A huge weekend of racing tomorrow, along with the KY Derby Future Wager Pool 2, and the KY Oaks Future Wager on top of that.
This post focuses on both Future Wagers.
For starters, I used the same categories for measuring horses as last time: class, pace, Churchill Downs history, dosage (measuring average chef-de-race stats of winners at CD in 2011), longest distance completed, and my own form categories bundled as one category. I took the top third of horses in each category to come up with these thresholds: Contenders must have good dosage numbers, a win in a Graded event, a win or at least an 82 Brisnet number at CD, a current pace score of at least 96, a winner at 1-1/16, and is showing good to great form. No one got all 6 categories, but 2 managed 5 of the 6, and 1 had 4, with 15 others managing 3.
Here are the 2 that stand out. This may look familiar to those read my prior post re Pool 1:
HANSEN’s fate to be determined with tomorrow’s Gotham (G1) at Aqueduct. Winner of the BC Juvenile at CD, a current pace of 102, has good dosage numbers.
UNION RAGS ranks a notch below HANSEN with very similar numbers in all categories, and having run 2nd in the BC Juvenile. He is doing battle in the Gotham also.
SABERCAT gets 3rd here.One of the better horses with dosage, a Grade 3 win (Delta Downs Jackpot in November last time out, winning at 8.5 furlongs.) Ran first 2 lifetime rades at CD, with best pace of 86. Current pace of 87. Rather slow for this field, so a lot to improve on. Runs in the San Felipe on 3/10.
15 horses ranked below these 3. I took the top 5 of those choices and rank them individually #4 through #8 below my choices. These will be the first horses I look to in case the odds remain strong from the first three.
GEMOLOGIST in undefeated in 3 starts, last 2 at CD, winning the KY Jockey Club Stakes at 8.5 furlongs. CD and overall pace is 94. Absolutely the best of the rest here.
Races next in the Rebel Stakes 3/17.
CREATIVE CAUSE was one of my Pool 1 choices and may well be a choice here if the odds are worse this time around. After a 3 month layoff he finished 3rd In the San Vicente on 2/19 at Santa Anita, running against his early-pressing type, delivering a strong late kick. He’s a Grade 1 winner, with a 102 mark at CD (3rd in the BC Juvenile), and overall pace of 92, won at 8.5 furlongs. He will also be in the San Felipe 3/10.
DULLAHAN returns as an outside choice for me. He was 4th last time out in the BC Juvenile, scored a 96 pace number at CD, and current pace is 92, won at 8.5 furongs. Next race for him is The Palm Beach on 3/11.
I”LL HAVE ANOTHER repeats as an outsider.. He convincingly won the Robert B. Lewis (G2) stakes at Santa Anita on 2/4. Good pace number of 90. Along with this, he’s one of 4 horses I found to be in strong form. He gained slightly from his 2YO best (97 to 102 Brisnet #), and yet could still bounce from this race. He may well bounce and have a nice bounce back 2 races from now. Will that 2nd race be the big one?
Next race is the SA Derby on 4/7.
EL PADRINO remains in my elite list, scoring a win in the Risen Star (G2) on 2/25 (one of the 3 contenders I picked for this race). Now with the Graded win, his pace number is 90, and now has repeated wins at 8.5 furlongs. You’ll see him again in one of the major Derby preps, the FL Derby, 3/31.
As with Pool 1, I will wager 3 horses for $2 to win that may well go off at worse than 9-1 when the pool closes. My selections then were HANSEN, CREATIVE CAUSE and SABERCAT. If the odds are worse in Pool 2 than in Pool 1 for any of these, I will absolutely bet on them. If the odds are improving, even if by a tick, I will skip. I’ll be very surprised if HANSEN gets bet on a 2nd time.
10 other horses probably won’t get selected but represent the best of the rest of those. They are ranked in no particular order.
ALPHA won the G3 Withers, has an 81 at CD, which is just below my threshold number of 82, and current pace of 96, plus the requisite win at 8.5 furlongs. Next race is the FL Derby on 3/31.
BATTLE HARDENED won a G3 race in Tampa Bay on 2/4.Top pace at CD is 87. Slow current pace of 83. Won at 8.5 furlongs. He runs next in the Tampa Bay Derby 3/10.
