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Justify brings steam into final day of Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager

By James Scully

With an impressive win in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Justify placed a firm hold upon favoritism in the Kentucky Derby. The unbeaten Bob Baffert-trained colt closed Saturday at 3-1 in Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) and his price appears certain to keep dropping before wagering concludes Sunday at 6 p.m. (ET).

Justify registered a whopping 114 BRIS Speed rating posting a three-length decision in the Santa Anita Derby, turning back a bid from Bolt d’Oro and powering under the finish line with Mike Smith. The smooth-striding chestnut earned a massive 117 Late Pace figure leading wire to wire.

He’s tough to knock but Justify is inexperienced, making his career debut on February 18 and all three starts at Santa Anita. Everything’s been pretty easy up to this point, but a 20-horse field on May 5 will poise new challenges.

Mendelssohn has established himself as a clear 4-1 second choice in Pool 4 after romping by 18 ½ lengths in the U.A.E. Derby (G2). Similar to Justify, the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt will bring a high cruising speed to his bid to become the first European-trained winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Florida Derby (G1) winner Audible, who held the top last-out BRIS Speed rating (107) prior to the Santa Anita Derby, is also attracting support at 6-1 in the KDFW.

Multiple Grade 1 hero Bolt d’Oro proved no match for Justify in the latter stages but did significantly improve his Speed numbers in advance of the main goal, netting a 110 finishing more than six lengths clear of third. He will receive a more favorable set-up for his rally at Churchill Downs.

Other horses of interest include Good Magic, who received plenty of support in earlier pools before a third in the Holy Bull (G2) but turned things around with a victory in Saturday’s Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland and is 10-1 entering Sunday; and unbeaten Rebel (G2) winner Magnum Moon, who is presently 12-1 and will be favored in next Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (G1).

Supporters of Wood Memorial (G2) victor Vino Rosso will be playing the “All Other 3YOs” mutuel field (#24) since he wasn’t included among individual interests in Pool 4 and may get a few other runners in the first leg of the Triple Crown. The mutuel field is 17-1 presently.

Pool 4 odds entering Sunday:

#

 

Horse

 

Current Odds

1.

 

Audible

 

6-1

2.

 

Bolt d’Oro

 

9-1

3.

 

Bravazo

 

71-1

4.

 

Combatant

 

90-1

5.

 

Enticed

 

28-1

6.

 

Flameaway

 

39-1

7.

 

Free Drop Billy

 

50-1

8.

 

Good Magic

 

10-1

9.

 

Gronkowski

 

52-1

10.

 

Hofburg

 

19-1

11.

 

Instilled Regard

 

78-1

12.

 

Justify

 

3-1

13.

 

Lone Sailor

 

91-1

14.

 

Magnum Moon

 

12-1

15.

 

Mendelssohn

 

4-1

16.

 

Mississippi

 

SCR

17.

 

My Boy Jack

 

28-1

18.

 

Noble Indy

 

37-1

19.

 

Promises Fulfilled

 

99-1

20.

 

Quip

 

32-1

21.

 

Runaway Ghost

 

57-1

22.

 

Solomini

 

29-1

23.

 

Title Ready

 

99-1

24.

 

All Other 3YOs

 

17-1