Harness racing: How to bet The Kentucky Futurity

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

October 10th, 2021

On Sunday, the 129th Kentucky Futurity ($561k) leads The Red Mile program, which is the last of the 2021 season. A dozen soph-colt trotters from a scattershot crop take the one-mile route (no elims or heats), the last major stop before the Breeders Crown.

By now all are aware that Captain Corey, the Hambletonian winner, stopped racing for the season due to an injury. This left trainer Ake Svanstedt only five entries. Mark Melander sends three; Nancy Takter two (one also-eligible); and Tony Alagna, one.

A matter of the trotting stride itself surfaces as a bigger unknown element this year than usual and it may be one reason the morning line (ML) favorite is Jujubee, who has a dozen wins in 15 starts. But Greg Wright Jr.’s colt has not faced the likes of this class, however, and almost any one of them is a level above him when not galloping.

In Svanstedt’s quintet there seems one probable overlay — Delayed Hanover, the horse we hit for double digits winning a Hambletonian elim. A pair of his others pulled off longshot wins last week: Mon Amour (who benefited from Sonofamistery’s break in a Bluegrass) and Fly Light. Ambassador Hanover has been inconsistent and Johan Palema less than impressive of late.

Melander’s colts are topped by Dancinginthedark M—the best and the most likely to gallop; Sonofamistery—his next best and next most likely to gallop; and In Range—no good against these without a miracle trip.

Takter’s Really Fast is not fast enough, and also-eligible Locatelli may not make it into the field. A ML of 4-1 is too low for Alagna’s Ahundreddollarbill, who needs a good trip.

Our focus is Delayed Hanover. Even if no colt breaks, he can get the winning trip off of tiring speed. Exotic combinations need a psychic handicapper, but with Delayed Hanover on top, most will pay well.