The first of three additional pools for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), Pool 5 begins Friday at noon (EDT) and closes Sunday at 6 p.m. The Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled for Sept. 5, and two horses stand out from the rest presently.
Installed as the 7-2 morning line choice in Pool 5, Tiz the Law will be a deserving favorite following his 3 3/4-length romp in the June 20 Belmont Stakes (G1), the third consecutive victory from as many starts this year. The New York-bred son of Constitution established himself as an early Kentucky Derby contender when posting a convincing win in the Champagne (G1) in his second career outing last fall, and Tiz the Law has continued to move forward at age 3 for trainer Barclay Tagg, registering century-topping Brisnet Speed ratings as high as 108.
Honor A. P. is listed as the 5-1 co-second choice along with the mutuel field of “All Other 3-Year-old Males,” but I expect his odds to be lower when the wagering closes. A regally-bred son of Honor Code, the John Shirreffs trainee was making only his third start, and first since breaking his maiden five months earlier, when finishing second to Authentic in the San Felipe (G2) in early March. Honor A. P. clearly improved off the comebacker, posting a 2 3/4-length decision in the June 6 Santa Anita Derby (G1), and won with seemingly plenty in the tank. He’s the biggest threat to Tiz the Law at this stage in the game.
The potential exists for better odds this weekend than on Sept. 5, and I won’t fault anyone who backs Tiz the Law or Honor A. P. in Pool 5.
However, Derby Day is 14 weeks from this Saturday and the landscape will not remain static over the next 2 1/2 months. I’m shopping for value with promising types that haven’t been exposed yet, horses who are eligible to relish the 1 1/4-mile distance and move forward significantly over the next 14 weeks, the profile of many Kentucky Derby winners this era.
Here’s four horses to consider:
#1 Art Collector (30-1 morning line) has posted three convincing wins since switching from turf to dirt, impressively crushing foes by a 6 1/2-length margin while stretching back out to two turns in a June 13 allowance at Churchill Downs. The Bernardini colt registered a 103 Brisnet Speed rating in advance of his first dirt stakes appearance.
#6 Creed (50-1) just missed when finishing a troubled second in his career debut in late April, and stylishly broke his maiden when stretching out to a route for Shug McGaughey on June 11, scoring by a widening 7 3/4-length margin in the mud at Belmont Park. The Honor Code colt is bred to improve with experience and distance.
#14 Money Moves (30-1) could be targeting the July 11 Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland for his initial stakes appearance. The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Candy Ride made short work of entry-level allowance foes when taking a March 27 Gulfstream allowance, improving to 2-for-2, and was flattered when the vanquished Sprawl came back to easily win a Churchill allowance next out.
#22 Uncle Chuck (20-1) is playing catch-up having made his first start on June 12, but it was easy to come away impressed by how he devastated rivals while debuting at two turns, drawing away to win by seven lengths as the rest of the field was left stretched out behind him. The Uncle Mo colt is in the right barn with five-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert.