Due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the postponement of the Kentucky Derby (G1) from May 2 to Sept. 5, this week’s fourth pool of the 2020 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) will be different from any other in the wager’s history.
Rather than locking in at a price on a number of horses having recently turned in their final preps, the time lag between this pool and the Derby is about as long as Pool 1 on Thanksgiving weekend was to the Run for the Roses as originally scheduled. That means the “All Other 3-Year-Olds” mutuel field option that’s highly popular in early pools figures to remain so.
There are other factors bettors will have to consider this week. One is that the next known point-scoring prep is the Arkansas Derby (G1), which has been pushed back from Apr. 11 to May 2. Churchill Downs will be working with other racetracks to add more Road to the Kentucky Derby series preps leading up to the first Saturday in September, but the confirming of official stakes schedules remains in a holding pattern as most tracks do not know when they might be able to reopen or are indefinitely delaying the start of their meets due to the pandemic.
The addition of these new stakes will also affect who qualifies for the Derby. Horses that have earned 50 points to date (e.g. Nadal, Mischevious Alex, Ny Traffic, and King Guillermo) can no longer can be considered “safely in” the Derby field as of today with more preps likely to be run over the summer. In contrast, Florida Derby (G1) winner Tiz the Law and Louisiana Derby (G2) hero Wells Bayou are in a relatively solid position.
Tiz the Law has been the most dominant 3-year-old to have emerged during the first quarter of racing this year and figures to be a strong individual favorite in Pool 4. The Bob Baffert-trained trio of Authentic, Charlatan, and Nadal also figure to be popular, though Charlatan has yet to earn any qualifying points. Where or when he will get that first opportunity remains unknown.
Pool 4 of the KDFW begins Friday at noon (EDT) and ends Sunday at 6 p.m. Due to racetrack and simulcast facilities being closed to the public, online wagering platforms like TwinSpires.com will be the only way to participate in this week’s Future Wager. Be sure to watch for KDFW promotions later this week at TwinSpires.com!