Kentucky Derby Future Wager: 5 horses of value in Pool 5

Profile Picture: Keeler Johnson

June 26th, 2020

The postponement of the Kentucky Derby (G1) until Sept. 5 has triggered the addition of a few more future wager pools than originally planned.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5 will open for betting Friday, with 24 wagering options to choose from.

Since there’s no telling who the best 3-year-old might be on the first Saturday in September — a lot can change as sophomores mature during the summer — I’m going to demand odds of at least 20-1 before placing a bet. There’s no guarantee these runners will even compete in the Kentucky Derby, let alone win the race.

With this guideline in mind, here are five horses I’ll consider betting in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5.

#1 Art Collector (30-1)

This improving son of Bernardini has crossed the wire first by daylight margins in three of his four starts over the Churchill Downs main track.

He was particularly brilliant when he stretched out around two turns June 13, when he dominated a 1 1/16-mile allowance by 6 1/2 lengths. With a final five-sixteenths in :28.89, Art Collector earned a 114 Brisnet Late Pace rating and a 103 Brisnet Speed rating. The sky is the limit for this Thomas Drury-trained youngster.

#4 Cafe Pharoah (20-1)

This Japanese star has essentially locked up a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate, thanks to victories in the Hyacinth and Unicorn (G3) at Tokyo Racecourse.

A versatile son of American Pharoah, Cafe Pharoah is 3-for-3 and has shown the ability to win from anywhere in the pack, an asset for any horse targeting the chaotic Kentucky Derby.

#11 King Guillermo (20-1)

The runaway winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) wasn’t disgraced at all when he battled to a runner-up effort in the second division of the Arkansas Derby (G1), where he was beaten just three lengths by three-time graded winner Nadal.

A son of juvenile champion Uncle Mo, who sired 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, King Guillermo is taking time off before he gears up for a run at the roses. His Brisnet Speed ratings are already competitive, so he just needs to show up at Churchill fresh and ready for a peak effort.

#16 Mystic Guide (50-1)

This powerful Fair Grounds maiden winner was beaten five lengths in a 1 1/16-mile allowance June 4 at Belmont Park, but that was a one-turn event dominated on the front end by future Belmont Stakes (G1) starter Tap It to Win, and Mystic Guide ran well under the circumstances to rally gamely and secure the runner-up spot.

Stretching back out around two turns should trigger improvement from this beautifully bred Godolphin homebred, a son of Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, out of the five-time Grade 1-winning mare Music Note.

#22 Uncle Chuck (20-1)

The latest sophomore sensation from the barn of Bob Baffert, Uncle Chuck crushed four rivals in his debut June 12 at Santa Anita, where he powered clear to win a 1-mile maiden race by seven lengths.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith was aboard the $250,000 yearling purchase, a late Triple Crown nominee who appears poised to enjoy a strong summer.