2016 Kentucky Derby Futures Pool 4 Picks

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

March 29th, 2016


Photo: Matt Carter

This weekend is the final 2016 Kentucky Derby Future's Pool. Most bettors, according to Marty McGee in DRF, are going to wait until the Florida Derby, shaping up as a 2 horse race between Mohaymen and Nyquist, before making their future bet. Not me. I'm all over some of the other horses in the Kentucky Derby Futures.

At first, I thought that, like many, that there was nobody who could beat Mohaymen. But, the more that the Road to the Kentucky Derby has gone on, the more I've seen from horses like Destin, Mor Spirit and Danzing Candy that has led me to believe Mohaymen is vulnerable. I also think that Nyquist is vulnerable. Below are my Top 5 picks, based on odds, for this weekend's 2016 Kentucky Derby Futures Pool 4.

Kentucky Derby Future's Pool 4 Picks
1. Destin, 12/1 - I think at any double-digit odds, Destin is an overlay. He's at the top of my Kentucky Derby Power Rankings, which I'll release after the Florida Derby, for a number of reasons. He might be the fastest of the Triple Crown nominated horses.  He already knows how to rate and pounce. He's trained by Kentucky Derby winning horseman Todd Pletcher. He was sired by Giant's Causeway. His mom is Dream of Summer. Plus, his jockey is likely to be the awesome Javier Castellano. I'm not sure why more horseplayers aren't excited about this guy's Kentucky Derby chances.

2. Mor Spirit, 12/1 - I actually like the way that Mor Spirit ran in the San Felipe. Jockey Gary Stevens had to take him way behind Danzing Candy over a speed favoring track just in order to make a run later on in the race. Check out how Mor Spirit exploded in the stretch once Gary was able to take him off the rail for running room. Sure, he wasn't going to catch Danzing Candy in a 1 1/16 mile race. What will happen at a 1/18 miles or at 1 1/4 miles? Mor Spirit was very impressive in his second place finish in the San Felipe.

3. Danzing Candy, 12/1 - His San Felipe romp was ultra-impressive. He can flat out fly. I wanted to post this work because it shows how much jockey Mike Smith can get him to relax. He paid perfect attention to Mike's cues in the work. To me, the key will be whether or not he learns how to rate. It's hard to imagine this guy winning the Kentucky Derby on the front end. The Santa Anita Derby on April 9 will tell us more. 

4. Gun Runner, 15/1 - Visually, Gun Runner's win in the Louisiana Derby was very impressive. The way that this Candy Ride sired 3 year old accelerates should give his connections and any of backers a lot of confidence going into the First Saturday in May. But, his time winning this race, 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.06, wasn't all that great. He's going to have to run much faster in the Kentucky Derby,  I think. Then again, he might run faster in the Derby. He should definitely handle 1 1/4. His mom is Quiet Giant who was sired by Giant's Causeway. 

5. Whitemore, 20/1 - The winner, the Bob Baffert trained Cupid, could be a freak. Cupid is at 10 to 1 in the 2016 Kentucky Derby Future's Pool 4. I'm more inclined to go with the second place finisher in the Rebel Stakes, Whitmore, to win the Run for the Roses. Whitmore was a bit green in the stretch. If he hadn't been green, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. may have gotten him home in front of Cupid. Whitmore will get another crack at the Baffert trainee in the Arkansas Derby.


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