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 2018 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve. Through April, America’s Best Racing will bring you up to date with the changing odds and notable 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 (usually after a major prep race is completed). With each passing prep race, the number of viable Derby contenders will shrink, but as of now, there are literally hundreds of horses out there that carry the dreams of owners and gamblers alike to find the Churchill Downs winner’s circle somewhere around 7 p.m. ET on May 5 – and some of them may have not even raced yet.
Last weekend, Godolphin’s Enticed scored a hard-fought win in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs to earn 10 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby. This weekend, another points race is on tap at Aqueduct, the Remsen Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday, Dec. 2. Here’s the latest update on which horses Wynn Las Vegas favors as early prospects for the 144th run for the roses. (William Hill’s book has not been updated as of Nov. 29).
In addition to the Vegas books, Churchill Downs closed their first of four Kentucky Derby future wager pools on Nov. 26. “All Others” led the 24 entry-field at 6-5 odds, followed by Bolt d’Oro at 7-1, Good Magic at 11-1, and McKinzie at 12-1.
Nov. 29 Odds Leaders
1. Bolt d’Oro (12-1)
2. Good Magic (14-1)
3. Enticed (20-1)
4. McKinzie (20-1)
5. Montauk (22-1)
Enticed: Odds dropped from 45-1 to 20-1 at Wynn after he bested Tiz Mischief by a head in the Kentucky Jockey Club. This Medaglia d’Oro colt is a Godolphin homebred trained by Kiaran McLaughlin out of multiple Grade 1 winner It’s Tricky and has the pedigree to handle the Kentucky Derby’s mile-and-a-quarter distance. Read more about him in Mike Curry’s Making the Grade profile.
Tiz Mischief: Odds plummeted from 100-1 to 30-1 at Wynn after his game runner-up effort in the Kentucky Jockey Club. This colt is one of several promising Dale Romans-trained horses on the Derby trail. His sire (father), Into Mischief, has had success up to this point primarily with milers (such as Goldencents) although his dam (mother) did win at 1 1/8 miles and is a daughter of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow.
Promises Fulfilled: This is another Romans trainee and was selected as one of “Five to Watch” in our previous Kentucky Derby Futures blog. A son of 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford, and he carried his speed quite well in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club to finish a clear third. His odds dropped from 75-1 to 50-1 on Wynn’s sheet.
Analyze It: This Point of Entry colt is now 2-for-2, and both wins have been eye-catching, to say the least. They’ve also both been on turf, as he took his debut at Belmont Park by 6 ¼ lengths back in October and then shipped across the country and romped by 4 ¼ lengths on Nov. 26 in the Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at Del Mar. His odds slipped from 125-1 to 100-1 at Wynn and the fact that he may remain on turf going forward is the only reason they’re that high. His young sire, Point of Entry, excelled in long-distance turf races in the U.S., although his dam was a turf sprinter. It will be interesting to see if his owner, William Lawrence, who co-owned 2017 Preakness winner Cloud Computing, will instruct trainer Chad Brown to give this colt a chance to try dirt in the coming months.
Biblical: Odds dropped from 175-1 to 85-1 in advance of this colt’s planned start in the Remsen Stakes on Saturday, Dec. 2. After finishing sixth and third in his first two starts at Saratoga and Belmont during September, he posted a workmanlike 1 ¾-length win in a 1 1/8-mile maiden race at Aqueduct on Nov. 17. Racing for China Horse Club International and trainer Todd Pletcher, he’s got a pedigree that’s geared for two-turn races as he’s by leading sire Tapit (who is the sire of the last two Belmont Stakes winners) and is a half-brother to 2013 Kentucky Oaks and Coaching Club American Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar.
Mississippi: He made a much-improved second start in a one-turn mile maiden race at Churchill on Nov. 19 after finishing fourth in his career debut at Keeneland. After stalking the pace under a patient ride from Julien Leparoux, this son of Pioneerof the Nile took over at the top of the lane and held off one challenger to win by 1 ¾ lengths. The Mark Casse-trained colt still raced a bit greenly in the stretch and should improve even more once he tries two turns, even if his dam, multiple graded stakes winner Katz Me If You Can, was a sprinter. He’s owned by the Coolmore group along with John Oxley and Markus Jooste, and his odds offered by Wynn are now 75-1 after opening at 250-1.
