Kentucky Derby 2023: Exit of Litigate, Hejazi thins futures pool

Kentucky Derby 2023: Exit of Litigate, Hejazi thins futures pool
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - edited

Two of the 25 shortest-priced horses in the futures market were confirmed by Churchill Downs to be off the Kentucky Derby 2023 trail, leaving 34 choices in Nevada that are shorter than 100-1.

Litigate had been priced in Las Vegas this week at 60-1 at Circa Sports and 35-1 at Caesars Sportsbook. Trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed to Horse Racing Nation that the colt suffered a setback in training since he won the Sam F. Davis (G3) on Feb. 11 at Tampa Bay Downs. The story first was reported by Daily Racing Form. The Blame colt owned by Don Little’s Centennial Farms has not had a timed workout since Feb. 24, when he was clocked at 50.52 seconds for a half-mile breeze at Palm Beach Downs.

Hejazi, who had been 85-1 at Circa and 70-1 at Caesars, was returned to his original trainer Bob Baffert. In a text message to HRN, interim trainer Tim Yakteen confirmed DRF’s report of the move to Baffert, who is ineligible for this year’s Derby. The $3.55 million Bernardini colt owned by Amr Zedan has had a mostly disappointing first five races. It took him four tries to break his maiden, and then he was fourth nearly two weeks ago in the San Felipe (G3), his first finish off the board.

Both Litigate and Hejazi were shown as scratched from the Kentucky Derby leaderboard posted this week by Churchill Downs. Hejazi closed Sunday at 53-1 and Litigate 66-1 in pool 5 of Churchill’s pari-mutuel Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Forte held firm Friday as the consensus 3-1 Nevada favorite for the Derby, which will be run in 50 days on May 6 at Churchill Downs. Las Vegas futures from Friday morning are shown here in order of their best prices in bold type:

