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The Wonderment of Kentucky Derby Winter Books

What could be better than picking the Derby winner six months before the big race? As someone that has hit a few winter book bets over the years, I can confidently say cashing a ticket on that early pick does indeed make it even better. With only the CashCall Futurity on the horizon between now and 2012, I thought now would be the right time to take a look at the latest Kentucky Derby future book odds on the big board at Lucky’s Race & Sports Book.

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile often produces the change-of-year favorite for the Run for the Roses, and this year will be no different. Although, it is not the winner that is getting the most respect by the Vegas oddsmakers, but rather it is Union Rags whom they favor. Undefeated before the Juvenile, the son of Dixie Union just missed running down the winner Hansen, while running a decidedly more circuitous route. I have to agree that Union Rags deserves to be the early favorite, but as a 14-1 clear favorite, I’ll let you decide if the value is worth the risk.

As for the soon to be awarded Juvenile Champion, and aforementioned, Hansen, there seems to be a bit of disrespect. In three races, he is unbeaten, and has demonstrated speed to burn. If you think he can harness those quick early fractions, 25-1 is not a bad price for an undefeated, two-year-old champion. Interestingly, Hansen is not even the second choice.

Surprisingly it is Ever So Lucky and Secret Circle that are listed as the co-second choices at 20-1. Ever So Lucky was a game second in the Kentucky Jockey Club in only his second career start after dominating a maiden sprint under the Twin Spires. And if there was such a thing as a juvenile sprinter of the year, surely it would go to Bob Baffert’s Secret Circle. The undefeated son of Eddington does have enough staying power in his bloodlines to suggest a stretch-out is a real possibility.

Further sportsbook review shows California’s top juvenile, and Breeders’ Cup third, Creative Cause, has already run two very good races around two-turns and joins Hansen at 25-1. So is Gemologist, who has won all three starts, including a strong victory over the Churchill Downs strip in the Kentucky Jockey Club. Owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher, he will be looking to complete the same Churchill double for the same connections.

Others being shown major respect at Lucky’s include Delta Downs Jackpot winner, Sabercat, at 30-1 and Remsen winner, O’Prado Again, and Breeders’ Futurity hero, Dullahan are next at 35-1.

Oh yeah, If you think we are ready for another Derby winning filly, and you think My Miss Aurelia is the real deal, you can get the certain champion at a solid 100-1.

Now that I listed all the big names, I can give you my top play as of December 12. His name is Basmati. I liked the looks of this one when I saw him running in the Del Mar Futurity as a maiden. Since then, he has continued to improve, most recently finishing second in the Delta Downs Jackpot. I believe the leggy son of Borrego has a ton of upside when he puts it all together, and should love the added distance to come next spring. You better hurry though, if you want to get him at his current 100-1. If he wins Saturday’s CashCall Futurity, those odds will be long gone.


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Older Comments about The Wonderment of Kentucky Derby Winter Books...

Hansen! I have to stick with with the colt I picked the moment I saw his first two races @ Turfway, to win the JV. in the Breeders cup. No one thought he could win, they gave him no respect. his was done to Secretariet and Sunday Silence. Sunday Silence didn't any real respect until he had won both the Ky. Derby & the Preakness. I very possibly could be wrong, but Hansen wears blinkers and didn't see Union Rags until he was right on top of him. He will be smarter next time. All you have to do is look at the photo before the wire and see the look in his eyes.
Discreet Dancer,, Breeding,, FASSST !!!! 125/1 Gimme some!!!
Not completely forgotten, Kim ... he was my early stab at picking next year's Sprint Champion
The forgotten Currency Swap, winner of the Hopeful.
Discreet Dancer 125-1
I like Liaison!
I just wrote about her recently, CauseForConcern ...
Not listed, but a filly by the name of Agave Kiss. She's made some noise in the east, and wouldn't it be unbelievable that two consecutive years, you have a horse with the same initials?
I like Alpha at 75-1, by Bernardin out of a Nijinsky II mare, owner by Godolphin. He ran 2nd in the Champagne in his second start. Here's hoping!
I'll take a little on Casual Look at 125-1. Nick Zito, out of Bernardini, debuted at Saratoga in a sprint & broke his maiden at CD going a mile.
I got Union Rags at 40-1 and Majestic City at 250-1 back in September. I'll be cheering for them big time!!
I'll take Empire Way at 50-1. I think the 11 day turn around between his maiden and the Hollywood Prevue was a bit much, but I look for him to improve between now and then.
Basmati has a world of experience on his side and unlike last year's iron 2yr old, Comma to the Top, his breeing gives one more incentive to believe he can stretch out. MMA is a fast filly, and being owned and trained by the same connections as Curlin and Rachel, aside from the late Jess Jackson, gives her more of a chance to start in the Derby than your avg filly. Personally, I do like Hansen the best, but Sabercat is sharp and has a pedgree that screams distance.
I like Secret Circle, but, there is no way I would take him at 20-1 to win the Derby.
I'll take $2 to win on Basmati at 100-1. Oh, I just did!

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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 the Nation, 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 new 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 show, 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 as the President 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, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

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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