On a busy weekend with two Kentucky Derby prep races in the United States and Japan, bettors will have an opportunity to lock in early value on some of the top Derby contenders thanks to Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1.
This special wagering opportunity (which opens Thursday and runs through approximately 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday) offers Derby fans a chance to get a bet down on 22 individual horses that have shown promise on the early stages of the Derby trail. And if you don’t like any of the individual options, you can also bet on “all other three-year-old males” and/or “all other three-year-old fillies.”
Of course, half the fun of playing the Future Wager Pool is searching for live longshots, so rather than play the logical favorites or the two “all others” options, here are three colts at 30-1 or higher than I will consider betting this weekend, and they’re all ranked in my latest Kentucky Derby Top 10:
#13 Maximus Mischief (30-1): Granted, he has the pedigree of a sprinter/miler, but Maximus Mischief was tons the best in his first two starts at Parx Racing, breaking his maiden by 8 ¾ lengths with a 94 BRIS speed figure before stretching out to seven furlongs in an allowance race and cruising to victory by six lengths with an eye-catching 104 BRIS number. Yes, he’s been a bit green and needs to improve the mental side of his game, but no one has been able to remotely warm him up so far and it’s possible we’re looking at a very good horse who is still flying under the radar. Can he handle the tougher competition and longer distances on the Derby trail? We’ll find out more when he runs in the nine-furlong Remsen Stakes (gr. II) on December 1st, but in the meantime, 30-1 or higher would make him an intriguing play.
#17 Preamble (50-1): Like Maximus Mischief, Preamble is bred more like a sprinter/miler than a classic runner, but he’s made a very positive impression winning his first two starts at Churchill Downs and Keeneland with solid speed figures. I was particularly impressed with his allow victory at Keeneland last month, in which he dueled gamely with the runner-up through the length of the stretch to win by a half-length with the rest of the field 14 lengths behind. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset and racing for the high-profile team of WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and SF Racing (three of the partners behind 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify), Preamble clearly has a lot of talent, and if he can carry his speed around two turns, he should be a force to reckon with on the Derby trail.
#18 Roadster (30-1): Only time will tell, but at the moment I think Roadster at 30-1 offers by far the best value in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool. The Bob Baffert-trained son of Quality Road brought a good reputation to his debut at Del Mar and lived up to the hype with an eye-catching performance—he rated off the pace early on while breaking from the rail, casually advanced into contention around the turn, and powered clear in the homestretch under jockey Mike Smith to win by 4 ¼ lengths. And while he could only finish third in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) next time out, he was beaten just two lengths by the probable two-year-old champion Game Winner. Following the Futurity, Roadster has surgery to correct a minor breathing issue, and I expect him to come back better than ever this winter and reemerge as a serious Derby contender, making his 30-1 odds very appealing.
Which horses have caught your eye in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1?