The annual Road to Kentucky Handicapping Tournament began with a bang when Apache Fog, at 59-1, ran second in the opening race at Fair Grounds, yielding 536 points to those entrants looking for a price. That however turned out to be the high-water mark as far as single race points go, as the remainder of the races were won by short prices, until the finale when Hollywood Handsome prevailed in race 12 for 424 points. The double-point LeComte Stakes was won by favorite Guest Suite for 324 points.
A perfect score was around 2,500 points, so this was not a week where players could separate from the field. Rule of thumb is that winning scores generally earn 50 to 60 percent of the total possible and that held true as the top five all exceeded 1,200 points
Milen Sefcik – 1353
Daniel Ovando – 1334
Douglas Herman – 1328
Jacob Kjos – 1285
Jason Jukulen – 1243
Complete standings can be found at: http://www.canterburypark.com/Simulcasting/SimulcastingPromotions/RoadtoKentucky2017/tabid/360/Default.aspx
This Saturday, because there are no Kentucky Derby prep races, the R2K contest will make a pit stop at Tampa Bay Downs for its 10-race card that begins at 11:25am. Weekly prize money remains the same and scores are achieved in the same manner expect there is no double-point race. Those bonus races return in force Feb. 4 with three preps: The Holy Bull, The Withers, and the Robert Lewis.
‘ALL OTHERS’ IS STRONG OVERALL FAVORITE, BUT CHAMPION CLASSIC EMPIRE IS
INDIVIDUAL CHOICE IN POOL 2 OF 2017 KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER
Derby Futures Pool Opens Friday, Jan. 27 and Concludes Three-Day Run on Sunday, Jan. 29
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 – Indistry Press Release) – John C. Oxley’s Classic Empire (#3), winner of the Sentient Jet
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) and the champion 2-year-old of 2016, is the individual favorite to win the 143rd running
of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), but the Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Others,” is expected to
continue its traditional role as the overall betting choice in Pool 2 of Churchill Downs’ 2017 Kentucky Derby Future
Wager (“KDFW”), which opens its three-day run on Friday, Jan. 27.
The Mutuel Field has been favored in the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager of the calendar year since Churchill
Downs created the bet in 1999, and odds maker Mike Battaglia installed the “All Others” as the 8-5 likely bettors’ choice
in his morning line odds for 2017’s Pool 2. Wagering on the three-day pool opens at the home of the Kentucky Derby and
at racetracks, satellite wagering centers and online betting platforms at noon (all times EST) on Friday, Jan. 27. Wagering
on KDFW Pool 2 will conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Battaglia assigned odds of 5-1 to the Mark Casse-trained Classic Empire, the son of Pioneerof the Nile who was
the winner of the Eclipse Award for the champion 2-year-old of 2016 in a unanimous vote. Classic Empire scored four
victories in his five races in 2016 – including a pair of triumphs at Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby will be run
for the 143rd consecutive year on Saturday, May 6. Casse’s colt earned $1,485,920 during his championship campaign and
could make his first start of 2017 in the Holy Bull (GII) on Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park.
Classic Empire was the 6-1 individual choice for the opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager
conducted over four days in November, but the “All Others” bet was a strong 6-5 overall favorite at the conclusion of that
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager provides racing fans with the opportunity to wager on contenders for the
Kentucky Derby at odds that could be more attractive than those available on the day of America’s greatest race.
The Future Wager offers $2 minimum win wagering on 24 betting interests that include 23 individual horses and
the Mutuel Field, which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the individual wagering interests in a respective
pool. Each pool also offers $2 exacta wagering on the 24 wagering interests, with the latter also available in $1 minimum
increments in boxes and other multiple number configurations.
Payouts in the win and exacta wagering in Pool 2 will be determined by the odds that are in place at Sunday’s
conclusion of wagering.
The official rules of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager do not permit scratches of betting interests or refunds of
wagers placed during any of its four pools. Wagering will be suspended on a betting interest in any of the respective pools
if Churchill Downs determines that an individual horse will not be able to participate in the Kentucky Derby because of
injury, illness or other circumstance.
While Classic Empire is a solid individual choice in the morning line odds for the second Kentucky Derby Future
Wager pool, there are plenty Derby candidates with attractive odds among the remaining 22 individuals in the pool. The
latter group includes 10 horses that were not a part of November’s opening pool.
