Fusaichi Pegasus was the first favorite to win the Kentucky Derby in more than 20 years when he did so last year. Can Point Given follow in his footsteps as this year's likely Derby chalk?
Apparently in Las Vegas, there is growing support for the Thunder Gulch colt. As the future books in Sin City start to close shop this week, Point Given is less than 2-1 at most casinos. Unlike the hyseteria that surrounded Pegasus before last year's race, some race book supervisors say Point Given is slowly building a legion of backers.
"There is a quiet respect for Point Given right now," said Paul Morris, a race book manager at Imperial Palace. "He's the strongest Kentucky Derby favorite we've seen in the last five years."
Imperial Palace has Point Given at 6-5, while The Venetian has the colt at 7-5 this week. Considering there will be somewhere between 14 to 18 horses running in the Derby, bettors may want to hold off until the day of the race.
But most race fans agree Point Given won't be higher than 2-1. Morris said only a lucky few managed to snag 50-1 on Point Given for the Derby back in the fall, before his second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup
Juvenile. The colt dropped down to 4-1 before he even started his spring campaign, which included wins in the San Felipe Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby.
But there are still some decent prices in Las Vegas this week. At Imperial Palace, the once highly touted A.P. Valentine is 25-1, an improving Thunder Blitz is at 45-1, and Invsible Ink is at 40-1. Horses with single-digit odds at the race book include Congaree (4-1), Balto Star (6-1), Monarchos (6-1), Dollar Bill (7-1), and Millennium Wind (8-1).
At the Venetian, A.P. Valentine is 10-1, Dollar Bill is 6-1, Invisible Ink is 10-1, Millennium Wind is 4-1, Monarchos is 3-1, Congaree is 5-2, Balto Star is 7-1, and Thunder Blitz is 30-1.