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Homeracing

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 Value Plays

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 5th, 2018

Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) will be held from April 7-9, and there is a trio of major Kentucky Derby (G1) prep races to be contested on Saturday – the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Wood Memorial (G2) and Bluegrass Stakes (G2).

It will be difficult to find value on any runner who might fire a big shot this weekend, so my focus will be on those who have already completed their major Derby preparations or will have one more race upcoming.

The true value of the final KDFW pool could lie right with Florida Derby (G1) star AUDIBLE (#1) (6-1 morning line). The Todd Pletcher pupil has taken some heat for not being a good work horse, and many have also questioned his pedigree to shine at 10 furlongs in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May. But all this colt does is dominate his competition. If we witness a few big performances this Saturday, which is more than likely, Audible could possibly drift north to the 10-1 range.

COMBATANT (#4) (30-1) has yet to break through with a signature win for trainer Steve Asmussen but is not that far away. The Scat Daddy colt will get another chance at Oaklawn Park next week in the Arkansas Derby (G1), and I imagine him closing at closer to 50-1 odds in Pool 4. The bay colt missed second in the Rebel Stakes (G2) by a neck in a most recent endeavor and is Arkansas Derby-bound.

HOFBURG (#10) (30-1) is a personal favorite of mine, coming off an impressive second-place showing in the Florida Derby. The lightly raced three-year-old from the Bill Mott barn should be a big price on Derby Day, so I will not settle for a small number. Anything more than his 30-1 opening odds make him attractive to me.

Unbeaten Rebel victor MAGNUM MOON (#14) (10-1) will have one more start next Saturday in the Arkansas Derby. The superb youngster is likely to be a short price at Oaklawn, and if he rolls home to a fourth straight win, it could have him challenging for Kentucky Derby favoritism in May. A 15-1 price in Pool 4 would be hard to pass up.

For the fans of NOBLE INDY (#18) (20-1), this could be a very good time to take a swing. The Pletcher colt was impressive battling back to win the Louisiana Derby (G2) last out. In recent history, horses exiting the Fair Grounds races have not been especially impactful in the Run for the Roses. The colt will likely slip through the cracks in Pool 4 and is another whose price is almost sure to increase.

SOLOMINI (#22) (20-1) is consistently very good for conditioner Bob Baffert and will have his final prep run April 14 in the Arkansas Derby. The long-striding colt had a solid seasonal debut when second in the Rebel at Oaklawn last time. The multiple Grade-1 placed sophomore may drift up in price after Saturday, and anything more than his morning-line number makes him an enticing option.

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