11 unraced Kentucky Derby prospects taking action in Vegas

11 unraced Kentucky Derby prospects taking action in Vegas
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Circa Sports opened its 2021 Kentucky Derby futures book Wednesday with Essential Quality listed as the 10-1 favorite.

A total of 173 horses were listed by Circa, including 11 horses who have yet to run. All 11 were listed at 100-1 or higher, with eight at 200-1.

Those who are able to identify future stars before they hit the track – as some did with Justify – will be rewarded handsomely if they are correct.

“I tried to add unraced horses that may appear suddenly down the road and offer them at a much more attractive price than they would have if we posted them after a big romp,” Circa Sports risk supervisor Paul Zilm said. “Finding those horses is tricky. I tried to pick the brains of some that are far better at it than me.”

Obviously, it is quite a risk to bet a horse that has never run six months before a race, but it seems wiser to take 200-1 on a horse that has yet to show what he can do over a horse such as $1 million purchase Spielberg, who already has been exposed in five starts and sits at 75-1.

Below we take a closer look at the pedigrees and progress of the 11 expensive juveniles listed by Circa to evaluate whether any are worth betting before they run.

Alexander Valley (100-1): The son of Medaglia d'Oro out of the Grade 1 winning dam Tara's Tango was purchased by Godolphin for $2.15 million. He has a steady string of workouts at Saratoga and Payson Park dating back to August and looks to be ready to run soon. No trainer has been listed, but he appears to be working with other Bill Mott runners. His dam is by far the most productive on this list, and he is an intriguing prospect to wager on.

American Admiral (100-1): This $1.3 million son of American Pharoah is out of the dam Escampette, who was unplaced in three starts in France. He is in the Bob Baffert barn and cost plenty of money, so expectations are high. He comes from the female family of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Bayern and champion 2-year-old filly Althea. He struggled a bit to keep up with Private Mission in this work and is tough to bet on at this point in his training. Private Mission is an impressive debut-winning filly who ran fourth in the Desi Arnaz Stakes as the favorite.

Lidstrom (100-1): This is another pricey Baffert juvenile. The $2.5 million son of Tapit is out of the dam Seeking Gabrielle, who won once in seven starts. Owned by Godolphin, this colt has steady works dating back to October. He looks like the strongest future wager of the three unraced Baffert colts listed. View his latest work courtesy of XBTV below.

Hopkins (200-1):
The colt was
purchased for $900,000 by a partnership that includes SF Bloodstock, Starlight Stables and Madaket Stables. He is by Quality Road and out of the dam Hot Spell, who won twice in three starts. He has worked only twice in the last 60 days for trainer Baffert at Los Alamitos and not since Oct. 17. He does not appear anywhere near ready to run and thus is not worth a wager.

Baafeed (200-1):
A $750,000 purchase by Shadwell, this colt has worked only twice in the last 60 days on the East Coast and has not hit the track since Oct. 11. He is another runner who has a lot of catching up to do to make the Derby and is not worth betting. He is a son of Union Rags, out of the unplaced dam Zondaq. No trainer has been listed, but he appears to be working with other Chad Brown runners.

Prime Factor (200-1): China Horse Club purchased this colt for $900,000, and he is trained by Todd Pletcher. The son of Quality Road has a steady work tab since September and appears to be nearing a debut. He is out of the dam Haylie Brae, who was unplaced in four starts.

Rosenquist (200-1): The first unraced son on Uncle Mo listed by Circa has been working since September at Saratoga and Payson and looks close to making his debut. The $750,000 purchase by White Birch Farm and M.V. Magnier is out of the unplaced dam Not in Jest. No trainer is currently listed.

Lamutanaatty (200-1): Another pricey purchase by Shadwell, this $700,000 colt has been working at Payson. The first son of Into Mischief on this list is out of the dam Gypsy Lou who won a maiden race at Delaware Park in ten tries. A trainer is not currently listed.

Shaftesbury (200-1): Repole Stables, St. Elias and M.V. Magnier bought this son of Uncle Mo for $675,000 and have placed him in the care of Pletcher at Palm Beach Downs. He is out of a four-time winning dam Lemon Kiss. Watch his work on Nov. 14 here. He has enough potential to consider placing a wager on.

Find New Roads (200-1): Owned by Tom Durant, who typically gives horses to trainer Bret Calhoun, this son of Quality Road out of the dam Storm Showers, who won once in six starts, cost $950,000. He has been working swiftly at Fair Grounds and Churchill Downs and is a colt to consider betting.

Ghazaaly (200-1): This $1.05 million purchase by Shadwell will be trained by Pletcher. He has been working consistently for the last few weeks at Palm Beach Downs. He is by Curlin out of the dam Transportation, who won once for six tries.

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