ROUSING SERMON again is a real outsider for me but still on my list. Best race was a $100k ungraded stakes. Current pace of 103, steadily racing at 8.5 furlongs. Good pedigree. Next race is the San Felipe on 3/10.
SECRET CIRCLE gets added here. Winner of the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklaw Park 2/20, a blazing 102 pace in his only race at CD, winning the BC Juvenile Sprint, and current pace of 107, 2nd best in the pool. Has not won past a mile yet. Definitely on the trail but not sure where he will run next.
TAKE CHARGE INDY stays as a leading contender for me. He owns the top current pace in the pool at 109. Hasn’t won anything besides his 6f maiden entry. Ran a competitive 96 (placing 5th) in the BC Juvenile. Good pedigree. Next for him is the Tampa Bay Derby on 3/10.
The remaining 5 are part of the field entries, which will continue to have high odds and continue to get ignored by yours truly:
CYBER SECRET has an 84 pace at CD (decent), and a current pace of 96 (good). Not great with class. Best win was a $65k optional claimer at 8.5 furlongs.. Ran 5th in the Southwest Stakes. Also has good pedigree. Might be off the trail.
DADDY NOSE BEST nosed out a win in the G3 El Camino Real Derby on 2/18. 4 lifetime races at CD, best score an 88. Overall pace a bit slow too, at 89. One of 3 horses in the pool to win at 9 furlongs. Unsure of next start.
DRILL nosed out the win in the G1 San Vicente on 2/19. What’s he doing stuck in the field then? Slow CD pace of 82 (10th in the BC Juvenile), slow overall pace of 91, and hasn’t won past 7 furlongs yet. Another of the horses who may have a strong bounce then bounce back 2 races from now. .
MOTOR CITY hasn’t run since 10/30 winning the G3 Iriqouis with an 89 there at CD, and overall pace of 89 which is slow for my list. No wins past 1 mile. Great pedigree. .
PROSPECTIVE joins my list here. 2nd in a G3 race (8.5 furlongs) at Tampa Bay on 2/4, was dead last in the BC Juvenile, overall and CD pace too slow for the pool. Has good pedigree compared to the others.
This will be my first time betting on the KY Oaks, with exactly one chance, this weekend’s Future Wager, to get it right. As with the KY Derby, I used the same categories to rank the 37 horses, keeping the top 12 plus ties in each.
5 horses ranked in 4 of the categories, and these will be my focus. They are presented from 1st through 5th on my list:
ON FIRE BABY is my top selection. Winner of the G2 Goldenrod at CD, with a pace of 89, and a slow overall pace of 88. Best win at 8.5 furlongs. Exploding horse capable of bounce and recover 2 races ahead. Next race (the bounce race?) will be the G3 Honeybee on 3/10
WILLA B AWESOME, out of the field choices, ranks 2nd. Never ran at CD, but had won a G3 event last time out at Santa Anita on 1/28, this one at 8.5 furlongs.. Slow overall pace of 82. Another horse with the exploding/bounce/recover angle I like. Good pedigree She races in tomorrow’s Las Virgenes at Santa Anita.
DIXIE STRIKE comes out of wins in the Ontario Lassie and FL Oaks. No graded stakes entries yet. Pace is fastest of this field, a 113. Has won at 8.5 furlongs and owns good pedigree. Not certain of her next race yet.
GRACE HALL won the Spinaway Stakes (G1) last autumn. and ran 2nd in the BC Juvenile Fillies at CD (scored a 96 here, best of non-winners in the pool). Overall pace is a competitive 97. Hasn’t won past 1/70 but was competitive at 8.5 furlongs. Next race should be the Gulstream Oaks (G2) on 3/31.
SAY A NOVENA, also a field selection, is 5th for me. Her best race was the Brandywine ($150k) last autumn. Was 10th in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Strong pace of 101. No wins past 7 furlongs Good pedigree keeps her as a contender. Not sure of her next race.
Best of the rest of these: AMIE’S DINI, BELIEVE YOU CAN, DISPOSABLEPLEASURE, KILLER GRACES, SUMMER APPLAUSE, and field selection STEPHANIE’S KITTEN.
Next post (coming later Friday), will be my evaluation of 5 Grade 1 stakes events taking place at Aqueduct and Santa Anita this weekend.