Kentucky Derby Futures: Trends to Watch for Jan. 19

The odds on Uncontested plummeted after his win in the Smarty Jones Stakes (above). (Eclipse Sportswire)

One of the most exciting pit stops on the Road to the Triple Crown involves laying down some cash on a futures pick for the 2017 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. For the next several weeks, America’s Best Racing will bring you up to date with the changing odds and new entries at two of the main Kentucky Derby future wager bookmakers in Las Vegas – the books at Wynn Las Vegas and William Hill.

We’ll revisit these odds when new sheets are released and until the group of viable contenders dwindles after major prep races are completed. As for now, dreams remain fresh and achievable for a multitude of owners and gamblers alike to get their horse to the starting gate at Churchill Downs on May 6. Aside from the Las Vegas books, which were updated this week on Jan. 15 at William Hill and Jan. 18 at Wynn, the next Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool offered by Churchill Downs Inc. runs from Jan. 27-29.

Jan. 19 Odds Leaders:

Classic Empire (7-1 Wynn, 6-1 in William Hill)

Mastery (8-1 Wynn, 10-1 William Hill)

McCraken (10-1 Wynn, 12-1 William Hill)

Mo Town (16-1 Wynn, 15-1 William Hill)

Gormley (20-1 Wynn, 25-1 William Hill, tied with Beach Bum and Practical Joke)

Jan. 19 Notable Changes:

Uncontested: Odds dropped from 75-1 on Jan. 9 to 40-1 at Wynn, and from 100-1 on Jan. 9 to 60-1 at William Hill, following his romp on a sloppy Oaklawn Park track in the Smarty Jones Stakes on Jan. 16, a Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands points race.

Petrov: Odds plummeted from 300-1 to 75-1 at Wynn after he finished a clear second behind Uncontested at Oaklawn. His odds remain steady at 150-1 at William Hill.

Rowdy the Warrior: Odds dropped from 300-1 to 150-1 at Wynn after he picked up the pieces to get third in the Smarty Jones Stakes. He is not listed in William Hill’s book.

Warrior’s Club: Odds jumped from 60-1 to 175-1 at Wynn after his disappointing fourth in the Smarty Jones. Odds remained level at 125-1 at William Hill.

Dangerfield: Has not started since finishing third in the Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity in early December, but this Into Mischief colt took a lot of action at Wynn last week, dropping from 175-1 to 65-1. Dangerfield posted a six-furlong breeze at Santa Anita Park on Jan. 15 in 1:15. Trainer Doug O’Neill has won two Kentucky Derbys this decade, and he, along with several of his team, memorably cashed lucrative future bets on I’ll Have Another at the Primm Valley Resort and Casino on the Nevada-California border in 2012.

Jan. 19 New Choices:

Apartfromthecrowd (250-1 Wynn, 150-1 William Hill): Chad Brown-trained son of champion Gio Ponti broke through in his third career start with a four-length win in a one-mile and 70-yard maiden race at Aqueduct on Jan. 14.

Aquamarine (125-1 William Hill): This Gemologist colt, who like 2015 Horse of the Year American Pharoah is owned by Zayat Stables and trained by Bob Baffert, was added to Wynn’s book last week at 300-1 odds just before making his career debut on Jan. 13 at Santa Anita. He won that 5 ½-furlong maiden race by 1 ¾ lengths, and his odds dropped to 200-1 on Wynn’s latest sheet.

Fire for Effect (150-1 William Hill): Jan. 7 maiden winner at Gulfstream was added to Wynn’s last book at the same odds. He’s trained by Dale Romans.

Hence (150-1 Wynn): Broke his maiden by three-quarters of a length at Oaklawn on Jan. 16 to give trainer Steve Asmussen his 500th career victory at the Hot Springs, Ark., track. He overcame a stumble at the start and some erratic running in the stretch to do so. Owned by Brad Kelley’s Calumet Farm, this Street Boss colt is from the family of three-time Grade 1-winning filly Devil May Care and UAE Derby and Super Derby winner Regal Ransom.

Horse Fly (200-1 Wynn): Also owned by Kelley, this Mineshaft colt was part of an entry with Hence in that Jan. 16 maiden, and led late before settling for second. Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, he’s got three runner-up finishes in five career starts and is a close relative to prominent sire Elusive Quality.

Hot Dad (300-1 Wynn): This Sidney’s Candy colt broke his maiden back in July 2016 at Indiana Grand on turf and finished third in a grass stakes for juveniles at Kentucky Downs in his subsequent start. After two unplaced efforts to close out the year, he returned at Fair Grounds and won a one-mile turf allowance by 1 ¼ lengths on Jan. 16. His dam (mother) is multiple graded stakes winner Atlantic Ocean.

Impressive Edge (125-1 William Hill): Another trained by Dale Romans, this son of Harlan’s Holiday broke his maiden going six furlongs at Gulfstream by 4 ¾ lengths on Jan. 15. That was his first start at three, and he was unplaced in two starts at two.

Midway Gold (150-1 William Hill): Haynesfield colt won his career debut by a neck at Fair Grounds in a six-furlong race on Jan. 8. His connections, owner/breeder Brereton Jones and trainer Larry Jones, have teamed up to campaign several top-class horses, including Kentucky Oaks winners Proud Spell, Believe You Can, and Lovely Maria.

Sonic Mule (125-1 William Hill): Winner of the Jan. 7 Mucho Macho Stakes at Gulfstream was added to William Hill’s book this week, and is also 125-1 at Wynn.

Upcoming Derby Prep:

Saturday’s Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds offers Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 sliding scale. Vegas Derby future wager odds for the field in post position order are as follows:

Phat Man (not offered)

Arklow (225-1 Wynn)

Totality (175-1 Wynn, 125-1 William Hill)

Shareholder Value (175-1 Wynn)

Untrapped (225-1 Wynn, but 80-1 William Hill)

Marco Mischief (not offered)

Romeo O Romeo (not offered)

Tip Tap Tapizar (225-1 Wynn, 175-1 William Hill)

Guest Suite (60-1 Wynn, 100-1 William Hill)

Running Mate (150-1 at both Wynn and William Hill)

Takeoff (200-1 Wynn, 125-1 William Hill)

Pat On the Back (300-1 Wynn, 150-1 William Hill)

Saint’s Fan (65-1 Wynn, 100-1 William Hill)

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