has several stamina influences top and bottom. Question is, do you want to take a horse with this much brilliance going short and try to make a Derby horse out of him? Guess is they'll take it one small step at a time and see what happens.
, 20-1 – This looks to be Zito's secret weapon, although he's not much of a secret any longer. He showed a lot of maturity winning a nine-furlong allowance race, and the greenness he displayed in his earlier races seems to be a thing of the past. Super pedigree, great-looking colt, and has the right style. Don't expect as good a price as you might hope to get. Red-hot trainer and a "now" horse.
, 20-1 – Fever has put him in a tough spot, especially considering the question marks about his ability going two turns. He's proven he's a top-class horse, but is kind of a risk right now.
, 12-1 – Unbeaten streak is in jeopardy now that Afleet Alex has a monster race under him, so a good second to him would be more of a positive. Of course, there's always a chance Alex could "bounce" coming off such a brilliant effort in two weeks. But The Rebel is not about Alex as much as it is Rockport's Harbor's return following a pair of physical setbacks. More important to show he can rate and come home after a pair of works in which he showed too much speed early and too little late. If he shows he's progressed from two to three, then we've got another star.
, 20-1 – Poor horse and trainer haven't been able to get a break this year, with the bad weather and a quarter crack conspiring against them. Liked his 1:38 3/5 mile work. Has his work cut out for him against a tough field in the San Felipe, but he has the talent, and is no doubt crawling out of his skin. Again, two starts is a concern, and he'll need all that talent and a couple of hard races to get him battle-tested for the Derby. Still think he's worth a shot at the odds he's likely to be.
, 30-1 – If he can duplicate his performance in the Louisiana Derby, his 30-1 odds are going to look like the gift of the year. This will be a tougher test and he's going to have to put in that explosive move he showed in the Risen Star; this time from not as far back. But there's no reason why he shouldn't be a better horse this time around. Horses are supposed to keep moving forward, and this will prove just how legit he really is.
, 30-1 – He needed to hang in there longer in the Santa Catalina. Confirmed frontrunners are normally at a disadvantage in the Derby, and if you have to be on the lead, you better be able to fight off challenges. He did dig in and tried, but having horses on both sides of him made it more difficult. He'll win his share of stakes, but he has to show more to be considered a Kentucky Derby contender.
, 20-1 – Lock me in at 20-1 right now. This horse should be lower, and I wouldn't get my hopes too high of landing this price. This is Zito's big horse, and he's as handsome a physical specimen as you'll see on the Derby trail. His debut was exactly what you'd want to see; he ran fast, he was dominant; and he did it all on his own. Only thing to think about is that he'll be a standout again in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) and won't meet a really top-class opponent until his third start, which looks to be the Blue Grass (gr. I). But he's already proven his class against the best.
, 20-1 – I would definitely take a shot with her at this price, but anything said now is moot considering she's running in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) Sunday and needs to be overpowering again to show she still has that aura of invincibility that will be needed when she faces the colts. But assuming she will be, remember, the betting likely will be closed by that point, so you should get the odds you expect, no matter how good she looks.
, 30-1 – I find these odds mind-boggling. This is a Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner who went on to prove it was no fluke against 5-1 Declan's Moon, and did so running with a quarter crack. He has the pedigree and the running style, and has been working brilliantly. And he's tough as nails. Where are the old-time bookies when you need them? This is a steal, but unfortunately it is highly unlikely you'll see anything near these odds. Then again, this horse has never gotten the respect he deserves, so who knows?
, 5-1 – It's not going to be easy finding a Derby winner who's not in the top 23, but there are still some lives ones in the mutuel field. Three exciting horses – Stellar Magic, Wannawinemall
, and Uncle Denny
will face off in Saturday's El Camino Real Derby (gr. III). You also get another promising Zito horse in Sam F. Davis winner Andromeda's Hero
, who is improving quickly, and a newcomer to his barn, Bellamy Road
, winner of the Cradle Stakes, who debuts Saturday. There are two tough New York horses, Naughty New Yorker
, who is a real sleeper, and Count Fleet winner Scrappy T
. Rick Violette has two good ones in Dearest Mon
, who we should know more about Saturday, and Wallstreet Scandal
, who looks like a potential upsetter in the Louisiana Derby. Although Defer
has been a disappointment, Shug McGaughey still has Survivalist
, who should keep improving. There is also Kansas City Boy
, who will be tough in the Louisiana Derby, and Wild Desert
, a good fifth in the Fountain of Youth in his 3-year-old debut; both trained by Kenny McPeek. Team Valor has a pair of intriguing unknowns in Becrux
, and there is Sort It Out, Magna Graduate, Papi Chullo, Storm Surge
, and Real Dandy
; all proven stakes horses. So, all in all, the field is still pretty strong.