Who Offers the Best Value in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4?

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 2nd, 2019

The fourth and final 2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool will open for wagering on Friday, April 5, providing bettors with one last opportunity to lock in a nice price on overlooked Derby contenders before the race is run four weeks from now.

But here’s the thing—three major prep races are scheduled to be run on April 6, one day before the pool closes, so swings in the odds could be significant based on the results of these races. Of the 23 individual horses offered in the pool, nine are scheduled to run in either the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Wood Memorial (gr. II), or Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II), so it’s hard to recommend betting on these runners until we see how they fare on Saturday (and what prices become available as a result).

It’s also hard to recommend betting on the “All Other 3-Year-Olds” option, listed at 15-1 on the morning line odds. Perhaps one of the three prep races will be won by an unheralded up-and-comer not listed among the individual betting interests in the future pool, but if that is indeed the case, expect to see those 15-1 odds plummet as bettors flock toward the “All Other 3-Year-Olds” option. And if more than one unheralded runner prevails on Saturday, you can bet that this option will offer very unappealing odds, especially since the only other major prep race on the horizon—the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. I)—is expected to attract a top-class field that seems unlikely to produce a major upset.

It’s also hard to endorse betting on horses that have already completed their Kentucky Derby preparations, since their profiles heading into the Derby are essentially locked in and bettors figure to send them off at reasonable prices in this future wager pool. #2 Bodexpress (20-1), #3 Bourbon War (15-1), #4 By My Standards (12-1), #5 Code of Honor (12-1), #6 Cutting Humor (15-1), #16 Plus Que Parfait (30-1), #19 Spinoff (30-1), and #22 War of Will (15-1) should offer at least their morning line prices (if not much higher prices) in the wagering on Derby Day itself. #13 Maximum Security at 8-1 could be considered fair value if his morning line price holds up, but I won’t be surprised to see him bet down off his eye-catching victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I).

A more appealing option might be the El Camino Real Derby winner #1 Anothertwistafate, who impressed me by overcoming a tricky trip to rally and finish second in the Sunland Derby (gr. III). He’s 30-1 on the morning line, but I can envision his odds dropping on Derby Day, particularly if he competes (and runs well) in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) next weekend. But if you followed my tips for betting the third future wager pool, you’ve already locked in Anothertwistafate at final odds of 38-1.

All this is a roundabout way of saying that if there’s legitimate wagering to be found in this final Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool, it probably lies among the four other horses—#7 Galilean (30-1), #10 Improbable (10-1), #12 Long Range Toddy (15-1), #14 Omaha Beach (10-1)—scheduled to compete in the Arkansas Derby. Improbable, Long Range Toddy, and Omaha Beach in particular all boast credentials that could stamp them as the Kentucky Derby favorite if they win impressively in Arkansas, in which case locking in odds of 10-1 or higher is an enticing prospect.

With that in mind, if I had to recommend one horse to bet in a quest for value, it would be #10 Improbable. He has every reason to improve in the Arkansas Derby while making his second start off a layoff, and trainer Bob Baffert is expected to equip Improbable with blinkers, which could help the colt focus and show more tactical speed. If he runs as I expect, you can kiss those 10-1 odds goodbye on Derby Day.

Which horses(s) do you find appealing in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4?