Scully, Hanson selections for Pool 5 of Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Profile Picture:

April 6th, 2022

Pool 5 of the 2022 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) this week will have special opening and closing times. The pool opens Thursday at noon (ET) and closes Saturday at 4:30 p.m. — before the Blue Grass (G1), Wood Memorial (G2), and Santa Anita Derby (G1) are run that afternoon. editors James Scully and Vance Hanson have reached a consensus on an individual entry they like in the KDFW, and both will offer a bonus contender they're interested in backing this weekend in both pools.

Consensus Pick: Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5

After netting 20 points for a half-length second in the Rebel (G2), #8 Ethereal Road (50-1) probably needs a top-three finish in the Blue Grass at Keeneland to guarantee himself a spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) field. And if he continues to improve for four-time Kentucky Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas, which appears possible considering the major strides in his last two outings, Ethereal Road could be an underlay on Derby Day. The last two Brisnet Late Pace ratings (105 and 107) from the late-blooming son of Quality Road catch the eye.

James Scully's Bonus Free Pick

#13 Morello (20-1) has easily won all three starts by open lengths, romping in the one-mile Gotham (G3) most recently, and his last-out 99 Brisnet Speed rating compares favorably to top Kentucky Derby contenders. Morello has never been two turns and won't be well-supported when Pool 5 closes, but if he carries his strong form forward in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial on Saturday, the narrative will change surrounding the Steve Asmussen-trained son of Classic Empire.

Vance Hanson's Bonus Free Pick

I'll be backing another Wood Memorial entry, #12 Mo Donegal (20-1), for a second time during the future wager season. The Todd Pletcher trainee has been largely out of sight, out of mind for much of the prep season, with his only start being a third-place finish in the Holy Bull (G3) over a distance shorter than his best and over a track that probably didn't favor his style. On the plus side, the form of that race has held up with the winning White Abarrio repeating in the Florida Derby (G1) and runner-up Simplification taking the Fountain of Youth (G2) before running third in the Florida Derby. Mo Donegal probably needs to run no worse than second in the Wood to get much out of it. Even if he comes up a bit short on Saturday, it could set him up to peak at Churchill.