Aside from Knicks Go, we won’t be gleaning many clues from the individual entries in this weekend’s Pool 2 of the 2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW). The aforementioned is an entrant in Saturday’s Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, the lone Derby prep of the weekend. Before Pool 2 closes Sunday evening, though, we’ll at least have the field drawn for next Saturday’s Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds, the first 50 points-to-the-winner prep.
In an affiliated forum ahead of Pool 1 in November, I recommended a look at champion juvenile Game Winner, fellow Bob Baffert trainee Improbable, and Code of Honor. Game Winner closed at 5-1, certainly a higher price than he’ll be on Derby Day if he happens to get through the prep season unscathed. We locked in at 17-1 on Improbable prior to his victory in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1), while Code of Honor was the disappointment of the three after missing an intended start in the Remsen (G2) and finished out of the money in his season debut last month. He’s no longer an individual betting choice in Pool 2. Such is the chances you take on future wagers.
With Game Winner likely to be at or around the same price as in Pool 1 and Improbable’s odds significantly lower, Pool 2 is an opportunity to look at others. Lecomte (G3) winner WAR OF WILL (#22) (30-1) has won his two dirt appearances by a combined margin of nine lengths. The Mark Casse trainee has an impressive cruising speed and figures among the entries in the Risen Star, which will be drawn on Saturday.
Nashua (G3) winner VEKOMA (#20) (30-1) has posted his first three works of the year ahead of his season debut for trainer George Weaver. His fine Nashua effort was a bit overlooked as it occurred on the backend of Breeders’ Cup weekend, but the form of his two victories have been flattered subsequently by the likes of Mihos, Network Effect, and Call Paul. By Candy Ride and out of a Grade 1-winning Speightstown mare, he closed at 36-1 in Pool 1.
Don’t forget TwinSpires.com’s Future Wager 2nd Place Bonus offer this week. Opt in and bet $5 to Win on an individual entry (excluding #24 All Others) and receive a bonus up to $105 if your selection finishes second in the Kentucky Derby. The pay out is based on the final odds price of Future Pool 2, with odds capped at 20-1.
PHOTO: Vekoma and jockey Manny Franco win the Nashua Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on November 4, 2018 (c) NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography