This truly is a fabulous time of year for sports fans. Yes, we know another football season is in the books, but the focus now can be on something far bigger than a a little pigskin play. We are talking about the greatest single sporting event known to man…the Kentucky Derby.
With prep races taking place all across this great nation of ours, the road that leads to Churchill Downs is filled with runners chasing immortality. Two-time winning trainer Doug O’Neil (2012 I’ll Have Another, 2016 Nyquist) put things into perspective for me with his observation.
“Now is the time of year when anybody connected with a three-year old horse lies awake at night dreaming of the Kentucky Derby,” says the California-based O’Neill. “Every groom, hot walker, trainer, owner, exercise rider has visions of the glory a Derby win brings.”
As scores of talented Thoroughbreds make their bid for a spot in the starting gates on the first Saturday in May, the folks at Churchill downs will open their second future wager pool. This gives speculators an opportunity to likely get a better price on potential runners long before they toe the track beneath the twin spires. With 24 potential starters selected and odds assigned to each, the only way to cash a ticket is by selecting the winner. If your choice does not make the field on the first Saturday in May its too bad so sad.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some that have made the list for pool number 2. Holy Bull winner Tiz The Law is the individual morning line favorite at 8-1. Unbeaten Independence Hall (10-1) will get a chance to prove his worth in the Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 8. The all-time leading trainer at Churchill Downs, Dale Romans, has the highly regarded Dennis’ Moment (12-1). Brendan Walsh trained and unbeaten Maxfield (15-1) is the son of 2007 Derby winner Street Sense. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court (30-1) is also in the field.
Five time Derby winner Bob Baffert has three candidates in the field including our top selection. The freakishly fast Nadal (12-1) is headed to the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Unbeaten son of Into Mischief Authentic (15-1) was very impressive in a win in the Sham Stakes on January 4. Our top ticket taker is Thousand Words (15-1). Unbeaten and the recent winner of the Robert Lewis Stakes, this son of Pioneerof the Nile has all the goods to give Baffert a record-tying sixth blanket of roses.
The second Future Wager Pool for Kentucky Derby 146 opens on February 7 and runs until 6pm Eastern on February 9. Back a horse and get paid!!!