Check out the growing crowd of favorites for the Kentucky Derby

Check out the growing crowd of favorites for the Kentucky Derby

Forgive Las Vegas if it did not get caught up in the Life Is Good vs. Essential Quality debate that played out across the country during the weekend.

Of the $240,768 that were bet into Churchill Downs’ nationwide Kentucky Derby Future Wager pari-mutuels, Life Is Good (7-1) emerged as the Pool 2 individual favorite by only $3,038 over Essential Quality (8-1).

[RELATED: Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 closing odds]

That is old news in Nevada, where those two had been the clear-cut top choices in fixed-odds futures for two months. But now Life Is Good (8-1 Circa, 8-1 William Hill) and Essential Quality (12-1, 7-1) have company.

Winning by 10 1/4 lengths as an odds-on favorite in a Derby prep and getting a 92 Beyer Speed Figure will attract bettors’ attention. Caddo River (16-1, 15-1) did just that Friday in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park, giving Essential Quality company from Brad Cox’s stable.

If this were poker, Cox was seeing Bob Baffert and raising him. A week earlier at Santa Anita, Baffert unveiled Concert Tour (11-1, 16-1), a Street Sense colt out of a Tapit mare that was a 3 1/2-length winner at even money. He got an 88 Beyer, not to mention short odds in Las Vegas.

Baffert also a chip in his pocket by the name of Bezos (10-1, 20-1). Yet to be seen in the afternoon, the $400,000 Empire Maker colt fired a 59.2-second, five-furlong bullet working out of the gate Thursday at Santa Anita. Since Nevada books went short, any bettor who got him for 26-1 in the KDFW might be sitting on some value.

A bullet workout in Florida put Prime Factor (17-1, 22-1) back in the consciousness of Las Vegas. His reported 59.85-second breeze around five furlongs Saturday at Palm Beach Downs seemed to set up the $900,000 Quality Road colt for an encore to his 8 3/4-length maiden win last month for trainer Todd Pletcher.

If those four were not enough to keep Derby watchers busy last week, there were six horses added to what are now 242 betting options in Nevada.

Prevalence (20-1 Circa, 25-1 William Hill). Paul Zilm of Circa must have felt like the store owner arriving to unlock the doors only to find he was preceded by a customer who camped out all night to get a bargain price. “I opened Prevalence at 40-1 and got bet in less than 60 seconds,” Zilm said. The eager bettor was clearly inspired by the Godolphin homebred’s 8 1/2-length debut win in a seven-furlong maiden race on Saturday’s Pegasus undercard at Gulfstream Park. Brendan Walsh trains the Medaglia d’Oro bay colt that got an 89 Beyer.

Fire At Will (55-1 Circa). Las Vegas showed up to book the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner that was one of the individual choices in each of the first two pari-mutuel pools of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Now it is a question of whether this Declaration of War colt that looks like a steal at $97,000 will actually return to dirt, the surface on which he broke his maiden. Trained by Mike Maker, he has won his last two going routes on the turf.

Found My Ball (65-1 Circa). Two-time Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill has kept this Square Eddie colt in the company of state-breds in California. At 7-2 he upset Baffert’s odds-on favorite Va Va Vegas by six lengths in a six-furlong maiden race Friday at Santa Anita, earning an 84 Beyer. That was an improvement on a third-place debut on the same track in October.

Outasite (100-1 William Hill). It is easy to miss this maiden winner, because he comes from the other end of Cox’s deep bench. After failing twice at seven furlongs, this $380,000 Outwork colt broke his maiden racing as an odds-on favorite Saturday, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over six furlongs at Oaklawn Park.

Stage Raider (100-1 Circa, 85-1 William Hill). If Prevalence was worth a big wager, where does that leave this $950,000 colt by Pioneerof the Nile that finished so far behind him Saturday in second? The John Gunther homebred is trained by Chad Brown, whose career includes four Eclipse Awards as America’s best trainer but only five starters in the Derby — and no winners.

Du Jour (115-1 Circa). It looks like a 59.2-second workout over five furlongs Wednesday sparked some attention in Nevada for this $280,000 colt trained by Baffert and owned by his wife Jill. It can’t be what he has done in the afternoon. In his most recent start, a 1 1/16-mile maiden race Jan. 3 at Santa Anita, he finished third as a 6-5 favorite. That was a step back from his debut, a troubled second-place finish in a maiden turf mile Thanksgiving weekend at Del Mar.

