Analyzing Kentucky Derby Future Pool 3

Analyzing Kentucky Derby Future Pool 3
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 32

The future pools are over. Who was over bet? Who was under bet? Here’s my quick and dirty rundown on the third and final Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager:

Animal Kingdom (31-1) Team Valor dark horse got some action after winning Turfway Park’s Spiral Stakes last week. He looks like a horse that might have a big upside and should handle a distance, so I would argue with anyone who bet him at these odds, but I was expecting a little higher. He still needs to prove he can handle dirt. My fair odds: 40-1

Anthony’s Cross (43-1) My personal favorite longshot has been off since winning the Sham Stakes a few months ago. He is working well for Eoin Harty, and his odds could plummet with a strong performance in the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday. However, if he does not run well, he will likely not have the earnings to make it to Louisville. My fair odds: 25-1

Astrology (41-1) The well regarded Asmussen trainee finally made it back to the races with a decent second in the Sunland Derby. He has the earnings, but I think they need to try to give him another run before the Derby. He is still behind the eight-ball to be ready in time, even if he is good enough to threaten on May 7. My fair odds: 50-1

Brethren (36-1) He was a huge disappointment when he collected his first loss in the Tampa Bay Derby. Those who thought he was not as good as advertised felt vindicated by that result, but I hold out hope that he is a much better colt than that result. We will learn a lot more when he returns in the Arkansas Derby. My fair odds: 40-1

Dialed In (5-1) I expected him to win the Florida Derby and he did. I also rate him as the third most likely horse to win the roses. Having said that, he was clearly over bet late Sunday in the afterglow of his last-to-first, thrilling win. He will be picking up horses down the Churchill Downs lane, but can he get to them all … maybe. My fair odds: 10-1

Decisive Moment (99-1) I like the way he battled on gamely after pressing fast fractions in the Spiral. He is a game horse who reminds me a little of Derby runner-up Closing Argument from a few years ago, but let’s get real … can you see him winning the Derby? I really can’t, although if you like him at all, you had to be pleased with the big odds. My fair odds: 80-1

Elite Alex (32-1) He does make up ground every time, but he does not seem to get that close to the good horses. I can envision a scenario, where an improving Elite Alex makes some noise, after the torrid Derby pace takes its toll on all those who were too close early, but I think he is most likely rallying for a more minor award than the win. My fair odds: 40-1

Jaycito (20-1) He was no match for PrePeg in the San Felipe, and I was a little surprised to see that he will be staying on the speedy Santa Anita surface for his final prep. On the plus side, the Churchill strip should be a more favoring surface for his rally, I know that there is more talent here than he has sometimes shown, and I respect Baffert’s ability to prepare for the Derby more than anyone. My fair odds: 25-1

Mr. Commons (96-1) This is one of the more interesting sophomores in the nation. He has looked good on dirt and turf, and he has been turning heads in a big way in the mornings. It will be a tall task to expect him to win the Santa Anita Derby considering his lack of stakes experience, but it is not out of the question. A big negative on him is that he will only qualify earnings wise if he does win Saturday. My fair odds: 60-1

Mucho Macho Man (27-1) Louisiana Derby disappointment must be tempered with the fact that he lost a shoe early in the race. I still rate him higher than most, as I still believe we have not gotten to the best of this big, immature colt. With the excuse in the last, he retains the #4 spot on my list. Ferdinand waited until the Derby to put it all together, maybe this one will too. My fair odds: 16-1

Nehro (26-1) Late developer ran a strong second in the Louisiana Derby at high odds. Wise guys jumped on the bandwagon a little too hard, and he is now much lower for the Kentucky Derby. He may be worth the attention if he can stay on the upward form cycle, however. He is on the earnings bubble, but he will get a chance to move up in the Arkansas Derby.  My fair odds: 40-1

Pants on Fire (44-1) Now for the horse who actually won the Louisiana Derby … It was a nice win, and one where he showed he had courage to hold off the previous two. What’s he going to do in the Derby though? He can’t wire this race, and I can’t see him passing a bunch of horses either. The NOLA money gets him in, but I do not expect him to be a major factor. My fair odds: 60-1

