Kentucky Jockey Club provides a line on five horses in Kentucky Derby Future Wager; Dothraki Queen tops Golden Rod

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November 25th, 2015

Saturday’s $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) serves as a qualifier for the 2016 Kentucky Derby, offering points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four respective finishers, and along with its fillies’ counterpart, the $200,000 Golden Rod (G2), highlights an outstanding 12-race “Stars of Tomorrow II” program at Churchill Downs.

And with the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager taking place this weekend, bettors will have the opportunity to see how five of the 23 individual interests perform before Sunday’s 6 p.m. (EST) deadline.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) runner-up Airoforce and the Bob Baffert-trained maiden winner Mor Spirit are both listed at 20-1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 morning line. Futurity (G2) winner Annual Report and unbeaten allowance scorer Gun Runner come next at 30-1, and Iroquois (G3) runner-up Rated R Superstar is listed at 50-1.

The 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club drew a full field of 14 and promises to be a highly contentious race.

Airoforce, who opened his career with wins in a Kentucky Downs maiden special weight and the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland, just missed last time in the Juvenile Turf, rallying furiously to finish a neck short as the 5-2 favorite. The Mark Casse-trained son of Colonel John will receive first-time blinkers for his dirt debut and Julien Leparoux retains the mount on the gray colt.

Mor Spirit, a dark bay son of Eskendreya, recorded a second when making his first start in a sprint and stretched out to two turns last time to earn his first win, scoring by 4 ¼ lengths in an October 23 maiden special weight. Martin Garcia picks up the assignment for the four-time Kentucky Derby-winning conditioner.

Annual Report was dispatched to Churchill Downs because trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has well-regarded stablemate Mohaymen in Saturday’s Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct, but the Harlan’s Holiday colt is certainly no slouch, easily winning both career starts, including a 1 ½-length tally in the October 17 Futurity. Joe Bravo has been up on Annual Report both times and will be in to ride.

Gun Runner makes his stakes debut for Steve Asmussen, posting a smart allowance tally at Keeneland when stretching out to two turns last time, and Ricardo Santana Jr. will guide the Candy Ride colt. Rated R Superstar never fired in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last time, but the chestnut son of Kodiak Kowboy showed nice class finishing second in the Iroquois at Churchill and third in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland beforehand. The colt figures to be forwardly-placed with regular rider Calvin Borel.

The top two finishers in the November 1 Street Sense at Churchill Downs, Mo Tom and Tom’s Ready, will both return for the Kentucky Jockey Club along with Discreetness, who checked in fourth as the favorite.

Dothraki Queen heads nine juvenile fillies in the 1 1/16-mile Golden Rod, which serves as a points’ race for the Kentucky Oaks. The daughter Pure Prize turned in an impressive performance under the Twin Spires when capturing the September 12 Pocahontas (G2) and followed with a pair of classy efforts at Keeneland, a runner-up in the Alciabides (G1) and a third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Corey Lanerie rides for McPeek.

Stageplay, a 1 ½-length winner of the November 1 Rags to Riches at Churchill Downs, is the main rival. The gray Curlin filly is 2-for-2 for Asmussen and keeps Santana in the saddle. Susies Yankee Girl, who exits an allowance triumph over the track, will make her stakes bow for Dale Romans and Carina Mia will receive a class check for Bill Mott after romping over maiden special weight foes at Keeneland.

Airoforce photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography

Dothraki Queen photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography