The best value play in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

November 25th, 2020

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 opens for betting Thursday, just more than five months before the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1). The Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager will also open for action on Thursday.

Finding fair value on a Derby contender this far out is a tricky task. While it’s tempting to bet proven juveniles stars like #3 Essential Quality (10-1) or #8 Jackie’s Warrior (20-1), top 2-year-olds rarely go on to achieve success in the Run for the Roses. And betting a short-priced runner is risky, because there is no guarantee these horses will even make it to the Derby starting gate.

So what constitutes fair value in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1? Let’s run a little math to get an idea. The November pool has been offered six times. On three occasions, the eventual Derby winner was listed as an individual betting interest. On the other three occasions, #24 All Other 3-Year-Old Males (6-5) proved to be the winning play.

The sample size is small, but if you assume the 22 individual horses listed in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1 have a combined 50% chance at wearing the roses, then the chance of one horse winning the Derby is 2.3%, or roughly 45-1. Therefore, any horse offering higher odds can be considered a fair bet.

Among the longshots listed in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1, #20 Speaker’s Corner (50-1) is the most appealing. After he rallied to finish third in his debut sprinting 6 furlongs at Saratoga, Speaker’s Corner took a step forward over 7 furlongs at Belmont Park, where he charged late to defeat fellow Future Wager Pool member #1 Caddo River (30-1) by three-quarters of a length.

That effort produced a 90 Brisnet Speed rating, and there is every reason to believe Speaker’s Corner will continue to improve with distance and maturity. Trained by Bill Mott, who won the 2019 Kentucky Derby with Country House, Speaker’s Corner is a son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, out of a mare by 2006 Preakness (G1) winner Bernardini. Classic distances should be well within reach for this stoutly bred youngster.

Calculating fair value in the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager is more challenging, but #5 Constitution seems like a great play, if his 20-1 morning-line odds hold up. The young stallion has been on fire, with Belmont Stakes (G1) winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Tiz the Law the main star from his first crop of foals.

Constitution’s second crop is starting to heat up, with Coronation Futurity winner Stephen and eye-catching debut winner Never Surprised looming as potential candidates for the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

I’m willing to bet a few more exciting prospects will emerge during the winter, so Constitution offers the best value in the pool. First-crop sires #8 Frosted (30-1) and #16 Not This Time (20-1) are also worth considering.

Good luck!