San Felipe to drive betting on Pool 3 of Kentucky Derby Future Wager
Saturday’s San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita provided the excitement Kentucky Derby fans relish as Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie hooked up in a dynamite stretch-duel to the wire. They had already been bet down as the top two individual betting interests in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Pool prior to the thrilling showdown on track, and #3 Bolt d’Oro and #15 McKinzie figure to keep separating themselves from the pack until the pool closes at 6 p.m. (ET) Sunday.
Bolt d’Oro, who was awarded the victory after coming up a head short on the San Felipe wire, enters the final day of Pool 3 as the 5-1 favorite. McKinzie, who sustained his first defeat from four starts when stewards disqualified him for drifting out late into his rival, has been bet to 8- 1.
Look for their odds to keep dropping Sunday. With eight weeks remaining until the first Saturday in May, the hierarchy in the Kentucky Derby ranks appears clear-cut presently: it’s the top two from the San Felipe and a gap back to third.
Favorites have captured the last five editions of the Kentucky Derby and chances are good either Bolt d’Oro or McKinzie will fill the role in 2018.
The dilemma facing bettors is whether to go ahead and lock in a price in Pool 3 that could be shorter on Kentucky Derby Day. For example, Bolt d’Oro may be 2-1 or 5-2 on Kentucky Derby Day if he posts a sharp win in the final prep race. McKinzie will offer a little more value than his rival in Pool 3 and the same logic applies.
And considering Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie could meet again in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 7, there’s an argument to be made for taking a stand in Pool 3 with the heavyweight you like most.
The Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) were also offered Saturday but the winners, Enticed and Quip, are both part of the mutuel field of all other 3-year-olds (#24). “All Others,” which enters Sunday at 7-1, will offer better odds this round after closing as the prohibitive favorite in Pool 1 (6-5) and Pool 2 (5-2).
Other horses of interest:
I’m intrigued by #20 Solomini, who brings 19-1 odds into Sunday. He disposed of McKinzie in deep stretch and won the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) going away by about a length before being controversially disqualified and is now gearing up for his 2018 return in next Saturday’s Rebel (G2). I think the classy juvenile will be better at age 3 for four-time Kentucky Derby-winning conditioner Bob Baffert.
#10 Good Magic closed as the slight 8-1 individual favorite over Bolt d’Oro in Pool 2 (February 9-11) but his reputation took a precipitous hit returning with a flat third in the Fountain of Youth (G2). However, the champion 2-year-old male remains eligible to turn things around with a strong showing in the final prep and we’ll be watching to see whether Good Magic’s price drifts up from 10-1 on Sunday.
Juvenile Grade 1 winner #21 Sporting Chance (30-1) needed his first start back off the layoff, checking in third in the Southwest (G3), and I won’t be surprised to see the Tiznow colt continue to improve his stock in upcoming engagements for legendary horseman D. Wayne Lukas, who knows how to get a 3-year-old ready for the first leg of the Triple Crown better than most.
A Kentucky Oaks/ Derby Double Future Wager Pool will be offered for the first time this year and runs concurrently with Pool 3.
#8 Dream Tree tops my Kentucky Oaks top 10 presently and I’ll use the Baffert pupil in doubles along with #13 Midnight Disguise, who exits back-to-back wins in the Busanda and Busher at Aqueduct, and #24 “All Others.”
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