Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) begins its four-day run on Thanksgiving Day. Twenty-two individual interests, led by presumptive 2-year-old champion male Essential Quality, are available, along with “All 3-year-old fillies” and “All Other 3-year-old colts and geldings” options.

The sixth annual Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager runs concurrently with KDFW Pool 1.

Listed as #24, “All Other 3-year-old colts and geldings” will be the overwhelming favorite in Pool 1 when betting closes at 6 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

Following a convincing maiden win, Authentic was overlooked at 50-1 in Pool 1 last year. Early supporters received a $103.60 payout (for every $2 wagered) after his Kentucky Derby win, snapping a three-year streak for #24 in Pool 1.

Individual interests in Pool 1 have won three of the last six years. Since 2014, the largest payout for the mutuel field (#24) is $4.60.  

Listed at 6-5 on Mike Battaglia’s morning line, the “All Other 3-year-old colts and geldings” is not for me in Pool 1 of the KDFW.

#3 Essential Quality, who improved to 3-for-3 with his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) victory, should be lower than his 10-1 morning line price at the conclusion of Pool 1. There isn’t a clear-cut second choice in the wagering. However, the classy colt is not worth a short price, in my estimation, five months out from the first Saturday in May.

Here are three horses I am looking at this weekend:

#1 Caddo River (30-1) broke his maiden at Churchill Downs by 9 1/2 lengths when stretching out to a mile for his third career start on Nov. 15. Trained by Brad Cox, who also has Essential Quality in the field, Caddo River finished a respectable second in his first two outings, and the Hard Spun colt registered an excellent 94 Brisnet Speed rating most recently. I’m not too keen about the speed influences in his pedigree, but this is the extended female of 1985 Preakness winner Tank’s Prospect. And Caddo River passed the visual test last time.

#9 Keepmeinmind (20-1) may be overlooked as a maiden. And Robertino Diodoro is not known for training Kentucky Derby hopefuls. But check out his trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. After debuting with a second against maiden special weight foes in early September, Keepmeinmind jumped straight to stakes competition with a rallying second to Essential Quality in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1). Out of a mare by 1997 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop, the Laoban colt was not prepared for the start of the Juvenile, squeezed back to last in a field of 14, and appeared hopelessly beaten while still trailing down the backstretch. Keepmeinmind offered a dynamic late kick to miss by two lengths in third, and I’m intrigued by his potential.

#20 Speaker’s Corner (50-1) ran down Caddo River to break his maiden the second time out for Hall of Famer Bill Mott, and the Godolphin homebred son of Street Sense is eligible to relish two-turn distances with his pedigree. Speaker’s Corner netted a solid 90 Brisnet Speed rating, and I’m excited to see his first stakes appearance.

Sire Future Wager

“All Other Sires” has been bet down as low as even-money previously, but it’s connected only once (2019) in the five-year history of the Sire Wager.

#12 Into Mischief, who has three individual interests in Pool 1, is the probable favorite. Offspring from the 15-year-old stallion have earned more than $19.7 million in 2020 so far, led by Breeders’ Cup Classic and Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, and that’s nearly twice as much as the second-leading sire.

#20 Tapit, the sire of Essential Quality, will also attract support. The three-time leading stallion has been represented by numerous champions, and three Belmont Stakes victors, but the 19-year-old gray is still seeking his first Kentucky Derby winner.

I will keep tabs on the odds for #10 Hard Spun (20-1) and #19 Street Sense (15-1).