How to bet with, and against, Yibir in the Jockey Club Derby

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

September 17th, 2021

A fine field of eight three-year-old grass specialists will contest Saturday’s $1 million Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park. The 1 1/2-mile test on the Widener turf course features a field full of class in what is expected to be an ultra-exciting event.

Godolphin homebred #2 Yibir (2-1), a stylish winner of the Great Voltigeur S. (G2) at York last time out, is the one to beat as the morning-line choice. The Charlie Appleby trainee has won two of his last three races, with his unplaced showing coming over a soft surface at Goodwood. By Dubawi, the gelding does his best work over surfaces that are a little firmer, and I expect him to get his desired ground on Saturday.

Yibir, who is a full brother to multiple Grade/Group 1 heroine Wild Illusion, has progressed steadily throughout his career, and really left his mark in his latest endeavor. The peaking chestnut is drawn well to save ground in the race and has displayed the versatility in his running style to adapt to any race shape that presents itself. Jamie Spencer will guide the formidable British-bred.

#4 Soldier Rising (5-2), also a gelding, gave a fine account of himself when a late-running second in the deep Saratoga Derby (G1) while making his U. S. debut last time out. The Frankel sophomore has been first or second in each of his five career assignments to date, and the bay has as much room for improvement as any in the field in my opinion.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Soldier Rising had a poor break at the Spa most recently, but figures to be laying much closer along the backside on Saturday with the added ground he will have to work with. The British-bred is the clear main danger to the favorite in my view.

A value horse for the exotics that I have interest in is #6 Experienced (15-1), who has just three races under his belt. The dark bay son of Temple City has improved steadily to this stage of his development, and while he is a notch or two below the main players in the field, I love his upside and his prior race at 12 furlongs as well. The Jonathan Thomas charge will have Jose Ortiz in the stirrups.

Yibir -- With

  • $5 superfecta 2 with 4 with 6 with all ($25)
  • $5 superfecta 2 with 4 with all with 6 ($25)

Yibir -- Against

  • $40 win #4 Soldier Rising ($40)