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2023 Kentucky Derby Preps And Future Bets Pool
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2023 Kentucky Derby Preps And Future Bets Pool

by Daniel BenjaminNovember 26, 2022

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is still months away, but there are still events surrounding the “Run for the Roses.” The following is a look at this week’s Derby Prep races and the future bets pool.

2023 Kentucky Derby Preps And Future Bets Pool

The 2023 Kentucky Derby is still over six months away, but there is still plenty of news surrounding the event. There will be two Derby prep races on November 26. Churchill Downs hosts the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, while the Cattleya Sho takes place in Tokyo, Japan.

The road to the 2023 Kentucky Derby, which will be held on May 6, includes three separate paths for 3-year-old horses to qualify for the 149th “Run for the Roses.” Trainers and owners can choose between the main road consisting of races in North America (plus one in Dubai), the Japan Road consisting of four races in Japan, and the European road consisting of seven races in England, Ireland, and France.

The main route consists of 37 races, with 21 for the Kentucky Derby Prep Season and 16 for the Kentucky Derby Championship Season.

 

$400,000 G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

 

The Grade 2 $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes is the sixth primary road prep race with the top five finishers earning points on a 10-4-3-2-1 sliding points. Nine 2-year-old colts will go one and one-sixteenth miles in the second to last race on the Churchill Downs race card. Post time for Saturday’s 11th race is 5:56 p.m. (ET).

Instant Coffee (2/1), Curly Jack (3/1), and Red Route One (7/2) are the morning line favorites. All three entrants have already earned Kentucky Derby points, led by Curly Jack’s 13. Red Route One has three points, and Instant Coffee has two.

Curly Jack is the most experienced horse in the field as he makes his sixth start. He is coming off a fifth place in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. The son of Good Magic has two wins, including the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes on September 17, and one second-place finish.

Red Route One (4-1-0-1) followed up a strong third-place finish in the Claiborne Breeders Futurity with a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Street Sense Stakes last month. Instant Coffee (2-1-0-0) just missed reaching the podium in the Claiborne Breeders Futurity, finishing a-head in back of Red Route One.

The Kentucky Jockey Club has turned out 25 Kentucky Derby participants since 2009, including the year eventual Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver claimed top honors in the Kentucky Jockey Club. Smile Happy won the 2021 KJC for trainer Kenneth McPeak with jockey Corey Lanarie, who will be in the saddle of Gigante (12/1 odds) this year.

McPeak has won two of the last four Kentucky Jockey Club races and three times overall. McPeak has two opportunities to increase his win total in the event with Denington (12/1) and Hayes Strike (10/1). D. Wayne Lukas, who also has three wins as a trainer in the KJC, sends Western Gent (20/1) to the post.

 

Cattleya Sho

The Cattleya Stakes is the first of Japan‘s prep race. The metric mile race has been part of the road to the Kentucky Derby since 2016 and awards point to the top five finishers (10-4-3-2-1). This year’s event has 10 runners, with half coming off their maiden victories the last time out.

Internationally renowned trainer Yoshito Yahagi, who made history by sending out two Breeders’ Cup winners at Del Mar in 2021, has a promising prospect in Continuar. After justifying even-money favoritism on debut at Hanshin, he missed narrowly over the same track and about a nine-furlong trip in a Nov. 6 allowance.

Continuar will have a new jockey, Australian Damian Lane, in the saddle and sports a good pedigree. By hot young sire Drefong, who was responsible for last year’s Cattleya winner Consigliere in his first crop, Continuar is out of a three-quarter sister to Japanese star Almond Eye.

Other entrants include II Divino, Mirror of Mind, Plavi, Jasri, Young World, Margot Reve, Toa Raiden, Suna Ichi Gold, and Franchero. Next on the schedule is the Dec. 14 Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun at Kawasaki, followed by the Hyacinth S. back at Tokyo in February, and concluding with the Fukuryu S. at Nakayama.

 

Kentucky Derby Future Bets

Handicappers have their second of six opportunities to place a future bet on the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby until the pool closes on November 27. Forte, who leads all contenders with 40 points, is listed as the 10-1 individual betting favorite, while the pari-mutuel field of “All Other Colts and Geldings” from the 2020 foal crop not listed within the 38 individual betting interests was tabbed as the heavy 3-5 choice.

The four-day pool – featuring $2 Win and Exacta wagering – opened Thursday at noon and closes on Sunday at 6 p.m. Pool 2 will run concurrently with the lone Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, where fans can bet horses sired by 39 individual sires and an option for “All Others” that were not listed. Horses from the 2020 foal crop sired by Uncle Mo are the 4-1 morning line favorite, followed by Violence (6-1), Arrogate (8-1), and Into Mischief (8-1). All Other Sires are listed at 6-1.

Other intriguing prospects that were included in the second pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are Winchell Thoroughbreds’ dazzling maiden special weight winner Extra Anejo (15-1); undefeated allowance winner Giant Mischief (25-1); Breeders’ Futurity narrow runner-up Loggins (40-1); and Rodeo Creek Racing’s Champagne (G1) winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) fourth-place runner Blazing Sevens. Blazing Sevens has the second most points in the contenders with 14, while Loggins has four points.

In the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, horses sired by Uncle Mo were made the favorite. Some of Uncle Mo’s top earners (through Nov. 17) are Gulfport ($336,530), Mo Strike ($183,710), and Arabian Knight ($86,025).


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About The Author
Daniel Benjamin