All of a sudden, the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Pool 3 version, is upon us, along with the single Kentucky Oaks future wager pool. Lots to digest, so I’ll give you the Derby selections as I see them. Refer to my prior post for how I’ve constructed the Derby field, based on my EDT system.
Here’s the spreadsheet reflecting my picks out of Pool 3.
Here are the benchmarks that were set based on the strength of the 23 individual horses:
Average winning distance of combined pedigree of at least 14.9
Class: At least one Grade 2 win.
CD Brisnet: A speed of at least an 86 rating at Churchill Downs.
Pace per runstyle: A projected score of at least 99, based on the horse’s run style.
Distance: A win at 8.5 furlongs
2YO progression: 2YO runs better from Labor Day to end of year than beforehand. Lowest peak score: 89
Pace progression: At least 3 marks here is enough for consideration.
As I refer to the system, myself, I see 9 horses with no EDT points that made the pool list. Among those of the field selections, here’s who got the big snubs:
ANOTHER LEMON DROP is a deep closer who broke maiden in 2nd try at 9 furlongs, then finished 3rd in his dirt debut right at Churchill. Won his 2nd dirt effort going down from 75k level to 50k, tho that was his first try on a sloppy track. He set a new top and 2YO best of 96. Last time out he stretched to 1 mile 70 yards continuing to work hard at Fair Grounds. He would bounce and finish 4th in his 3YO debut, the Grade 3 LeComte. Strong pedigree compared to others (Lemon Drop Kid-Shytoe Lafeet, by King Of Kings). His 87 Brisnet at Churchill in his 3rd lifetime start is right at the benchmark for horses racing there. Next race: Unknown.
FRAMMENTO has been entered in routes outside of maiden debut. 2nd race was his first win vs 56k maidens at 8.5 furlongs, and has alternated placings in last 4 races. 3rd in the Fountain Of Youth Stakes last time out. Pace progression is positive: fInished 2014 with 97 Brisnet vs optional claimers at 75k level. 3 bullet works in his history. 89 Brisnet in his first non-maiden race at Churchill is competitive enough for the field. Next: Blue Grass Stakes, 4/4.
FROSTED was 2nd in 4 races, won his 3rd try at the maiden level, then 4th last time out in the Fountain Of Youth. Started to apply Lasix, then was 2nd in the Remsen and Holy Bull, both at Grade 2, both with scores of 98 Brisnet. The 98 score represent good 2YO pace progression. Pedigree is competitive (Tapit-Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister). Last 3 2nd-call numbers for this stalking-type horse are 111, 93, 98. Next race: Unsure. Didn’t look too good last time out. Possibly FL Derby?
IMPERIA, one of my Pool 2 choices, drops here. 2nd vs 98k maidens in debut, then won the G3 Pilgrim, then bounced in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. Switching from turf to dirt, he bounced back to win with small new top of 96 in the KY Jockey Club at Churchill, then another bounce in the Risen Star last time out, that after layoff. The score of 96 represents a good 2YO campaign wind-down, not to mention the requisite 8.5 furlong win. Next race: Spiral Stakes 3/21.
SOUPER COLOSSAL may arguably be the biggest snub of all. 4 wins in 5 races, include the Tyro, the Sapling and the Texas Glitter in his turf debut (first race without regular rider Paco Lopez) Only blemish was his lone race against Graded company in the BC Juvenile. Good-looking pedigree (War Front-Soaring Emotions, by Kingmambo). Last 3 2nd-call numbers are 97, 108, 91. Peaked at 89 Brisnet, yet to improve on this. Next race: Swale Stakes, tomorrow, 2/28
Now for my top 5 for consideration, presented Letterman-style:
#5 UPSTART starts with good breeding (Flatter-Party Silks, by Belmont winner Touch Gold). Off layoff, he won the Holy Bull and Fountain Of Youth Stakes in last 2, both at Grade 2 and at 8.5 furlongs. Last 3 2nd-call numbers are 106,98,105. Yet to surpass his 2nd race success, a 106 Brisnet win in the Funny Cide at Saratoga tho came close 2 races ago in the Holy Bull. 4 wins, never out of the money in 6. Starts the future wager at 15-1. Next race: Either the Wood Memorial on 4/4/ or the FL Derby on 3/28.
#4: DORTMUND moves up from my #5 spot in the 2nd pool. Now undefeated in 4 races, won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity at 8.5 furlongs, then the Robert B. Lewis after layoff, peaking with a 101 Brisnet and capping a triple pairing of Brisnet scores. Gotta love the 98 score at Churchill in 2nd lifetime race, first chance at a route. Forged small new top of 101 last time out, a good sign for the immediate future. 8-1. Next: San Felipe Stakes on 3/7, then the Santa Anita Derby on 4/4.
#3 INTERNATIONAL STAR won the Grey at Woodbine, and comes off wins in the LeComte and the Grade 2 Risen Star, those seeing him with new tops of 94 and 97. Great way to start his 3YO campaign. Achieved an 89 Brisnet score in his only Churchill appearance, 4th in the KY Jockey Club. The 89 represents good 2YO progression. Surprising to see him at 20-1 at the beginning of the wager. Next race: Louisiana Derby, 3/28.
#2 is TEXAS RED, who drops from the #1 position in Pool 2. Winner of the BC Juvenile, then took 3 months off, and would cut back to 7 furlongs, winning the Grade 2 San Vincente. Those 2 races represent a pair up of new tops (101, 98). Strong AWD numbers from pedigree (Afleet Alex-Ramatuelle, out of Jeune Homme). Last 3 stretch run numbers for this deep closer: 113, 99, 107. Very good pace progression at 2YO, capped by the BC win. 12-1 to start. Next race: Either the Santa Anita Derby or the Arkansas Derby on 4/11.
Top pick in this pool is LORD NELSON who ranked in 6 of the possible 8 variables. Alternating hits and misses in races, with wins in the Grade 2 San Vincente and ungraded Speakeasy, both at Santa Anita. 5th in the KY Jockey Club, with a competitive 88 Brisnet. Very good pedigree in place: Pulpit-African Jade, out of multiple stakes winner (none being Triple Crown races) Seeking The Gold. These also give him competitive AWD numbers. Only things to be concerned with: No wins beyond 7 furlongs. Pace is currently rather slow for his run style compared to others. But he has shown exploding and forging pace structure with a slight bounce risk for future. It’s understandable why he might be 30-1 to begin the wager but my hopes are very high for future success. Next race is the San Felipe on 3/7
The wager structure:
Win bets on Lord Nelson, Texas Red, International Star. Should Texas Red be worse than 9-1 in the wagering during Pool 3, I’ll make that 2nd wager on him here. If he’s close to 9-1 or better, which is certainly expected, I’ll ignore him and replace with Dortmund. Then again, if Dortmund should take more money than the 10-1 he showed in Pool 2, I’ll drop him for Upstart.
I’ll also take my top 3 and place above and below the ‘field’ selections in exactas, and include exactas to each other between the same top 3 (in this instance, I’ll keep Texas Red in).
This should be an $18 wager overall, doing $1 exacta and $2 win bets.
Here’s how I wagered Pool 2:
$2 win bets on Dortmund (10-1) Mr. Z (44-1), Imperia (24-1), El Kabeir (39-1), Texas Red (9-1)
Time to breathe. Next post will focus on the Kentucky Oaks future wager. Beyond that, I’ll have thoughts on 4 stakes races for Saturday and a word on the next Enlightened Trail race.