The first page of this week’s Kentucky Derby futures board got tighter – partly a byproduct of two horses getting loose from their rivals last weekend.

Caddo River-Derby Futures
Caddo River used his 10-1/4-length victory in the Smarty Jones to run up the Kentucky Derby futures boards. (Image: Oaklawn Park)

The first was Caddo River, who moved to 16/1 at Circa Sports and 15/1 at William Hill Nevada. Dropping beneath 20/1 at this point of the Derby prep season puts you in the Boardwalk/Park Place neighborhood on this Monopoly board. For that, we can thank his 10-¼-length boat-race in last Friday’s Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park.

Caddo River was 30/1 at Circa and 25/1 at William Hill last week. But, you could almost see the money cascade in on him as he cruised home in the Smarty Jones. His 92 Beyer Speed Figure barely did justice to the ease of his victory over his outgunned rivals. And, you could almost hear the glee in trainer Brad Cox’s voice, cognizant of the knowledge he has at least two front-row Derby contenders.

Cox’s first is co-favorite Essential Quality (12/1 at Circa, 7/1 William Hill). He figures to be named Champion 2-Year-Old of 2020 when the Eclipse Awards are announced Thursday.

The Great One Put Up Great Numbers

The second Derby futures odds beneficiary of a weekend romp? That would be Doug O’Neill’s The Great One, who sailed home 14 lengths ahead of his counterparts in a one-mile maiden at Santa Anita Park. The son of O’Neill’s 2016 Derby winner, Nyquist, The Great One was a $185,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale by an ownership group that includes Colorado Avalanche defenseman Eric Johnson.

O’Neill told Santa Anita’s Ed Golden that Johnson named The Great One after his childhood idol – Wayne Gretzky. Nyquist drew his name from former Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist. That came from O’Neill’s top client, California businessman and Red Wings fan, Paul Reddam.

2021 Kentucky Derby Futures: Top Contenders

Circa Sports William Hill Nevada
Life Is Good 8/1 8/1
Bezos 10/1 20/1
Concert Tour 11/1 16/1
Essential Quality 12/1 7/1
Caddo River 16/1 15/1
Prime Factor 17/1 22/1
Prevalence 20/1 25/1
Amount 23/1 40/1
The Great One 30/1 45/1
Mandaloun 35/1 35/1
Keepmeinmind 35/1 40/1
Rock Your World 38/1
Prate 40/1 35/1
Señor Buscador 45/1 40/1
Olympiad 50/1 50/1
Capo Kane 50/1 60/1

The Great One fell to 30/1 at Circa, and 45/1 at William Hill. O’Neill said his next stop is in deeper waters: the Grade 2 San Felipe on March 6.

Waiting for him there is co-futures-favorite Life Is Good. The Bob Baffert charge is 8/1 at both Circa and William Hill. The San Felipe is the prep for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

Prevalence Makes Prominent Derby Futures Debut

Destroying your opponents in a maiden race also gets you a prominent spot on the Derby futures board. Prevalence was one of six newcomers to the futures boards after the Florida-bred dismantled his rivals by 8-½ lengths in a seven-furlong maiden on Gulfstream’s Pegasus undercard. Prevalence opened at 40/1 at Circa and within moments of that win, a bettor knocked his odds down to 20/1. He’s 25/1 at William Hill.

The other prominent Derby futures board newcomer didn’t run last weekend. Fire At Will opened 55/1 at Circa after the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner found himself on Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2. Those 55/1 odds may be either an overlay or underlay, depending on whether Fire At Will moves back to dirt or stays on the grass, where he won his last two races.

Life Is Good, Essential Quality KDFW Individual Favorites

Speaking of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Pool 2 closed Sunday with Life Is Good the 7/1 individual favorite, and Essential Quality (8/1) nipping at his hooves. The favorite, however, was “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” at 9/5.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 drew a total handle of $322,035 ($240,768 in the win pool, $81,267 in the exacta pool). This was the second of five KDFW pools. The next comes Feb. 12-14.

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