04/29/2016 12:30PM

Plenty of value in first Sire Future Wager


The inaugural Kentucky Derby sire future wager didn’t generate a large pool but offered plenty of value for savvy horseplayers who took pedigree into account.

Total handle on the wager, which ran concurrently with Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager last November, was $34,960, with $26,751 to win and $8,209 in exactas. The field, or “all other sires,” closed as the 2-1 favorite in the wager. The top individual choices were two-time reigning leading sire Tapit at 7-1 and leading freshman and juvenile sire Uncle Mo, who had the most Triple Crown nominees of any stallion, at 9-1.

In some cases, locking in the sire of a promising horse early on offered bettors better value, as individual colts by that sire were bet down in the four Derby Future Wager pools or will be top choices on Derby Day. One example is Eskendereya, who closed at 26-1 in the sire pool. He will be represented in the Derby by Mor Spirit, who closed at 11-1 in the final Derby Future Wager pool in early April. Following a runner-up effort in the Santa Anita Derby, he hovers at 12-1 on Daily Racing Form national handicapper Mike Watchmaker’s morning line.

Candy Ride was 35-1 in the Derby sire wager, while his Louisiana Derby winner, Gun Runner, closed at 13-1 in Pool 4. Young sire Curlin closed at 14-1 last fall, and his son Exaggerator was 27-1 in Pool 4. Both will offer value for those who thought ahead. After his romp in the Santa Anita Derby, the colt is the 8-1 second choice on Watchmaker’s line and is likely to go off as one of the top selections in the Derby.

Among the stallions who are expected to have multiple starters in the Derby, Giant’s Causeway, locked in at 18-1, appears to have offered the most value to pedigree players. His Brody’s Cause would have been included under “all others” at 10-1 in Pool 4 prior to his victory in the Blue Grass Stakes, which will make him one of the Derby choices. His other representative, Tampa Bay Derby winner Destin, closed at 16-1 in Pool 4.

Uncle Mo’s three Kentucky Derby representatives are led by unbeaten champion Nyquist, who has been a leading individual choice throughout the Future Wager pools, closing at 3-1 in Pool 4. While playing the sire wager offered value where Nyquist was concerned, it doesn’t apply to Uncle Mo’s other two Derby entrants. Wood Memorial winner Outwork closed at 30-1 in Pool 4 and is 15-1 on Watchmaker’s line, while Mo Tom had odds of 17-1 and 20-1, respectively.

The situation is similar with Tapit, whose top individual is Mohaymen, 8-1 in Pool 4 and 10-1 on the Watchmaker line. Tapit’s other two representatives, Creator and Lani, are likely to be double-digit odds.

Betting the field in the sire wager would have left you with just five horses currently in the top 20 on Derby qualifying points: Danzing Candy, Tom’s Ready, Trojan Nation, My Man Sam, and Whitmore.