Premier Pegasus (9-1) The San Felipe may have been just the tip of the iceberg. He was good enough to be a major player in sprint stakes, and he is now in the process of proving he is a distance horse. Sure the speed backed up that day, but he showed the versatility to come from farther back than ever before, and then he annihilated the field. He is my clear #2 as he heads to the Santa Anita Derby. My fair odds: 5-1

Santiva (30-1) He has only had one run this year, and it was a solid effort. Couple that with a good win over the track last fall, and I still consider this one a possible upsetter on the First Saturday in May. I am not crazy about his last prep being on the Keeneland synthetic surface, but all he needs to do is get enough out of it to be conditioned for the Derby. My fair odds: 22-1

Silver Medallion (41-1) I must admit I have never been a big supporter of this one, but his last two races were quite strong. I am not sure if he wants the 1 ¼ miles of the Derby, but if he fires another strong race in the Santa Anita Derby, I will need to take notice. Like many others in that race, he desperately needs to earn big money to qualify on earnings. My fair odds: 50-1

Soldat (17-1) Those who put money on this one in the future pool before the Florida Derby must be kicking themselves. I am not saying he is not a very nice colt, but I never thought of him as a good bet at ten furlongs. After the failure as the favorite on Sunday, I wonder if his connections will even press on to Louisville. Maybe they shouldn’t My fair odds: 40-1

Stay Thirsty (32-1) I could say the same for this one. I was really surprised he never seemed to be interested in running at Gulfstream. Back to the drawing board, or does Team Repole/Pletcher just make the awful performance a complete throw-out. It is hard to be too confident in his chances right now. My fair odds: 50-1

The Factor (10-1) After Uncle Mo, this is the second most talked about horse on the trail. Remember that six furlong time in his maiden win? He sure knows how to grab people’s attention. If he wins the Arkansas Derby like he did the Rebel, and as we saw Sunday at Gulfstream that is a big if, he will head to Louisville as one of the favorites. I respect his talent, but I do not love his chances to win the Derby. My fair odds: 16-1

To Honor and Serve (15-1) He did finish 3rd in the Florida Derby, but in no way could it be considered a good 3rd. Just like his first start of the year, it was a pretty big disappointment. I suppose there is the opportunity for improvement in his 3rd start of the year, but at this point he looks like he is simply not good enough to make good on his juvenile promise. My fair odds: 40-1

Twice the Appeal (65-1) Sunland Derby surprise winner has really turned it around of late and now he is all set for Louisville. Things will only get tougher, much tougher from here. Mine that Bird did it, can he? I doubt it. I think the Bonde stable has their top gun running in the Arkansas Derby. I think the future bettors got this one just about right. My fair odds: 65-1

Uncle Mo (3-1) He is the chosen one, isn’t he? The unbeaten champion faced little in his only start so far this year, and he is likely not to get too much more of a test in Saturday’s Wood Memorial. Will another effortless win be enough to have him primed for the Derby? That’s questionable, but I still believe that he is the most talented horse of recent years. It should be a fun ride. My fair odds: 5-2

Watch Me Go (73-1) I watched him go to the Tampa Bay Derby winner’s circle at high odds, and Saturday I may see a repeat performance (at much lower odds) in the Illinois Derby. While I question whether he is good enough to handle the big boys, he does seem to be over physical issues and moving towards Louisville in the right way. My fair odds: 50-1

Mutuel Field (8-1) I am always leery of the field this late in the game, but to tell you the truth there are enough quality horses (like Sway Away) to make them still an attractive bunch. Combine that with the surprises we have been seeing of late (like Shackelford) and I would still see why people were betting the field. My fair odds: 10-1

Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to HRN, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing webcast HorseCenter, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars and is a Vox Populi committee member. He is a voter for racing's Hall of Fame, as well as a weekly NTRA poll voter. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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