Forte heavily favored in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 6

April 2nd, 2023

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher has won the Kentucky Derby (G1) twice with Super Saver (2010) and Always Dreaming (2017). According to bettors, there’s a strong chance a third win is on the horizon.

Five weeks out from the 2023 Kentucky Derby, bettors established a trio of Pletcher trainees as the top three favorites in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 6, the final in a series of future wager pools dating back to last November.

The heavy favorite at 5-2 was 2022 champion two-year-old male Forte. Less than an hour after Pool 6 closed on Saturday afternoon, Forte rewarded his backers with a gritty win in the Florida Derby (G1), the fourth Grade 1 triumph of his decorated career.

Forte’s Florida Derby victory came at the expense of four other horses available for betting in Pool 6: runner-up Mage (46-1), third-place finisher Cyclone Mischief (88-1), fifth-place runner Fort Bragg (58-1), and 11th-place Dubyuhnell (111-1).

But back to the Pletcher platoon. Tied for Pool 6 second favoritism at odds of 11-1 were Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Kingsbarns and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) hero Tapit Trice. Kingsbarns has completed his prep schedule in advance of the Kentucky Derby, but Tapit Trice is slated to run once more in the Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland next Saturday.

Pletcher also conditions Dreamlike (143-1), twice runner-up against maiden special weight competition at Gulfstream Park. Although Dreamlike has yet to win a race, he’s slated to join the Road to the Kentucky Derby in the Wood Memorial (G2) next Saturday.

Beyond the Pletcher trainees, flashy UAE Derby (G2) winner Derma Sotogake (13-1) and San Felipe (G2) victor Practical Move (14-1) drew plenty of support, edging out the always-popular “All Other Three-Year-Olds” option (17-1) and runaway Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) winner Two Phil’s (21-1).

Reincarnate (24-1) and Red Route One (24-1) were next in line, but about 100 minutes after Pool 6 closed, they were beaten to third place and sixth place in the Arkansas Derby (G1). The runaway 4 1/4-length winner was Angel of Empire (29-1), previously victorious in the Risen Star (G2) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Bourbon Bash (100-1) also competed in the Arkansas Derby, finishing 10th.

Confidence Game (29-1) and Hit Show (30-1) closed at slightly lower prices than Rocket Can (32-1) and Two Eagles River (38-1), who finished fourth and seventh in the Arkansas Derby. In between came Geaux Rocket Ride and Disarm, both 33-1 shots.

Rounding out the list of betting interests were National Treasure (44-1), Blazing Sevens (46-1), Instant Coffee (49-1), Skinner (49-1), Verifying (50-1), Continuar (54-1), Raise Cain (81-1), Mandarin Hero (99-1), Sun Thunder (113-1), Jace’s Road (118-1), Slip Mahoney (130-1), Arctic Arrogance (165-1), Classic Car Wash (169-1), Wild On Ice (190-1), Mendelssohns March (212-1), I Don’t Get It (238-1), Shadow Dragon (299-1), and Hayes Strike (404-1).

Pool 6 ran from Thursday through Saturday, attracting $271,230 in win bets and $98,213 in exacta bets for a total pool of $369,443.