Here are the horses listed at Circa Sports and William Hill Nevada with their Kentucky Derby odds:

Circa   WH

450-1 400-1 Advance Cash

125-1          Affable

  70-1          Alain Barows

350-1 150-1 Al Heybay

200-1          Alexander Valley

350-1 175-1 All Mo

300-1 150-1 Ambivalent

150-1          American Admiral

  23-1  40-1 Amount

350-1 200-1 Ampersand

300-1 150-1 Angkor

  90-1          Arabian Prince

200-1 250-1 Ascot Storm

300-1 150-1 Awesome Gerry

300-1          Baafeed

100-1          Barraza

350-1 250-1 Basso

450-1          Beatbox

200-1 150-1 Beep Beep

350-1 150-1 Belafonte

  10-1  20-1 Bezos

200-1 175-1 Big Daddy Dave

350-1 200-1 Big Flame

200-1          Big Thorn

350-1 200-1 Blue Gator

250-1 200-1 Bob’s Edge

350-1 120-1 Boca Boy

250-1 125-1 Bolden

450-1 140-1 Bold Minister

350-1 200-1 Boomer

175-1          Bracken

300-1 150-1 Breeze On By

110-1          Broadway

120-1  65-1 Brooklyn Strong

         125-1 By George

  16-1  15-1 Caddo River

250-1 150-1 Cajun Commander

300-1 100-1 Calibrate

350-1 175-1 Camp Hope

  95-1  75-1 Candy Man Rocket

  50-1  60-1 Capo Kane

200-1   75-1 Cazadero

350-1 125-1 Chicks For Free

600-1          Civil War

  60-1  25-1 Classier

  11-1  16-1 Concert Tour                                                                     

250-1 225-1 Cousin Larry

125-1          Cowan

600-1          Crazy Shot

450-1          Dalton

600-1          Dayoutoftheoffice

150-1          Defeater

300-1          Democrat

200-1  60-1 Donegal Bay

         125-1 Drain the Clock

150-1  50-1 Dr. Schivel

250-1          Dreamer’s Disease

135-1          Dream Shake

350-1          Drop Anchor

115-1          Du Jour

  65-1          Dynamic One

300-1          Dyn O Mite

300-1 120-1 Eagle Orb

225-1   75-1 Editor in Chief

600-1 100-1 Effinity

400-1          Engrave

750-1 350-1 Erawan

  12-1    7-1 Essential Quality

250-1 125-1 Ethical Judgement

250-1 125-1 Eucharist

         200-1 Excellent Timing

300-1 250-1 Famous Gent

300-1 150-1 Fauci

150-1  85-1 Fenway

150-1          Find New Roads

  55-1          Fire At Will

250-1 100-1 Founder

  65-1          Found My Ball

250-1 120-1 Freedom Fighter

250-1 150-1 Fury Kap

250-1 150-1 Gagetown

300-1          Game Day Play

250-1 175-1 Garoppolo

250-1   75-1 Get Her Number

100-1          Ghazaaly

600-1          Girl Daddy

200-1 125-1 Girther

150-1          Golden Pal

  60-1  45-1 Greatest Honour

375-1          Hardly Swayed

350-1 150-1 Hendavid

600-1          Hendrick

500-1 250-1 Hercules

250-1 140-1 Herd Immunity

125-1 100-1 Hidden Stash

  60-1  35-1 Highly Motivated

600-1 200-1 Highway Bound

250-1 150-1 Hold the Salsa

250-1          Hopkins

300-1 200-1 Horn Of Plenty

  60-1  50-1 Hot Rod Charlie

  80-1  50-1 Hozier

250-1  75-1 Huntsinger

250-1 100-1 Hyperfocus

250-1 175-1 Inspector Frost

350-1 160-1 Isolate    

350-1 250-1 It Can Be Done

  60-1  40-1 Jackie’s Warrior

135-1          Jaxon Traveler

350-1          Joe Frazier

225-1 125-1 Judge N Jury

250-1          Kahuna Magic

  35-1  40-1 Keepmeinmind

225-1 150-1 Kenny Had a Notion

250-1 125-1 King Fury

250-1 125-1 Known Agenda

250-1 150-1 Kwist

150-1 100-1 Lamutanaatty

500-1          Lawlessness

