Finding Value in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager
Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager began at noon (EST) on Friday. The pool will remain open for three days closing on Sunday February 11 at 6 p.m.
After getting my money in well in Pool 1 with McKinzie at 12-1, there appears to be another option or two worth consideration this time around. However, I do not want to go too crazy since I already hold a reasonably strong position aboard the morning line favorite for the second pool.
E-five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables LLC's Good Magic remains in the top spot on my Kentucky Derby Top Ten List, but I will pass on him in Pool 2 much like I did the first time around in late November.
The Eclipse Award winner merits respect based on his fantastic effort in the Breeders' Cup, but is difficult to endorse with confidence at a relatively short price until he races at the age of three.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile favorite Bolt d'Oro will also garner plenty of attention in Pool 2 after going off at 7-1 in Pool 1, but he is an absolute fade for me at this point.
The son of Medaglia d'Oro galloped last Friday morning at Santa Anita, but a pulled muscle set his 2018 debut back a month after hopes his campaign would kick off this Saturday in the San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita.
There is little doubt that the Mick Ruis trainee has the physical ability to win the Kentucky Derby, but I have serious questions at this point on whether he will even make the race. Hitting the wire first in the "Run for the Roses" takes a near perfect lead up to the first Saturday in May and it has been less than a smooth start to 2018 thus far for Bolt d'Oro. Therefore wagering on the good looking colt this weekend at anything near his 10-1 morning line seems like a poor idea.
Audible put forth an extremely impressive effort in last Saturday's Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The New York-bred sat just off the early pace on the backstretch in the 1 1/16-mile event and then took control on the far turn before pulling away in the lane to make it three consecutive victories for trainer Todd Pletcher.
I moved Audible up to number four in my Kentucky Derby Top Ten and consider him a major factor moving forward in the Triple Crown series, but I expect recency bias to crush the value of the son of Into Mischief in Pool 2. He is listed at 12-1 on the line, but it would be far from surprising to see him bet down from there. At 20-1 his addition to my "Derby Future Pool Stable" would be welcomed, but that is not going to happen.
On the other hand, the runner-up in the Holy Bull could present much greater value in Pool 2. Free Drop Billy was no match for Audible last weekend in Florida, but that was his first start since a disappointing ninth place finish at the Breeders' Cup.
Other than his non-effort at Del Mar in November the Union Rags colt has done little wrong. He did not wow racing fans with his initial try in 2018, but he showed enough for trainer Dale Romans to remain optimistic that this could be the year. If he can move forward off of his second place finish in Hallandale on Saturday he still could be a major player come May 5.
Free Drop Billy is listed at 20-1 on the Pool 2 morning line and is worth a small wager at that price or higher come Sunday evening.
The other colt I am intrigued by in the new Future Wager pool is Instilled Regard. The $1.05 million dollar purchase for Oxo Equine LLC has moved forward immensely since Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer stretched him out to two turns last October.
The son of Arch dominated a maiden field in his first effort at a route of ground before going toe-to-toe with McKinzie and Solomimi in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) in early December. The Kentucky-bred colt then illustrated he could win away from home last month with a dominating 3 3/4-length victory in the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds.
If Pool 2 ran immediately after Instilled Regard's effort in Louisiana his price would have likely suffered, but I expect him to be slightly overlooked this weekend since there has been nearly a month since he has raced last. At anything 20-1 or higher I will be adding some exposure to him in my "Future Pool portfolio."
I will take a wait and see approach on the rest of the three-year-old crop since the rest of those offered up either provide no value or are a cut below at this point.
Good luck to those getting involved in Kentucky Derby Future Pool 2. We are just 87 days away from the most exciting two minutes in sports.
(Jamie Hernandez/Hodges Photography)