Essential Quality turned his Southwest Stakes victory on Saturday into 7/2 favored status for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool 4.
The KDFW’s Pool 4 runs concurrently with the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager’s sole pool. Clariere opens as the 5/1 favorite for that pool.
The KDFW opens Friday at 9 a.m. PT and runs through Sunday at 3 p.m. PT. The KOFW pool closes 30 minutes later, at 3:30 p.m. PT. Both pools offer $2 win and exacta wagers, but the KDFW pool offers an Oaks/Derby Future Double.
Horseplayers can wager on the pools at simulcast centers and on automatic deposit wagering (ADW) apps. All wagers constitute action. If any horse in either pool suffers an injury during the duration of the pool, Churchill Downs officials said they will take the horse down and suspend betting.
This time, we get a true individual KDFW favorite
Unlike in previous pools, line maker Mike Battaglia didn’t make “All Other 3-Year-Olds” (aka “The Field”) the favorite. With the Derby picture crystalizing somewhat, that option opened at 10/1.
Instead, Essential Quality — one of three Brad Cox horses in Pool 4 – opens as a slight favorite over one of Bob Baffert’s five. That would be Life Is Good, who opens at 4/1. He closed as the individual favorite in the first three pools at 5/1, 7/1, and 7/1, respectively. Those odds look pristine, considering Life Is Good runs this weekend as the favorite in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.
Shug McGaughey brings only one horse, Greatest Honour, who opens as the third-favorite at 6/1. He’ll take plenty of money after his furious rally from eight lengths back captured the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park last weekend.
Baffert brings five into the KDFW pool
The other two Cox entries remain from previous pools: Smarty Jones winner Caddo River (15/1) and Risen Star champion Mandaloun (15/1). Baffert’s four other entries include holdovers Concert Tour (20/1), Medina Spirit (30/1), Freedom Fighter (30/1), and newcomer Spielberg (20/1), who returns after closing at 42/1 in Pool 2. He missed Pool 3, but ran his way back in with his runner-up finish to Essential Quality in the Southwest.
2021 Kentucky Derby Future Wager-Pool 4
|Caddo River||Brad Cox||15/1|
|Candy Man Rocket||Bill Mott||30/1|
|Collaborate||Saffie Joseph Jr.||30/1|
|Concert Tour||Bob Baffert||20/1|
|Dream Shake||Peter Eurton||30/1|
|Essential Quality||Brad Cox||7/2|
|Freedom Fighter||Bob Baffert||30/1|
|Greatest Honour||Shug McGaughey||6/1|
|Highly Motivated||Chad Brown||20/1|
|Hot Rod Charlie||Doug O’Neill||30/1|
|Hush of a Storm||Bill Morey||50/1|
|Life Is Good||Bob Baffert||4/1|
|Medina Spirit||Bob Baffert||30/1|
|Midnight Bourbon||Steve Asmussen||30/1|
|Risk Taking||Chad Brown||30/1|
|Roman Centurian||Simon Callaghan||50/1|
|The Great One||Doug O’Neill||50/1|
|All Other 3-Year-Olds||—||10/1|
Four other newcomers have joined the pool. Collaborate (30/1) comes in after his 12 ½-length maiden romp last weekend. John Battaglia Memorial winner Hush of a Storm debuts at 50/1. Risen Star and Lecomte Stakes runner-up Proxy debuts at 20/1. And El Camino Real winner Rombauer dives into the pool at 50/1.
The 23 individual choices span the odds spectrum from Essential Quality’s 7/2 to three horses opening at 50/1, including Hush of a Storm, Rombauer, and Roman Centurian. The Simon Callaghan-conditioned Roman Centurian runs in the San Felipe this weekend.
Oaks pool is tight at the top
The lone Oaks pool opens with Clariere holding a slight edge over co-second favorites Travel Column and Malathaat. Both of those fillies open at 6/1. The Steve Asmussen-trained Clariere and Cox’s Travel Column are 1-1 against each other.
Clariere holds the recent edge by virtue of her victory in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds last month. Travel Column beat Clariere in the Grade 2 Golden Rod when both were juveniles.
2021 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager-Pool 1
|Bow Bow Girl||Dale Romans||50/1|
|Crazy Beautiful||Kenny McPeek||20/1|
|Lady Mystify||Peter Eurton||50/1|
|Li’l Tootsie||Tom Amoss||30/1|
|Pass the Champagne||George Weaver||50/1|
|Pauline’s Pearl||Steve Asmussen||30/1|
|Search Results||Chad Brown||30/1|
|Simply Ravishing||Kenny McPeek||12/1|
|Souper Sensational||Mark Casse||50/1|
|Sun Path||Brad Cox||30/1|
|Travel Column||Brad Cox||6/1|
|Vequist||Butch Reid Jr.||15/1|
|Will’s Secret||Dallas Stewart||15/1|
|Willful Woman||Steve Asmussen||50/1|
|All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies||—||8/1|
Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Vequist opened at 15/1 after her disappointing ninth by 26 lengths in last weekend’s Grade 2 Davona Dale. The winner of that race, 52/1 shot Wholebodemeister, opened at 12/1. “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies” checked in at 8/1.
The fifth and final KDFW pool is March 26-28.