Kentucky Derby 2023CaesarsCircaTrainerLast race
Forte    3-1    3-1Todd Pletcher1st Fountain of Youth (G2)
Tapit Trice    8-1    6-1Todd Pletcher1st Tampa Bay Derby (G3)
Practical Move  12-1  14-1Tim Yakteen1st San Felipe (G2)
Instant Coffee  14-1  16-1Brad Cox1st Lecomte (G3)
Reincarnate  18-1  25-1Tim Yakteen3rd Rebel (G2)
Confidence Game  24-1  30-1Keith Desormeaux1st Rebel (G2)
Geaux Rocket Ride  25-1  30-1Richard Mandella2nd San Felipe (G2)
National Treasure  15-1  30-1Tim Yakteen3rd Sham (G3)
Red Route One  20-1  30-1Steve Asmussen2nd Rebel (G2)
Verifying  22-1  30-1Brad Cox4th Rebel (G2)
Hit Show  40-1  30-1Brad Cox1st Withers (G3)
Awesome Strong  40-1 Jorge Delgado1st Florida Sire In Reality
Cairo   45-1Aidan O'Brien1st Patton (AW)
Henry Q  40-1  45-1Todd Fincher1st Mine That Bird Derby
Rocket Can  40-1  45-1Bill Mott2nd Fountain of Youth (G2)
Kingsbarns  50-1  40-1Todd Pletcher1st alw OC at TAM
Tapit's Conquest  50-1  45-1Brad Cox4th Risen Star (G2)
Two Phil's  50-1  50-1Larry Rivelli3rd Risen Star (G2)
Blazing Sevens  45-1  55-1Chad Brown8th Fountain of Youth (G2)
Angel of Empire  45-1  60-1Brad Cox1st Risen Star (G2)
Disarm  50-1  60-1Steve Asmussen2nd alw OC at OP
Skinner  45-1  60-1John Shirreffs3rd San Felipe (G2)
Worcester  65-1 Bob Baffert3rd Robert B. Lewis (G3)
Classic Legacy  60-1  75-1Bill Mott3rd Tampa Bay Derby (G3)
Raise Cain  45-1  75-1Ben Colebrook1st Gotham (G3)
Sun Thunder  65-1  75-1Kenny McPeek2nd Risen Star (G2)
Echo Again  75-1 Steve AsmussenDNF Lecomte (G3)
Slip Mahoney  60-1  80-1Brad Cox2nd Gotham (G3)
Victory Formation  60-1  80-1Brad Cox9th Risen Star (G2)
Classic Car Wash  85-1  75-1Mark Casse2nd Tampa Bay Derby (G3)
Curly Jack  60-1  85-1Tom Amoss8th Risen Star (G2)
Cyclone Mischief  60-1  85-1Dale Romans3rd Fountain of Youth (G2)
Dreamlike   85-1Todd Pletcher2nd MSW at GP
Congruent  60-1  95-1Antonio Sano1st Battaglia Mem. (AW)
Bishops Bay100-1  75-1Brad Cox1st MSW at FG
Perrière 100-1Yoichi Kuroiwa1st Hyacinth
Scoobie Quando 100-1Ben Colebrook2nd Battaglia Mem. (AW)
Mage100-1  85-1Gustavo Delgado4th Fountain of Youth (G2)
Corona Bolt100-1 Brad Cox1st alw at OP
Gulfport100-1 Steve Asmussen3rd Champagne (G1)
Mo Strike100-1 Brad Cox4th Hopeful (G1)
Cagliostro 110-1Cherie DeVaux2nd alw OC at FG
Jace's Road  70-1110-1Brad Cox5th Southwest (G3)
Shopper's Revenge125-1110-1Steve Asmussen2nd alw OC at OP
Dubyuhnell100-1125-1Danny Gargan8th Sam F. Davis (G3)
Arthur's Ride125-1150-1Bill Mott1st MSW at GP
Banishing  50-1150-1Brendan Walsh5th alw OC at FG
Crupi100-1150-1Todd Pletcher7th Risen Star (G2)
Giant Mischief  60-1150-1Brad Cox6th Rebel (G2)
Kangaroo Court (g)125-1150-1Tim Yakteen1st alw OC at SA
Lugan Knight 150-1Michael McCarthy7th Gotham (G3)
Point Proven100-1150-1Todd Pletcher3rd alw OC at GP
Gold Magic150-1 Kevin Attard4th alw OC at GP
Super Chow150-1 Jorge Delgado2nd Swale (G3)
Wildatlanticstorm150-1 Ray Ashford1st Springboard Mile
Airtime 175-1Robertino Diodoro1st alw OC at OP
Classic Catch125-1175-1Todd Pletcher1st alw OC at GP
Fort Bragg125-1175-1Tim Yakteen5th San Felipe (G2)
General Jim135-1175-1Shug McGaughey1st Swale (G3)
Major Dude150-1175-1Todd Pletcher1st Kitten's Joy (G3, turf)
Two Eagles River150-1175-1Chris Hartman1st alw OC at OP
Bourbon Bash175-1 D. Wayne Lukas5th Rebel (G2)
Demolition Duke175-1 Brad Cox1st MSW at FG
Powerful175-1 Steve Asmussen9th Rebel (G2)
Protégé175-1 Ron Moquett3rd alw OC at OP
Arabian Lion125-1200-1Tim Yakteen4th Robert B. Lewis (G3)
Arctic Arrogance150-1200-1Linda Rice2nd Withers (G3)
Bo Cruz 200-1Al Stall Jr.1st MSW at FG
Continuar 200-1Yoshito Yahagi5th Saudi Derby (G3)
Derma Sotogake 200-1Hidetaka Otonashi3rd Saudi Derby (G3)
Gun Pilot125-1200-1Steve Asmussen7th Rebel (G2)
Mandarin Hero 200-1Terunobu Fujita2nd Kumotori
Mendelssohns March 200-1Kenny McPeek1st alw OC at OP
Tapit Shoes125-1200-1Brad Cox3rd alw OC at FG
Denington 225-1Kenny McPeek1st alw OC at FG
Eyeing Clover 225-1Brad Cox4th Gotham (G3)
First Defender175-1225-1Steve Asmussen4th alw OC at FG
Fort Warren125-1225-1Brittany Russell3rd San Vicente (G2)
General Banker150-1225-1Jimmy Ferraro3rd Gotham (G3)
Mr. Ripple  75-1225-1Saffie Joseph Jr.2nd alw OC at GP
Shadow Dragon 225-1Bill Mott5th Fountain of Youth (G2)
Uncle Jake 225-1Brittany Russell1st MSW at LRL
Bromley150-1250-1Paulo Lobo3rd Battaglia Mem. (AW)
Carmel Road 250-1Tim Yakteen8th Gotham (G3)
Funtastic Again 250-1Wesley Ward1st Leonatus (AW) at TP
Giroovin 250-1Genaro García5th Riley Allison Derby
Harlocap125-1250-1Steve Asmussen6th Risen Star (G2)
Invulnerable 250-1Joe Sharp1st alw at FG
Jungfrau150-1250-1Bill Mott6th Withers (G3)
Neural Network 250-1Chad Brown1st Gander
Prairie Hawk 250-1Saffie Joseph Jr.4th Tampa Bay Derby (G3)
Recruiter 250-1Cathal Lynch11th Gotham (G3)
Event Detail 300-1Paulo Lobo10th Rebel (G2)
Genius Jimmy 300-1Michael McCarthy8th San Felipe (G2)
Howgreatisnate 300-1Andy Simoff14th Gotham (G3)
Lord Miles150-1300-1Saffie Joseph Jr.5th Tampa Bay Derby (G3)
Single Ruler 300-1Keith Desormeaux5th Risen Star (G2)
Uncorrelated 300-1Chad Brown12th Gotham (G3)
Wadsworth (g) 300-1Brad Cox1st alw OC (AW) at TP
(g) gelding   

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