Tag: Essential Quality

The betting bandwagon piled on Life Is Good after he and Mike Smith rolled to an eight-length victory in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes. He is as low as 2/1 on one Kentucky Derby futures board. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Kentucky Derby Futures: When is it Too Late to Jump In?

Here is your Kentucky Derby futures reminder that the typical Derby favorite opens around 5/2 or 3/1 when Mike Battaglia issues the Churchill Downs morning line come Derby Week. We issue this reminder because right now – nearly eight weeks before the May 1 Derby – Life Is Good sits […]

Yes, Essential Quality is No. 1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Pool 4. The Tapit colt opens at 7/2 when the KDFW's Pool 4 begins Friday. (Image: Coady Photography)

No Surprise: Essential Quality Opens as 7/2 Favorite in KDFW Pool 4

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 […]

After Jose Ortiz pointed the way to a stretch victory in the Fountain of Youth, Greatest Honour reached his lowest Kentucky Derby odds mark to date. He's 7/1 at Circa Sports, 5/1 at William Hill Nevada. (Image: Lauren King/Gulfstream Park)

Derby Futures: Just When You Thought the Favorites Can’t Go Lower

As the calendar turns to March – a mere two months out from the Kentucky Derby – Circa Sports and William Hill Nevada pared 53 horses from their Derby futures boards. There are 150 horses remaining. The value on many of the favorites? The books sliced that away long ago. […]

After their resounding Southwest Stakes victory, Essential Quality and Luis Saez point to either the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland or the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. (Image: Coady Photography)

What’s Next on the Derby Trail for Essential Quality, Greatest Honour?

Essential Quality and Greatest Honour came out of their weekend Kentucky Derby prep victories none the worse for their victorious efforts. And, their respective trainers have already plotted their next stops on the Derby trail. Essential Quality, who splashed through the Oaklawn Park slop for a 4 ¼-length victory over […]

Undefeated Essential Quality makes his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He's the 3/2 favorite in the Grade 3 Kentucky Derby prep.  (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Southwest Stakes: Answering One Question Picks Your Winner

From a betting standpoint, Saturday’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park lacks value. Do you want 3/2 Essential Quality or 8/5 Jackie’s Warrior? There are five other horses in the field, but this isn’t a rhetorical question. From a watching standpoint, the 1 1/16-mile Southwest lacks nothing. How can […]

Fire At Will proved he is great on grass with this Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf win. Can he give favorite Greatest Honour a dirt duel in Saturday's Fountain of Youth? (Image: Coady Photography)

Weekend Stakes: Third Time Should be Oaklawn Park’s Charm

This weekend’s stakes card gives us another shot at seeing the 2021 debuts of Essential Quality, Jackie’s Warrior, and Monomoy Girl. After two weather postponements over the past two weekends, Oaklawn Park finally gets a thumbs-up from Mother Nature. That means the Arkansas track finally gets to turn loose its […]

Life Is Good, who won January's Sham Stakes with the fastest Beyer Speed Figure of any 3-year-old, clocked a bullet 59.6-second workout last Saturday. Both trainer Bob Baffert and racing writer and historian Jon White called his talent "freaky." (Image: Benoit Photo)

White Goes Beyond Black and White Breaking Down Derby Prospects

When it comes to Kentucky Derby prospects, Jon White makes things simpler than they really are. To the author of Santa Anita Park’s morning line and a regular television presence on XBTV, breaking down Derby prospects in February begins with three elements. “You’re looking for horses who give the indication […]

For the second consecutive weekend, Oaklawn Park canceled its weekend racing card due to inclement weather forecasts. (Image: Richard Rasmussen/The Sentinel-Record

Citing More Storms, Oaklawn Park Postpones Weekend Card Again

Oaklawn Park announced late Monday evening that it canceled this weekend’s Thursday through Sunday racing card, citing stormy forecasts for the Hot Springs, AR, region. This once again pushes back three Grade 3 races, including a key Kentucky Derby prep involving Champion 2-Year-Old Essential Quality. That race, the Southwest Stakes, […]

Sporting blinkers and a 98 Beyer Speed Figure, Mandaloun held off Proxy to win Saturday's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds. That depressed his odds in this week's Kentucky Derby futures boards. (Image: Hodges Photography)

Kentucky Derby Futures: Where You Earn Points Matters to Bettors

When it comes to Kentucky Derby futures, Mandaloun and Rombauer illustrated the differences in weight books and bettors give to various Derby prep races. And Life Is Good illustrated that, if you’re a Bob Baffert product, you don’t even have to run to watch your odds shrink. After finishing third […]

