Harry Payne Whitney: Like Father, Like Son
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. Since our last update from Vegas, Churchill Downs also held its third Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool, with the “all others” option closing at 5-1 odds and McCraken leading the 23 individual betting interests at odds of 6-1.
March 9 Odds Leaders:
1) Classic Empire (8-1)
1) McCraken (8-1)
1) Mastery (8-1)
4) Gunnevera (12-1)
5) Practical Joke (14-1)
1) McCraken (6-1)
2) Classic Empire (8-1)
2) Gunnevera (8-1)
2) Mastery (8-1)
5) Gormley (14-1)
5) J Boys Echo (14-1)
5) One Liner (14-1)
March 9 Notable Changes:
Gunnevera: Odds slipped from 20-1 to 12-1 at Wynn and from 25-1 to 8-1 at William Hill after his dominating win in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes. His next target: the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby on April 1. The stories behind his connections – the Peacock Racing Stables comprised of three owners from Spain and Venezuela and his Venezuelan émigré trainer Antonio Sano – will be among the most compelling of this year’s Kentucky Derby contenders should Gunnevera stay on the Triple Crown trail.
J Boys Echo: Odds dropped from 85-1 to 25-1 at Wynn and from 60-1 to 14-1 at William Hill following his breakthrough 3 ½-length score in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. Connections Albaugh Family Stable and Dale Romans are back with a live Derby contender after their promising colt Not This Time (runner-up in last fall’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) was retired due to injury.
Practical Joke: Odds dropped from 25-1 to 14-1 at Wynn after he ran second to Gunnevera in the Fountain of Youth, which marked his 3-year-old debut. Movement was slighter at William Hill, where his odds dipped from 18-1 to 15-1.
Three Rules: Carried his speed very well in the Fountain of Youth to finish third. He may be Preakness-bound, but his Derby odds still dropped from 75-1 to 45-1 at Wynn and 40-1 to 25-1 at William Hill.
Talk Logistics: Ran a distant fourth in the Fountain of Youth at odds of 94.60-1. His Derby future odds dropped from 150-1 to 100-1 at Wynn and from 100-1 to 60-1 at William Hill.
Cloud Computing: This lightly-raced Maclean’s Music colt made a big class leap in the Gotham Stakes (his second career start) and acquitted himself well, finishing second. His odds plummeted on Wynn’s latest sheet from 200-1 to 40-1, and he was added to William Hill’s book at 60-1 odds.
Girvin: Wynn did not release a sheet last week, so his odds shift from 125-1 to 25-1 reflects new Derby support following an eye-catching win in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 25. He’s offered at 20-1 odds by William Hill.
Untrapped: The Risen Star runner-up’s odds dropped from 100-1 to 50-1 at Wynn. He’s offered at 30-1 by William Hill.
Local Hero: Third in the Risen Star, his odds shifted down from 125-1 to 75-1 at Wynn. He remained at 50-1 at William Hill.
Gormley: He remains a top Kentucky Derby contender and took some extra money in William Hill’s book to drop from 25-1 to 14-1 odds. Remains steady at 18-1 on Wynn’s sheet in advance of his planned start in Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Ticonderoga: This highly-regarded turf runner made his first start since last year a winning one in the March 4 Palm Beach Stakes. He had not raced since since running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. His odds dropped from 85-1 to 65-1 at Wynn, and held steady at 100-1 at William Hill.
Eastport: His odds moved from 200-1 to 125-1 at Wynn after winning a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Park, also on the March 4 Fountain of Youth undercard. That was the Malibu Moon colt’s second career start following a third-place finish in a seven-furlong maiden on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream. Trained by Shug McGaughey for owner Robert Evans. He was added to William Hill’s book at 100-1 odds.
Glennrichment: This Zayat Stables-owned son of Pioneerof the Nile was scratched from the March 4 Gotham, and then romped a day later at Aqueduct in a one-mile maiden special weight by 4 ¼ lengths, earning a 100 Equibase Speed Figure. That was his fourth career start for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. Wynn took in enough money to drop his odds from 225-1 to 150-1. He’s a possible Wood Memorial Stakes contender on April 8.
Always Dreaming: His odds moved slightly down from 85-1 to 75-1 at Wynn, but took a larger plunge from 80-1 to 40-1 at William Hill following his easy four-length score in the opening race on Gulfstream’s Fountain of Youth card. That was in a 1 1/8-mile allowance optional claimer, and it came on the heels of his 11 ½-length blowout in a one-mile and 70-yard maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs on Jan. 25. Now 2-for-4 in his career, this Todd Pletcher-trained son of 2012 Kentucky Derby runner-up Bodemeister could make his next start in the Florida Derby.
Souper Tapit: His odds dropped from 85-1 to 60-1 at Wynn based on the afterglow of a very impressive career debut win at Fair Grounds on Feb. 18. He returned to the workout tab on March 4 and went five furlongs in :59.80, fastest of 38 at that distance. Trained by Mark Casse for Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation, it will be interesting to see how ambitious his connections are with regard to possibly starting him in the April 1 Louisiana Derby. He’s not offered by William Hill.
