Kentucky Derby prospects: 22 futures options will race Saturday

Kentucky Derby prospects: 22 futures options will race Saturday
Photo: Ron Flatter

Even with the weather postponement of the Grade 3 Withers Stakes in New York, there were still 22 horses racing Saturday who were among the Las Vegas futures prospects for Kentucky Derby 2023.

In addition to five who were entered in the Holy Bull (G3) and three in the Robert B. Lewis (G3), 11 more futures prospects were drawn onto the card at Gulfstream Park and another three into an allowance race at Oaklawn.

Swale (G3), Gulfstream Park race 6, 2:15 p.m. EST

Morning-line favorite Super Chow (6-5) was best-priced Saturday morning at 175-1 in the Nevada futures for the Derby. The Lord Nelson colt trained by Jorge Delgado has won 4 of 5 starts with the last three of those victories coming with jockey Chantal Sutherland in sprint stakes at three different tracks.

The $850,000 colt General Jim (5-2), 200-1 in Las Vegas, scored maiden and allowance victories on the turf. Sired by Into Mischief, he was switched to dirt last out, finishing fourth in the Mucho Macho Man for trainer Shug McGaughey. Luis Sáez retains the ride this weekend.

Two of a Kind (4-1), 200-1 in Nevada, won two sprints last spring before coming back with a troubled, third-place finish on New Year’s Day at Gulfstream Park. The Overanalyze colt trained by Brian Lynch stretches to seven furlongs Saturday, when he will be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario.

Aaraj (6-1), 275-1 in Derby futures, made his debut with a 2 3/4-length victory Dec. 17 in the Gulfstream slop. Sired by Commissioner and trained by José D’Angelo, his rider Irad Ortiz Jr. is fresh off his seven-win performance Friday.

Allowance optional claiming, Gulfstream Park race 8, 3:16 p.m. EST

Even though he was not the morning-line favorite for this $75,000 allowance race going a one-turn mile, Tapit Trice (9-5) probably shortened to 40-1 in the Las Vegas futures because of his $1.3 million sale price as a yearling. The Tapit colt trained by Todd Pletcher broke his maiden on his second try in the Aqueduct mud Dec. 17. Sáez will be his third jockey in as many starts.

Shesterkin (8-5), 175-1 in the Derby futures, is a stablemate of Tapit Trice who won his only race, an $84,000 maiden special weight on New Year’s Eve at Gulfstream. Ortiz will ride the Violence colt again Saturday.

Emperor’s Appeal (12-1), 225-1 in Nevada, had two other starts in one-turn miles, breaking his maiden last out as an odds-on favorite Dec. 16 at Gulfstream. Brian Lynch called on Rosario to be the third different rider on this Empire Maker colt.

Hard to Handle (20-1), 300-1 for the Derby, broke his maiden in September but lost his last three races by a combined 54 3/4 lengths. Sired by Uncaptured, he was reported as a first-time gelding for his first race in two months. David Fawkes trains, and Miguel Vásquez retains the ride.

Kitten’s Joy, Gulfstream Park race 9, 3:46 p.m. EST

Major Dude, Congruent and Lights of Broadway all broke their maidens on other surfaces before moving to the turf, where this 1 1/16-mile race was scheduled to be run Saturday, weather permitting.

Morning-line favorite Major Dude (5-2), 250-1 for the Derby, is 2-for-3 on the turf. The Bolt d’Oro colt from the Pletcher stable won the Pilgrim (G2), finished ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and was second last month in the Dania Beach with Ortiz, who keeps the ride Saturday.

Congruent (5-1), 350-1 in Nevada, made his last two starts for Antonio Sano on the Gulfstream turf. He finished third Dec. 10 in the Pulpit and fourth in the Dania Beach with Edgard Zayas riding as he will again Saturday. The Tapit colt’s last win came in a sloppy, off-the-turf running of the Laurel Futurity on Oct. 1.

Light of Broadway (5-1), 350-1 in Las Vegas, won twice on Gulfstream’s Tapeta in September before coming in second making his turf debut last out in the Pulpit. Sired by City of Light and trained by Mark Casse, José Morelos will be his third different jockey in the last three races.

Robert B. Lewis (G3), Santa Anita race 3, 4:05 p.m. EST

Three of the four horses in the field for this 1 1/16-mile race were in the Derby futures in Nevada on Saturday, including Worcester (9-5) at 60-1, morning-line favorite Arabian Lion (7-5) at 65-1 and Newgate (8-5) at 100-1. The whole field is trained by Bob Baffert, whose horses are ineligible for the Derby qualifying points that would have come from the Bob Lewis. That could change if Baffert were to get a favorable court ruling soon in his federal lawsuit against Churchill Downs Inc.

