News and STORIES

Pari-Mutuel Kentucky Derby Future

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Tuesday March 02, 2021

More value will be expected next weekend, in the pari-mutuel Kentucky Derby.

Talk about going back. Who would think to bet Essential Quality at 6-1 two months before the Derby race? That is the best futures price in Nevada, after he was victorious at Saturday’s rainy renewal of the Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.

After reducing Essential Quality even further to 4-1, Joe Asher said it was not a case of late action on him. “The price was low already,” he said.

Fountain of Youth (G2) victor Greatest Honour was cut from 11-1 at Circa to a best price of 7-1, with same as this week’s likely San Felipe Stakes (G2) favorite Life Is Good.

As it is for this period of the year, the list of Derby selections reduce more. While Las Vegas sportbooks dropped a massive 53 horses, they included just five. Two of those — an addition and a subtraction — were Notable Exception (450-1). His ninth-place finish Friday in the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park had him coming and going quicker than the dangerous flop Moose Murders did 38 years ago on Broadway.

Four Newly Listed Horses are still Available

Soup and Sandwich (70-1 Circa, 100-1 William Hill). He has defeated a total seven rivals in his two races. But this Into Mischief colt bred and owned by Campbell’s Soup heiress Charlotte Weber enchated some wise-guy bets with his two-turn allowance victory over a pair of past winners Wednesday at Tampa Bay Downs. Just a pair. Mark Casse scheme to send Soup and Sandwich against Greatest Honour in the Florida Derby (G1). It is a safe bet there will be a lot more horses in that event.

Hush of a Storm (125-1 Circa). The Battaglia will not be taken for a top-level Derby prep. But 10 qualifying points are 10 qualifying points, and this twice-sold for $75,000 Creative Cause colt receive them Friday as a 6-1 third choice. The Battaglia triumph made him 3-for-3 at Turfway Park, where trainer William Morey is anticipated to run him March 20 in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3). Since that race is now a 100-40-20-10 qualifier, it means a top-two or top-three finish should put Hush of a Storm in the Derby. He would be a long shot.

Helium (125-1 William Hill). Six straight-long weeks of drill in Florida have put this $55,000 Ironicus colt back on the Derby tracking system for Casse. Helium was 2-for-2 in run last year at Woodbine, but he has yet to make his 3-year-old debut. That is anticipated to happen this weekend in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), a 50-20-10-5 points race. The champion is virtually assured of a place in the Kentucky Derby.

La Pérouse (125-1 William Hill). Since his 15th-place finish in a horse racing debut, this Pelusa colt located in Japan has been ruling on the dirt. Fast dirt. Good dirt. Sloppy dirt. He has become victorious on them all. The only failure since that unfavourable first start was a slim loss in the mud. After three victory as a 2-year-old, he scored last Sunday in his first race of 2021. Despite a low start with jockey Christophe Lemaire, he still came out as a 1 1/2-length victor in the one-mile Hyacinth Stakes, placing him in the lead for Japan’s lone automatic berth in the Derby. A win in March 28 in the 1 1/8-mile Fukuryu Stakes would make La Pérouse permitted to race May 1 at Churchill Downs.