Oaklawn Park scrubbed its Presidents' Weekend card due to expected ice storms this weekend. The Arkansas track rescheduled five stakes races -- three graded stakes -- to the following weekend. (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Oaklawn Park Postpones Big Weekend Stakes Cards Due to Weather

With ice and frigid temperatures in the forecast, Oaklawn Park canceled its Presidents’ Day weekend card on Wednesday, rescheduling its five stakes for the following weekend. That means horseplayers must wait another five days to see Champion 2-Year-Old Essential Quality make his 3-year-old debut in the Grade 3 $750,000 Southwest […]

Candy Man Rocket parlayed his Sam F. Davis Stakes victory into a spot on Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby Future Wager's Pool 3. (Image: SV Photography)

New Entries, Same Favorites in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3

Nine new offerings entered the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 picture, but two familiar names continue holding court as the KDFW favorites. Essential Quality and Life Is Good opened as individual 8/1 morning-line favorites in the third of five KDFW pools. As expected, however, the overall favorite is “All […]

Midnight Bourbon leads the top four finishers of last month's Lecomte Stakes into this weekend's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds. That race gives 50 points to the winner, virtually guaranteeing a Kentucky Derby spot. (Image: Hodges Photography)

Risen Star Brings Rising Derby Points to the Weekend Stakes

This weekend’s stakes races bring us Essential Quality making his 3-year-old debut in one Kentucky Derby prep. They bring us the first win-and-you’re-in Derby prep, and they bring us a Derby prep that gives the winner a berth in the Preakness Stakes. They also bring back Monomoy Girl for her […]

At 20/1, Dream Shake brought home a strong maiden victory over two heralded Bob Baffert horses. His Kentucky Derby futures odds plummeted as a result. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Kentucky Derby Futures: What Goes Down, Can Go Up

One Bob Baffert charge watched his Kentucky Derby futures odds fall further this weekend, while another watched his rise to semi-realistic territory. Those were the two biggest takeaways coming out of a weekend that further defined the Derby picture across the odds food chain. The prime beneficiary was Baffert’s Concert […]

Between them, Todd Pletcher (left) and Bob Baffert own eight Kentucky Derby victories. Pletcher (45) and Baffert (23) have the most Triple Crown early nominated horses for 2021. (Image: Doug Engle/AP File)

Essential Quality Leads 326-Strong Triple Crown Nomination Parade

Getting your horse a Triple Crown nomination used to be so simple that connections to this year’s 3-year-old hopefuls nominated 326 horses to compete in the three American Classic races this spring. Those 326 nominations represent a slight, 6.1% dip from last year’s 347 early nominees. Those connections paid $600 […]

Tarantino, seen here in an October workout, finished a solid second in the Grade 3 Holy Bull. That earned him a prominent odds cut on this week's Kentucky Derby futures boards. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

Derby Futures: Tarantino Shows Even Reservoir Dogs Have Their Day

It wasn’t a case of pulp fiction that Tarantino was sitting at 225/1 when he debuted on the Circa Sports and William Hill Nevada Kentucky Derby futures boards last week. Even the Jackie Browns and Inglorious Basterds of the world stared juicy odds in the face before Tarantino entered the […]

Authentic carried jockey John Velazquez to a Kentucky Derby title in September and his connections to an Eclipse Award as 2020 Horse of the Year. (Image: Gregory Shamus/Getty)

Authentic Runs Away With 2020 Horse of the Year Eclipse Award

Authentic rarely won his big races by big margins. But, he won his final “race” – the Eclipse Award for 2020 Horse of the Year – by a Secretariat at the Belmont-esque 31 lengths on the track. The Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic champion garnered 224 out of a […]

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

Kentucky Derby Futures: Big Winners Make Big Odds Leaps

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. 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 […]

Lecomte Stakes winner Midnight Bourbon opens at 30/1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2. (Image: Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography)

The Field is Your Favorite in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2

While Life Is Good yielded his favorite status in at least one Las Vegas future book, he holds down 6/1 individual favorite status in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) pool. At the same time, the Derby field of “All Other 3-Year-Olds” is the overall 9/5 […]

Concert Tour broke his maiden in impressive fashion last weekend at Santa Anita Park. That broke in the Bob Baffert-trained colt on both Circa Sports and William Hill Nevada's Derby futures boards. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Magic Words ‘Bob Baffert’ Bring Concert Tour, Bezos to Derby Futures

Concert Tour won his debut by 3-½ lengths at Santa Anita last Friday. Other than workouts, Bezos hasn’t entered a starting gate yet. So why are both horses now among the Kentucky Derby futures favorites? Two words: Bob Baffert. Yes, the magic words for 3-year-old Derby hopefuls cast its usual […]