           80-1 Lemon Pop

135-1          Lidstrom

    8-1    8-1 Life Is Good

350-1 130-1 Likeable

350-1 250-1 Lookin For Trouble

125-1          Lord Of War

350-1 150-1 Lugamo

  35-1  35-1 Mandaloun

200-1          Manor House

250-1          Martini Blu

  60-1  22-1 Medina Spirit

  60-1  50-1 Midnight Bourbon

350-1 250-1 Momos

350-1          Moonlite Strike

  80-1  45-1 Mutasaabeq

         200-1 My Man Bags

200-1          Never Surprised

200-1 125-1 Next

200-1          No Cents

350-1          North Pole

600-1          Notable Exception

600-1          Notary

150-1 150-1 Nova Rags

300-1          Number One Dude

  50-1  50-1 Olympiad

400-1          Oncoming Train

500-1          Original

225-1          Outadore

         100-1 Outasite

         150-1 Overtook

250-1          Papetu

200-1 100-1 Parnelli

250-1          Petruchio

275-1 175-1 Pickin’ Time

275-1          Pico d’Oro

300-1 125-1 Poppy’s Pride

350-1 250-1 Positivity

  40-1  35-1 Prate

300-1          Pregame

  20-1  25-1 Prevalence

  17-1  22-1 Prime Factor

200-1 125-1 Prisoner

         250-1 Proud Contender

  75-1          Proxy

250-1 125-1 Quick Tempo

350-1 250-1 Raison d’Air

350-1 250-1 Real Talk

150-1   32-1 Red Flag

400-1          Red N Wild

400-1          Regular Guy

  85-1 100-1 Reinvestment Risk

175-1 150-1 Restored Order

175-1 125-1 Return the Ring

         125-1 Ricochet

150-1 120-1 Risk Taking

225-1          Rock Sugar

  38-1          Rock Your World

300-1 125-1 Roderick

           65-1 Roman Centurian

150-1 100-1 Rombauer

400-1          Rosenquist

250-1 150-1 Run Snappy

         200-1 Runway Magic

300-1 200-1 Saffa’s Day

150-1 125-1 Santa Cruiser

  90-1  50-1 Savile Row

225-1          Scarlet Fusion

225-1 125-1 Scarred

750-1 300-1 Schnell

300-1 225-1 Seazan

400-1 200-1 Seminole Beach

  45-1  40-1 Señor Buscador

125-1          Shackqueenking

250-1          Shaftesbury

225-1          Simovitch

110-1  75-1 Sittin On Go

500-1 125-1 Slashing

150-1  75-1 Smiley Sobotka

225-1 140-1 Sonic Brees

500-1 175-1 Son Of A Beast

350-1 225-1 Sound The Charge

100-1  65-1 Speaker’s Corner

100-1  25-1 Spielberg

100-1  85-1 Stage Raider

100-1 125-1 Starrininmydreams

250-1 125-1 Stayin’ Out Late

500-1 250-1 Superman Shaq

150-1 100-1 Super Stock

125-1 100-1 Swiftsure

200-1 130-1 Swill

250-1 175-1 Swot Analysis

300-1 250-1 Tacoflavoredkisses

115-1  90-1 Team Merchants

125-1  75-1 Ten For Ten

300-1          Tenor

         125-1 The Chosen Vron

  30-1  45-1 The Great One

175-1 100-1 Therideofalifetime

200-1 150-1 Thranduil

400-1 200-1 Tiz Handsome

500-1 300-1 Tiz Mandate

350-1          Touchdown Brown

250-1 175-1 Twilight Blue

250-1 250-1 Ultimate Badger

200-1 200-1 Uno

250-1 175-1 Upstriker

600-1 500-1 Valiant Thor

175-1 150-1 Va Va Vegas

500-1          Vequist

135-1  50-1 Vittorio

300-1 200-1 Waist Deep

         200-1 Warrior’s Pride

500-1 200-1 Waspirant

350-1 200-1 Weston

         125-1 Weyburn

200-1 200-1 What’s Up Surfer

  90-1 125-1 Whiskey Double

250-1 200-1 Willy Boi

125-1 100-1 Wipe the Slate

           75-1 Witsel

250-1 150-1 Work Out

300-1 200-1 Wyfire

300-1 175-1 Xtreme Mayhem

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