There is no shortage of opinions regarding a horse’s performance following races on the TwinSpires.com Kentucky Derby Championship Series, and the beauty of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is that it allows bettors to put their money where their mouths are (assuming the price is right).
Pool 3 is now open and closes Saturday before the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct (more on that race on Friday). For FREE Brisnet.com Ultimate PPs with comments for the Gotham, click here; for FREE future wager PPs, click here.
The most popular flavors of Kool Aid following last weekend’s races were Top Billing in a loss (third in the Fountain of Youth behind Wildcat Red and General a Rod) and Intense Holiday in a Risen Star Stakes win. The former is 8-to-1 on the morning line while the latter is 15-to-1. I don’t want either at those prices, and I have Top Billing shorter on my fair odds line as well, but Intense Holiday is more likely to be a bet come Saturday afternoon.
In this week's Bullet Train Stud Kentucky Derby Platform, Sean Feld shares my distaste for the Top Billing Kool Aid.
Others in pool 3 who ran last weekend are Wildcat Red and General a Rod from the aforementioned Fountain of Youth, Constitution from a Gulfstream allowance race, and Albano and Vicar’s In Trouble—second and third, respectively in the aforementioned Risen Star.
There is a lot of early speed among the 23 individual betting interests, and while I definitely think it’s too early to get hung up on handicapping the pace scenario of this year’s Derby, I think the combination of potential pace and pedigree of Albano, Uncle Sigh, Vicar’s In Trouble, and Wildcat Red is enough to be bearish on their chances as four of the 14 individual entries with at least five Quirin Speed Points.
The three “E” types I like best are Bayern, Kristo, and Samraat, though my concern with Samraat is he faces a lot of speed in the Gotham and picks up seven pounds. More on that race on Friday, but for future wagering purposes, it might be better to sit tight on him. The time for Kristo was probably last time at 76.6-to-1, but at least you know he’s training forwardly, has a few points, and is pointing for a race soon. Bayern turned a lot of heads when crushing stablemate Tap It Rich last out but needs points, and the waters are getting deep.
Overall, it’s hard to judge too much based on the morning line because the field being 6-to-1 on it when I expect it to be no more than 4-to-1 in actual betting skews individual contenders low.
The Southwest exacta of Tapiture (15-to-1 morning line) and Strong Mandate (20-to-1 morning line) look interesting, as I’d be inclined to bet either of them at 20-to-1. I know some wouldn’t touch two-year-old champion male Shared Belief at any price, as in addition to the soundness concerns he has no points, but I can’t ignore that he’s the fastest horse of his generation, and I’d take a flyer on him in that 20-to-1 ballpark.
Honor Code is number one right now as far as polls go (with Shared Belief number two), but that’s based on what happened last year, and time is running out to show me something this year. At least Honor Code is back working, though, and I’d take a chance on him at 15-to-1 or better.
All that might be moot, though, as I expect my biggest bet to be on the field if the odds are 4-to-1 or better. I bet the field in Pool 2 when its odds were 9-to-5, but I wasn’t alone in my thinking there, as it went down to 3-to-2 by the time the pool closed. I also bet Bobby’s Kitten and Rise Up, and neither made the current pool, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bobby’s Kitten back for the final pool March 27-29 if he wins this weekend at Gulfstream.
Below is my fair odds line for pool 3 as well as a summary of my action to date.
For those looking for even more bang for their future wager buck, the TwinSpires.com 1-million points Future Wager fantasy draft gives you action throughout the 170-point races for $15 by betting $7, $5, and $3 on one horse in each of three groups (no field). Scoring is the same as the TwinSpires.com Kentucky Derby Championship Series with the Derby itself worth 5x points.