When we began this long trail towards the Kentucky Derby, there was one horse to beat and one only. That honor belonged to Nyquist. Then Mohaymen started to pick up steam, followed shortly by Mor Spirit. A three-horse competition began between the top horses and everyone else seemed like canon fodder. The KDFW Pool 3 opened on Friday, but it was Saturday that saw a huge surprise.
Danzing Candy has joined the fray as a surging outside shot in derby futures, but still has a long way to go to prove he can hang with the big boys.
Mohaymen essentially stayed out in front as the derby favourite with 7/2 odds to win. He collected $36,370.85 over the weekend in additional handle. It was by far the most of any entrant in the KDFW Pool 3, exceeding the combined total of the second and third favourites.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Nyquist stayed at 7/1 odds. There seems to be a growing sentiment that the former favourite for the Kentucky Derby is no longer the best bet. Aside from limiting his competition this year to a 7-furlong sprint at the San Vicente Stakes, I’d imagine that the allure of Nyquist’s sheer talent would have driven bettors towards his tempting odds in the KDFW Pool 3. That wasn’t exactly the case, although $21,211.39 in action came his way.
Nyquist and Mohaymen are both declared for the Florida Derby on April 2nd, in a showdown of the top-two horses on the east coast. It’s obvious that horse players are placing a clear preference on Mohaymen, but Nyquist could be a real steal from a value perspective here. If he wins the Florida Derby decisively – and there’s nothing to indicate that he can’t – then those that backed him heavily at 7/1 will be laughing down the trail to Churchill Downs.
But let’s get back to that fourth horse, shall we?
The conversation out west got way more interesting over the weekend thanks to the results of the San Felipe Stakes. Mor Spirit was justifiably touted as a talented enough horse to give the top two derby contenders a run for their money. But a lazy push out of the gates over the weekend saw Mor Spirit lose out to Danzing Candy. Even then, Mor Spirit’s odds in KDFW Pool 3 remained the same as they did in the last round. He stands as a 12/1 outside shot.
Danzing Candy and Mor Spirit will battle again at the Santa Anita Derby on April 9th in one of the most intriguing rematches available. It wasn’t just that Danzing Candy won the San Felipe Stakes, it’s how he did it. The front running horse shot out of the gates like a bullet and increased his speed as the race went on. It was a phenomenal display. Mor Spirit definitely began to close the gap down the stretch, and ran a poor race overall. A late rush of money came in on Daning Candy as the KDFW Pool 3 window closed. His 28/1 odds shrank to 17/1 and $10,030.26 came in to back him.
The fourth and final window of futures betting for the Kentucky Derby Futures Wager will open April 1st and close April 3rd.