What Goes Down, Can Go Up
One Bob Baffert charge watched his Kentucky Derby futures odds fall further. Another watched his rise to semi-realistic territory. Those were the two biggest takeaways coming out of a weekend that further defined the Derby picture – up and down the odds food chain.
The prime beneficiary was Baffert’s Concert Tour. He now shares favorite status with stablemate Life Is Good on Circa Sports’ futures board. The pair come into the week at 9/1 after Concert Tour’s gutsy half-length victory over another Baffert horse – Freedom Fighter – in Saturday’s Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Concert Tour is the 10/1 third choice at William Hill Nevada. For his gritty runner-up finish, one where he took the lead out of the gate and nearly ran down Concert Tour in deep stretch, Freedom Fighter is 50/1 at Circa. That represents an 80% cut from his 250/1 odds at Circa last week. He’s 65/1 at William Hill, down from 120/1 last week.
Bezos’ Hype Didn’t Match His Debut
And then, there was Bezos. One of the most heavily hyped colts made his heavily hyped debut in a maiden special weight sprint Sunday at Santa Anita. It didn’t go well for the 3/5 favorite. He hit a wall just past the top of the stretch and finished seventh, 15 ¼ lengths behind winner Dream Shake.
Bezos’ odds went the opposite direction. Because he was a $400,000 purchase and because Baffert trains him, Bezos came into the race 11/1 at Circa and 15/1 at William Hill. Within an hour after his sluggish performance – one coming with an anemic 57 Equibase Speed Figure — Bezos climbed to 40/1 at Circa, 25/1 at William Hill.
Dream Shake Blends Up Bettor’s Interest
As for Dream Shake, he went off at 20/1, paying $42 as the fourth-longest shot on the board. The Peter Eurton-trained, Twirling Candy colt sold last year for $75,000 – less than 20% of Bezos’ asking price. Plus, he doesn’t come with the Baffert factor.
None of that mattered to bettors who hammered Dream Shake Sunday. Circa cut his odds from 150/1 last week to 20/1. He opened at 100/1 at William Hill and now sits at 65/1.
2021 Kentucky Derby Futures: Top Contenders
|Circa Sports||William Hill Nevada|
|Life Is Good||9/1||8/1|
|Hot Rod Charlie||40/1||35/1|
One other horse from that Sunday race made a board move. That was Mr. Impossible, who remains a maiden after his third-place finish behind Dream Shake and Harbored Memories. While that came by eight lengths, he did beat both Baffert horses (Bezos and Tivoli Twirl) soundly after a rough start. Mr. Impossible, who scratched out of the San Vicente to run this 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight, dropped from 200/1 at Circa to 150/1.
Derby Futures Darling Essential Quality Returns
Expect further movement next week, after William Hill favorite Essential Quality (7/1) opens his 3-year-old campaign in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Essential Quality is 11/1 at Circa.
Waiting for him are Jackie’s Warrior and likely Keepmeinmind. One-time favorite Jackie’s Warrior is 60/1 at Circa, 40/1 at William Hill. Keepmeinmind is 35/1 at both books.
William Hill, meanwhile, cut 41 horses from its board this week. The book did add one – 100/1 Promise Keeper, who broke his maiden by five lengths in a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park Saturday.