Rated closely behind Classic Empire among individual 3-year-olds are Cheyenne Stables LLC’s unbeaten
Mastery (#12, 6-1) and Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC’s McCraken (#13, 10-1), whose record remains perfect after
Mastery, a son of Candy Ride (ARG) trained by four-time Kentucky Derby winner and Hall of Fame conditioner
Bob Baffert, closed at odds of 10-1 in November’s opening pool and has since won the Los Alamitos Futurity (GI) for his
third triumph in as many starts. Baffert also trains Pool 2 wagering interest American Anthem (#1, 15-1), the runner-up in
the recent Sham Stakes (GIII) at Santa Anita for owners WinStar Farm LLC and S F Bloodstock LLC.
McCraken, a homebred son of Ghostzapper trained by Ian Wilkes, closed his 2016 campaign with a triumph in
the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby and the site of all of the colt’s three
career victories. Wilkes is seeking his first Kentucky Derby triumph after working as an assistant to Hall of Famer Carl
Nafzger when the latter saddled Kentucky Derby winners Unbridled (1990) and Street Sense (2007).
Other accomplished horses among Pool 2’s 23 individual betting interests include Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.
Moss’s Gormley (#7, 15-1), winner of the recent Sham (GIII) and the FrontRunner (GI) at Santa Anita for trainer John
Shirreffs, who teamed with the owners to win the 2005 Kentucky Derby with 50-1 longshot Giacomo; Klaravich Stables
and William H. Lawrence’s Practical Joke (#18, 20-1), winner of the Champagne (GI) and Hopeful (GI) and third in
the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile; Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Team D’s Mo Town (#14, 20-1),
a son of Uncle Mo who won the Remsen (GII) at Aqueduct in November; Robert V. LaPenta and Harry Rosenblum’s
Uncontested (#21, 20-1), a front-running winner of the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park for trainer Wayne Catalano; and
L and N Racing’s Lookin At Lee (#11, 30-1), runner-up to Classic Empire in Keeneland’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity
(GI), fourth to that rival in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the winner of the Ellis Park Juvenile.
Pool 2 of the 2017 Kentucky Derby Future Wager includes 10 horses that were not among the wagering interests
in November’s opening pool. That group includes American Anthem; St. Elias Stable’s Battalion Runner (#2, 20-1), an
easy 8 ¾-length winner of a Gulfstream Park maiden race in his New Year’s Eve debut; M M G Stables LLC’s El Areeb
(#4, 50-1), a runaway 11 ½-length winner of the Jerome (GIII) at Aqueduct on a muddy track on Jan. 2; Harrell Ventures
LLC’s Faja (#6, 50-1), an 8 ¾-length winner in his career debut at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 17; William S. Farish and
Lora Jean Kilroy’s Guest Suite (#8, 50-1), a gelded son of Quality Road who took last week’s Lecomte (GIII) at Fair
Grounds in his 2017 debut for trainer Neil Howard; Rialto Racing Stables and Southern Springs Stables’ Petrov
(#17, 50-1), runner-up in the Smarty Jones; Mont Saint Legame (JPN) (#16, 50-1), a Japan-based son of Came Home
whose two wins in as many starts include the Cattleya Sho at Tokyo Racecourse for trainer Koji Maki; Sonic Mule (#19,
50-1), winner of the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park for owner Calumet Farm, which holds a record eight
victories in the Kentucky Derby; Conrad Farm’s State of Honor (#20, 50-1), the runner-up in the Mucho Macho Man;
and Michael Langford’s Lecomte runner-up Untrapped (#22, 50-1).
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the 2010 Kentucky Derby with WinStar Farm’s Super Saver, trains four
KDFW Pool 2 betting interests. Pletcher’s quartet includes Tabor, Magnier and Smith’s Fact Finding (#5, 30-1), whose
three wins in as many races include the Smooth Air at Gulfstream Park, Battalion Runner, Faja and Sonic Mule.
Other trainers with more than one Pool 2 wagering interest include Baffert; Casse, who also trains State of Honor;
and Steve Asmussen, who trains Lookin At Lee and Untrapped.
Real time odds on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and more information on the 143rd running of the Kentucky
Derby is available online at http://www.KentuckyDerby.com.