Five to Watch:
Avery Island: Enticed broke through with an impressive win in the Kentucky Jockey Club last weekend, and this Saturday Godolphin and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin have another highly-regarded colt set to claim some Kentucky Derby qualifying points. This son of Street Sense has done nothing wrong since finishing seventh in his career debut back in August at Saratoga. Returning in late September, he won both a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Belmont and then the one-mile Nashua Stakes by a combined 10 lengths in front-running fashion. He’ll enter Saturday’s Remsen Stakes (see below) off of a bullet half-mile workout at Belmont on Nov. 24, and if he runs back to his prior two starts, Wynn’s 45-1 current odds will certainly drop on their next sheet. His dam, Kinda Spicy, only raced twice in 2011 but won both times, the second in a 1 1/8-mile Saratoga allowance. She is by the legendary sire and 1992 Horse of the Year A.P. Indy and her dam, Isola Piu Bella (this colt’s maternal grandmother), was the Horse of the Year in Chile in 2004 who also won three stakes races at 1 1/8 miles in the U.S.
Dak Attack: This highly-regarded colt named after the Dallas Cowboys’ second-year quarterback is back on the Churchill Downs worktab for owners Albaugh Family Stable and Brereton Jones and trainer Dale Romans. He’d been sidelined with a sore shin since winning the Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes back in August and could resurface in the Springboard Mile at Remington Park on Dec. 17, a new Kentucky Derby qualifying points race. Offered at 50-1 odds by Wynn, he has been impressive in both of his winning starts so far and is another whose pedigree is geared for longer-distance races. His sire, Ghostzapper, won the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic in a blazing-fast time and his second dam (maternal grandmother) is 2008 champion 3-year-old filly Proud Spell.
Dream Baby Dream: This Steve Asmussen-trained Into Mischief colt has made steady progression through four starts, finishing eighth, fourth, third by a nose, and then winning a seven-furlong maiden at Churchill by 2 ¼ lengths on Nov. 25. As noted above, Into Mischief is generally viewed as a sire of middle-distance horses, and this colt’s female family is also generally tilted toward sprint races, but he finished strongly at Churchill and bears watching as he stretches out, which probably will happen in a Fair Grounds or Oaklawn Park allowance race early next year. He’s a new entry in Wynn’s book at 150-1 odds.
Regulate: Wynn is offering this colt at 75-1 odds, down from 125-1 on the last update and from 300-1 back in September. He’s training steadily at Santa Anita Park for trainer Bob Baffert and owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms, the same connections behind Arrogate. The colt has a strong pedigree, by hot young stallion Quality Road and from a superb female family. His dam, by Juddmonte sire Mizzen Mast, won only once from seven starts but is a half-sister to current graded stakes winner Honorable Duty. The colt’s third dam (maternal great-grandmother) is Toussaud, one of the most successful broodmares in recent years whose son Empire Maker won the 2003 Belmont Stakes and is an elite sire. He’s nominated to the Dec. 9 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity.
Talent Scout: Another Baffert trainee, this colt races for Gary and Mary West, who campaigned his sire, New Year’s Day, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner. He scored a gutsy maiden win on Oct. 9 at Santa Anita Park, sitting second behind the pacesetter through the turn, dispatching that foe, and then going all out and finding a second gear to turn back a late challenger and win by a neck. Offered at 75-1 odds by Wynn, he’s got a pedigree that doesn’t quite match up with some of the other regally-bred colts on this list as his dam competed in claiming races at mid-level tracks and his sire is unproven. Still, he’s been training steadily at Santa Anita since his debut win and is also nominated to the Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity.
Upcoming Derby Prep:
Saturday’s $250,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct offers qualifying points to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers. Post time is set for 3:45 p.m. ET. Here are Wynn’s future odds for the 10-horse field in post-position order:
1. Bandito (not offered)
2. Triple Dog Dare (not offered)
3. Avery Island (45-1)
4. Biblical (85-1)
5. Catholic Boy (150-1)
6. Millionaire Runner (not offered)
7. Alkhaatam (not offered)
8. Vouch (not offered)
9. V.I.P. Code (not offered)
10. Tap Rap Strike (175-1)