DeRosa: 1 horse is massive overlay in Bob Lewis.

Allowance optional claiming, Oaklawn race 7, 4:38 p.m. EST

Gun Pilot (7-5), the morning-line favorite who was 200-1 in the Derby futures, was on or near the lead in both his races. He won his debut at seven furlongs and faded to second last month going the same course and distance as Saturday’s two-turn mile for non-winners of two. Ricardo Santana Jr. keeps the ride for Steve Asmussen on the Gun Runner colt.

Protégé (2-1), 250-1 in Nevada, is a debut winner who finished third last out. He lost to the well-regarded, Brad Cox-trained Hit Show, who may be the favorite next week in the redrawn Withers. Rafael Bejarano will ride the Good Magic colt again for Ron Moquett.

Bourbon Bash (4-1), a 350-1 Derby long shot, broke his maiden by eight lengths last summer at Saratoga before losing his last five starts. The City of Light colt trained by D. Wayne Lukas will be paired again with jockey Mickaëlle Michel.

Holy Bull (G3), Gulfstream Park race 12, 5:43 p.m. EST

Five of the eight colts entered in this 20-8-6-4-2 points prep covering 1 1/16 miles were in the Derby futures market this weekend in Las Vegas. Morning-line favorite Cyclone Mischief (2-1) was 45-1, Lord Miles (4-1) was 100-1, Legacy Isle (7-2) was 150-1, Rocket Can (7-2) was 150-1 and Il Miracolo (20-1) was 300-1.

Odds and analysis: Holy Bull Stakes 2023.

Kentucky Derby 2023CaesarsCircaNext race, times EST
Aaraj150-1275-1Sat., Swale (G3), GP race 6, 2:15 p.m.
General Jim 200-1Sat., Swale (G3), GP race 6, 2:15 p.m.
Super Chow100-1175-1Sat., Swale (G3), GP race 6, 2:15 p.m.
Two of a Kind135-1200-1Sat., Swale (G3), GP race 6, 2:15 p.m.
Emperor's Appeal135-1225-1Sat., alw OC, GP race 8, 3:16 p.m.
Hard to Handle (g)250-1300-1Sat., alw OC, GP race 8, 3:16 p.m.
Shesterkin135-1175-1Sat., alw OC, GP race 8, 3:16 p.m.
Tapit Trice  40-1  30-1Sat., alw OC, GP race 8, 3:16 p.m.
Congruent200-1350-1Sat., Kitten's Joy (turf), GP race 9, 3:46 p.m.
Lights of Broadway 350-1Sat., Kitten's Joy (turf), GP race 9, 3:46 p.m.
Major Dude175-1250-1Sat., Kitten's Joy (turf), GP race 9, 3:46 p.m.
Arabian Lion  15-1  65-1Sat., Robert B. Lewis (G3), SA race 3, 4 p.m.
Newgate  70-1100-1Sat., Robert B. Lewis (G3), SA race 3, 4 p.m.
Worcester  60-1  50-1Sat., Robert B. Lewis (G3), SA race 3, 4 p.m.
Bourbon Bash175-1350-1Sat., alw OC, OP race 7, 4:38 p.m.
Gun Pilot150-1200-1Sat., alw OC, OP race 7, 4:38 p.m.
Protégé150-1250-1Sat., alw OC, OP race 7, 4:38 p.m.
Cyclone Mischief  45-1  45-1Sat., Holy Bull (G3), GP race 12, 5:43 p.m.
Il Miracolo 300-1Sat., Holy Bull (G3), GP race 12, 5:43 p.m.
Legacy Isle135-1150-1Sat., Holy Bull (G3), GP race 12, 5:43 p.m.
Lord Miles100-1  80-1Sat., Holy Bull (G3), GP race 12, 5:43 p.m.
Rocket Can 150-1Sat., Holy Bull (G3), GP race 12, 5:43 p.m.
Tap in Formation300-1300-1Tue., alw OC, PRX race 9, 3:31 p.m.

Top Stories

Country Grammer goes for his second Grade 1 Dubai...
A Triple Crown nominee trained by Brad Cox is amon...
The Grade 2, $1 million Louisiana Derby , which wi...
With half the field each given at least a 9 percen...
The Group 2 UAE Derby long has been an important r...