Horses to watch in Pool 3 of 2024 Kentucky Derby Future Wager

January 19th, 2024

Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be offered Friday-Sunday, and TwinSpires handicappers James Scully and Vance Hanson have come up with individual choices they like among the lineup of 40, as well a consensus value play.


#17 Honor Marie (30-1): A six-furlong debut maiden winner and fast-closing second in a highly rated entry-level allowance at seven furlongs, Honor Marie kept progressing when stretching to two turns in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in late November, closing powerfully to win going away by a two-length margin. His Brisnet numbers (96 Speed and 102 Late Pace) were encouraging, and the Honor Code colt has shown an affinity for Churchill Downs.

He’s readying for the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 17, and Honor Marie won’t offer the same value in Pool 4 if he runs big in the seasonal reappearance.

James Scully

#32 Snead (50-1): Looks like the sort with an upward trajectory. After making his first two starts in turf routes, Snead switched to dirt with a rallying maiden win and followed with a 7 1/4-length romp over entry-level allowance foes. The gray colt was the only runner to make up significant ground from off the pace in the Gun Runner S., closing from about 10 lengths back to finish a good second in his stakes debut, and the son of Nyquist appears to be figuring things out for Brendan Walsh.

Vance Hanson

Trainer Todd Pletcher has the early Kentucky Derby favorite in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Fierceness, but it’s another of his KDFW entries, #4 Born Noble (60-1), who is likely the better value in this pool. By hot sire Constitution, Born Noble made a winning debut at Gulfstream on Dec. 30, drawing away from the field down the stretch to win by 5 1/2 lengths going seven furlongs.

Admittedly, Born Noble showed considerable greenness on his way to garnering the diploma, lugging in badly toward the rail. He’s far from the finished article, though, and could improve on his opening 91 Brisnet Speed rating wherever he pops up next. A step up in distance around two turns also doesn’t figure to be a significant hurdle for him.