Essential Quality Opens as KDFW Final Pool Favorite
Essential Quality opened Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) as the favorite. Now, the undefeated Tapit colt opens the fifth and final KDFW pool as the 3/1 favorite.
Pool 5 of Churchill Downs’ plunge into the Derby futures market opens Friday at 9 a.m. PT and closes Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.
Bettors can wager on the pools at simulcast centers and on automatic deposit wagering (ADW) apps. All wagers constitute action. If any horse in either pool suffers an injury during the duration of the pool, Churchill Downs officials said they will take the horse down and suspend betting.
This happened already, with Big Lake. The third-place horse in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, behind Bob Baffert’s duo of Concert Tour and Hozier, suffered a condylar fracture in one of his legs. Line maker Mike Battaglia put 50/1 odds on Big Lake, including him for the first time after his show finish in the Rebel.
With 10 races left, The Field comes in at 20/1
That cuts betting options to 22 individual horses and “All Other 3-Year-Olds,” aka “The Field.” That opens at a lofty 20/1.
As for Baffert, his customary Derby armada shrank by one when favorite Life Is Good suffered an ankle injury during a Saturday workout. He closed as the 2/1 favorite in Pool 4, but was left out of the final KDFW pool. He’ll undergo surgery Friday to remove an ankle chip.
Baffert also lost Freedom Fighter from Pool 4. He was not selected for this pool. The Hall of Fame trainer, however, comes well-armed as usual. He brings four into this final pool: Concert Tour (9/2), Medina Spirit (20/1), Hozier (30/1) and Spielberg (50/1). Hozier makes his debut after that runner-up to his stablemate.
Spielberg, meanwhile, is one of five carrying top odds of 50/1. Those could fluctuate wildly this weekend, since the $1 million colt runs in the Grade 1 Florida Derby Saturday.
Greatest Honor goes on display this week
The likely favorite for that race, Greatest Honour, is the KDFW’s second favorite. He opens at 4/1 and could have his odds flutter somewhat, depending if he becomes the first horse to pull off the Gulfstream Park Kentucky Derby hat trick. The Shug McGaughey-conditioned colt goes for his fourth consecutive victory, after winning the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth.
Cox returns to the KDFW with his three Derby mainstays: two of which open at loftier odds than they did in Pool 4. While Essential Quality opened Pool 4 at 7/2 and this one at 3/1, stablemates Caddo River and Mandaloun enjoyed no such favor. After Caddo River finished a pedestrian fifth in the Rebel, he opened Pool 5 at 30/1. He was 15/1 coming into Pool 4.
2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager-Pool 5
|Caddo River||Brad Cox||30/1|
|Collaborate||Saffie Joseph Jr.||30/1|
|Concert Tour||Bob Baffert||9/2|
|Crowded Trade||Chad Brown||30/1|
|Dream Shake||Peter Eurton||50/1|
|Essential Quality||Brad Cox||3/1|
|Greatest Honour||Shug McGaughey||4/1|
|Hidden Stash||Vicki Oliver||50/1|
|Highly Motivated||Chad Brown||30/1|
|Hot Rod Charlie||Doug O’Neill||6/1|
|Medina Spirit||Bob Baffert||20/1|
|Midnight Bourbon||Steve Asmussen||30/1|
|O Besos||Greg Foley||50/1|
|Risk Taking||Chad Brown||30/1|
|Rock Your World||John Sadler||50/1|
|“All Other 3-Year-Olds||—||20/1|
Mandaloun suffered the same fate: 30/1 from 15/1. That, after his miserable sixth in last weekend’s Louisiana Derby.
Along with Hozier, six newcomers join this final pool. They are Chad Brown’s Crowded Trade (30/1), Tampa Bay Derby winner Helium (30/1), Hidden Stash (50/1), Louisiana Derby third-place finisher O Besos (50/1), Rock Your World (50/1) and Gotham winner Weyburn (30/1).
With returners Highly Motivated (30/1) and Risk Taking (30/1), Brown fields three contenders in this final pool.