Kentucky Derby 2019 Daily: Avello’s future odds are here

January 10, 2019 08:59am

Welcome to Horse Racing Nation’s Kentucky Derby Daily, which will each day leading up to the May 4 race at Churchill Downs detail all the news and notes related to contenders in one convenient space.

After 13 years at the Wynn Las Vegas, Johnny Avello departed last fall for DraftKings in a move that sent shockwaves through both horse and sports wagering circles. For racing fans, it mainly meant a delay in Avello’s 2019 Kentucky Derby future book that’s typically unveiled in September and updated frequently throughout prep season.

On Wednesday, Avello’s odds (finally) arrived with 285 horses available for betting at DraftKings’ sports book at the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’lberville, Miss — a mere 1,800 miles away from the Vegas strip.

For now, wagers will only be taken in person at the sports book. But following last year’s repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PAPSA), there’s always the chance the Derby futures could expand elsewhere with legalized, regulated sports betting now a state-by-state issue.

Avello’s odds are still considered the industry standard, and a tool by means of measuring which newly turned 3-year-olds are of interest to the betting public. We hope to speak with him later this week about the future book’s return. First, here’s a look at the board.

Of course, it starts with Game Winner, the unbeaten Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, at 10-1. That’s double the 5-1 currently offered by William Hill U.S. The Bob Baffert trainee closed at the same price in last November’s Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Rounding out Avello’s Top 5 choices are Improbable (16-1), Gunmetal Gray (30-1), Signlaman (40-1) and Maximus Mischief (45-1). Instagrand, the flashy 2-year-old who hasn’t raced since August, is still available at 75-1, the same odds as Grade 1 winner Knicks Go, also the Juvenile runner-up.

You can see DraftKings’ full board below with the option to expand the window at the lower right.

Derby links

 The Derby trail through Arkansas begins later this month with the Smarty Jones Stakes, and there’s a new name to know, B P Rocket, in contention for the one-mile race.

 Here’s a resource to bookmark: Handicapper and expert clocker Bruno de Julio has launched his Kentucky Derby Futures page complete with a list of horses impressing in the mornings.

 BloodHorse’s Evan Hammonds profiled the bloodstock agent behind Sham Stakes winner Gunmetal Gray, who says, “I shop for brains. Good brains never made a horse go faster, but a bad brain will slow them down.”

The works

Come On Gerry — The Dec. 28 maiden winner for Albaugh Family Stables and trainer Dale Romans is right back on the work tab with a four-furlong breeze in 49.05 seconds Wednesday toward the Feb. 2 Holy Bull.

Game Winner — The soon-to-be 2-year-old champ breezed for the first time Wednesday since his Breeders’ Cup win, going just three furlongs in 35.20 seconds at Santa Anita. He’ll run twice more before going to Churchill Downs.

Gray Attempt — A win in Fair Grounds’ Sugar Bowl will propel this Jinks Fires trainee to the Smarty Jones, with Wednesday’s 5/8 of a mile drill his first back at Oaklawn. Clockers caught him in 1:01.60.

Improbable — Another unbeaten big horse from the Baffert barn also restarted Wednesday, getting his three furlongs in 38 seconds flat. He’s on the same path as Game Winner, set to race twice before the first Saturday in May.

In case you missed it

Tuesday’s Derby Daily Report featured an interview with Centennial Farms President Don Little Jr. on the future of Mihos, the Mucho Macho Man Stakes winner. Click here to get the Derby Daily delivered to your email inbox!


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Horse Racing Nation's Kentucky Derby daily blog counts down to the May 4, 2019, race at Churchill Downs with a once-a-day update on all things Derby. Get the latest news and chatter, workout reports and a look at fields for upcoming preps all in once place.

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