Oxford Lane: Odds dropped from 175-1 to 100-1 at Wynn after he captured a one-mile maiden special weight at Oaklawn Park on March 4 for owner Walking L Thoroughbreds and trainer Ken McPeek. This Into Mischief colt finished third in his career debut last summer and then second in two route maidens earlier this year at Fair Grounds and Oaklawn before breaking through.
Apartfromthecrowd: Added back to Wynn’s sheet at 225-1 odds, the Chad Brown trainee hasn’t raced since finishing fifth in the Feb. 2 Withers Stakes, and hasn’t worked since Feb. 25. Offered at 150-1 odds by William Hill.
Conquest Mo Money: Returns to Wynn’s sheet at 150-1 odds after winning the Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland Park on Feb. 26. This son of Uncle Mo is 3-for-3 in his career and will most likely reappear in the Sunland Derby on March 26, which offers 50 qualifying Kentucky Derby points to the winner. Not offered by William Hill.
Dangerfield: A returnee to Wynn’s futures sheet at 250-1 odds, this Doug O’Neill-trained Into Mischief colt has kept good company, running third in the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes and Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity, but (like his namesake) he’s received little respect to this point.
Made You Look: Back on Wynn’s sheet at 250-1 odds after finishing a disappointing ninth in the Fountain of Youth. Probably will return to turf, where he’s won three stakes.
March 9 New Choices:
B Squared: A new addition to Wynn’s book at 200-1 following his 2 ¼-length win in a seven-furlong maiden special weight race at Santa Anita on March 4, which was his career debut. This colt is owned by J. Paul Reddam and trained by Doug O’Neill, who teamed to score recent Derby wins with I’ll Have Another (2012) and Nyquist (2016). He’s by Grade 1 winner Square Eddie, who was also campaigned by Reddam and O’Neill, and is a full brother to Hopeful Stakes winner Ralis.
Blue Buff: Another first-out winner, this time in a 5 ½-furlong sprint at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 25. He’s offered at 125-1 odds by Wynn and is by the late sire Unbridled’s Song, whose son Arrogate is currently the world’s top-rated dirt racehorse according to the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.
Cloud Computing: See above.
Cosmo Charlie: This colt from the first crop of 2011 Travers Stakes winner Stay Thirsty has raced four times in Dubai. In his most recent start, he won the Al Bastakiya Stakes Sponsored by Emirates Skywards at about 1 3/16 miles. He’s offered at 150-1 by Wynn and has a real shot at getting the necessary Kentucky Derby qualifying points if he makes a good showing in the March 25 United Arab Emirates Derby at Meydan Racecourse.
Derek’s Smile: Offered at 300-1 by Wynn, he’s won three of four starts, two of them on turf, with his only loss coming in the Swale Stakes, when he was eased and walked off. He bounced back from that race on Feb. 25 with a pacesetting win in the five-furlong Texas Glitter Stakes on Gulfstream’s turf course.
Eastport: See above.
Mo’s Mojo: This Oaklawn-based runner has yet to win in two career starts but was added to Wynn’s book at 250-1 odds. He finished fourth in his debut in February and then seventh behind the abovementioned Oxford Lane on March 4.
Qatar Man: Irish-bred son of Archarcharch was runner-up to Cosmo Charlie in the Al Bastakiya. He finished second twice and then won his third start last year in England before shipping to Dubai for 2017, where ran fourth in the UAE Two Thousand Guineas on Feb. 11 in his first start as a 3-year-old. Has a decent pedigree on his dam’s (mother’s) side, where he’s related to several accomplished European horses, and could make some noise in the UAE Derby. Added to Wynn’s book at 150-1 odds.
Timeline: Offered at 150-1 odds by Wynn, this colt made a good first impression on the March 4 Fountain of Youth undercard, where he won his career debut going seven furlongs for owner Woodford Racing and trainer Chad Brown. He rallied five wide in the stretch to win by a half-length against 12 opponents, and his pedigree suggests added distance won’t be a problem. He’s a son of Hard Spun, and his grandam (maternal grandmother) is Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap winner Aldiza.
Upcoming Derby Preps:
Saturday’s Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby and San Felipe Stakes each offer qualifying Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers on a 50-20-10-5 scale. Vegas Derby future wager odds for the field in post position order are as follows:
Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby:
Tale of Silence (not offered)
The Money Monster (125-1 Wynn, not offered at William Hill)
Basha (250-1 Wynn, 125-1 William Hill)
No Dozing (150-1 Wynn, 25-1 William Hill)
Tapwrit (50-1 Wynn, 16-1 William Hill)
Beasley (85-1 Wynn, not offered at William Hill)
Sonic Mule (150-1 Wynn, 125-1 William Hill)
State of Honor (75-1 Wynn, not offered at William Hill)
Wild Shot (75-1 Wynn and William Hill)
Zion Valley (not offered)
Term of Art (350-1 Wynn, 175-1 William Hill)
Vending Machine (not offered)
Ann Arbor Eddie (150-1 Wynn and Willliam Hill)
Mastery (8-1 Wynn and William Hill)
Gormley (18-1 Wynn, 14-1 William Hill)
Iliad (40-1 Wynn, 50-1 William Hill)
Bluegrass Envy (not offered)