Keepmeinmind entered the mind of bettors this past weekend when he won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. That plunged his future odds in William Hill Nevada’s latest Kentucky Derby Futures Board to 50/1 from 75/1.

Keepmeinmind-Derby Futures
Keepmeinmind looked like a Kentucky Derby prospect with his last-to-first victory in Saturday’s Kentucky Jockey Club. William Hill dropped his odds from 75/1 to 50/1. (Image: Churchill Downs)

On the futures front, however, it’s worth keeping in mind that winning the Kentucky Jockey Club means precisely nothing as a Derby predictor race.

Keepmeinmind won’t throw back the 10 Derby qualifying points he picked up with his Saturday victory and is now sitting with 18 points, second to Essential Quality’s 30 on the points ladder. Breaking his maiden in a Grade 2 – by going from last to first — also ticks off a nice box for his connections.

But, those connections may want to hold off booking a Derby party come May 1, 2021. Since 2010, only four horses who won the Kentucky Jockey Club even ran in the following year’s Derby. McCracken’s eighth-place finish in 2017 was the only top-10 finish of the quartet. Enticed (14th in 2018), Tapiture (15th in 2014), and Gemologist (16th in 2012) were the other three Derby runners.

Remember Silver Prospector? He won last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club, beating Tiz the Law in the process. After finishing sixth in the Rebel Stakes and seventh in one division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, he was off the Derby trail by the spring of 2020. Last weekend, Silver Prospector finished seventh in the Grade 1 Clark Stakes.

Favorites Essential Quality, Life Is Good Stay Put

You can view runner-up Smiley Sobotka’s move from 100/1 to 75/1, and Inspector Frost’s Inspector Clouseau-like last-place finish – and subsequent odds lift from 125/1 to 175/1 – accordingly.

Movement on this week’s William Hill futures board largely reflected the weekend’s results. The top two choices, Essential Quality and Life Is Good, hold their positions as the obvious favorites. Essential Quality remains at 8/1 while Bob Baffert’s Life Is Good moved from 12/1 to 10/1.

Both colts debuted as the favorites on the first of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) pari-mutuel pools. Only Life Is Good came with his expected baked-in Baffert premium. He opened as a 4/1 favorite. Essential Quality opened at 8/1. That pool closed Sunday, with the next KDFW pool set for Jan. 22-24.

Super Sire Into Mischief Plays Part in Future Wagering

This weekend’s action trimmed the William Hill odds on Mandaloun to 75/1 from 110/1. He pushes numerous buttons among bettors due to his record (2-for-2 after winning an allowance Saturday), trainer (the hot Brad Cox), and sire (Into Mischief).

At the same time, another Into Mischief progeny – Highly Motivated – watched his odds go in the other direction. You can get him at 75/1 now, up from 30/1 last week. And Into Mischief closed as the 4/1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager. That pool allows bettors to wager on the father of next year’s Kentucky Derby winner.

Five horses joined the William Hill board this week: Beep Beep (125/1), Parnelli (125/1), Return the Ring (125/1), Swiftsure (125/1), and Swot Analysis (140/1). Beep Beep won his debut in a seven-furlong race at Churchill Downs, as did Return the Ring over six furlongs at Laurel Park, and Swiftsure over six furlongs at Fair Grounds.

2021 Kentucky Derby Top Contenders

Essential Quality 8/1
Life Is Good 10/1
Classier, Red Flag 35/1
Caddo River, Jackie’s Warrior 40/1
Dr. Schivel, Hot Rod Charlie, Keepmeinmind, Olympiad 50/1
Jaxon Traveler, Vittorio 60/1
Cazadero, Get Her Number, Highly Motivated, Huntsinger, Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, Mutasaabeq, Smiley Sobotka, Spielberg, Stayin’ Out Late 75/1
Savile Row 85/1
Santa Cruiser, Team Merchants 90/1

Source: William Hill Nevada

Swot Analysis won his second start at Fair Grounds by 9-¾ lengths. Parnelli, however, holds the best story among the newcomers. He won as the 4/5 favorite in a two-turn mile at Del Mar on Saturday. While it was Parnelli’s fourth start, his two losses before that came by a neck to Hot Rod Charlie and Spielberg. Those two own Grade 1 placings.

William Hill now features 138 horses on its Derby futures board, with 25 now listed at 90/1 or lower. The board ranges from Essential Quality at 8/1 to familiar doormat, Valiant Thor at 350/1.