Jon White: Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Analysis

Making a future wager or wagers on the Kentucky Derby can be a lot of fun, particularly if you bet on the winner at a nice price.

You will have the opportunity this week to bet on the 2023 Run for the Roses via Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW). In addition to win wagering, exacta betting is offered.

Pool 2 wagering will open on Thursday (Nov. 24) at noon and close on Sunday (Nov. 27) at 6 p.m. ET.

The KDFW now has expanded to offer 38 individual horses, plus an “all other 3-year-old colts and geldings” option and an “all fillies” option, for a total of 40 betting interests. In past years, the KDFW had 23 or 24 individual horses.

Once again horses currently trained by Bob Baffert are not among the individual horses in KDFW Pool 2 because he has been banned from the 2023 Kentucky Derby. But this does add a number of quality Baffert-trained runners to the “all other 3-year-old colts and geldings” option. Two Baffert trainees, Taiba and Messier, did run in this year’s Kentucky Derby after being transferred to trainer Tim Yakteen.

The “all other 3-year-old colts and geldings” option is the Pool 2 morning-line favorite at 3-5. In Pool 1, which ran from Nov. 1-3, the “all other 3-year-old colts and geldings” option closed at 4-5. I thought that 4-5 price was extremely generous and made a sizable wager on that. It was my lone bet in Pool 1.

I had planned to bet Extra Anejo in Pool 1. He was 19-1 for quite a while. I waited to see if he still would be around that price just before wagering closed. But his odds dropped to 12-1. And so I passed. I would never bet on an individual horse at anything around 12-1 in early November for a race to be run on the first Saturday in May.

As much as I like Extra Anejo, I won’t be betting him in Pool 2, either, unless he’s somewhere around 20-1, which I don’t think will happen. He’s the 15-1 second choice among individual horses on the morning line. The only horse listed at a shorter price is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Forte, who is 10-1.

Considering it is hard enough in November just to get a horse into the starting gate on May 6, it’s generally not a good idea to be betting anyone at a relatively short price.

But there are three longshots I plan to put a few bucks on. They are Verifying, Capture the Flag and Navy Man.

Brad Cox, who won the 2021 Kentucky Derby with Mandaloun and 2021 Belmont Stakes with Essential Quality, trains Verifying. A son of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify, Verifying has won one of three career starts.

Even though Verifying finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, I still think he has the potential to make noise on the 2023 Kentucky Derby trail. He’s a half-brother to Eclipse Award winner Midnight Bisou, an earner of $7,471,520.

Verifying is 80-1 on the morning line for Pool 2.

Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Orb, trains Capture the Flag. The Quality Road colt won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race by three lengths at first asking on July 30 at Saratoga. Something evidently went amiss. He has not raced or had a published workout since. But it’s my understanding that McGaughey believes Capture the Flag has the quality to possibly be Kentucky Derby timber and the colt might pop up with a workout in the not-too-distant future.

Capture the Flag is 99-1 on the morning line for Pool 2.

Navy Man likewise is 99-1 on the morning line for Pool 2. He is a maiden. The Bolt d’Oro colt kicked off his racing career by finishing third in a six-furlong maiden race Oct. 5 at Santa Anita that was won by the highly regarded Baffert-trained Arabian Lion. Navy Man then finished a close second to another 2-year-old trained by Baffert, Massimo, in a six-furlong maiden affair at Del Mar on Nov. 13. Navy Man was in front on the gallop-out after the finish. Massimo previously had been the runner-up in the Capote Stakes at Los Alamitos.

Michael McCarthy, who won the 2021 Preakness Stakes with Rombauer, trains Navy Man, who looks like a youngster with much upside to me.

You might want to check out what happens in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs this Saturday (Nov. 26) before making any bets in KDFW Pool 2.

Below are the morning-line odds for 2023 KDFW Pool 2:

No. Horse (Morning Line Odds)

 1. Awesome Strong (80-1)
 2. Blazing Sevens (30-1)
 3. Bromley (99-1)
 4. Capture the Flag (99-1)
 5. Cascais (99-1)
 6. Champions Dream (99-1)
 7. Corona Bolt (80-1)
 8. Curly Jack (80-1)
 9. Cyclone Mischief (99-1)
10. Denington (99-1)
11. Disarm (80-1)
12. Echo Again (50-1)
13. Expect More (99-1)
14. Extra Anejo (15-1)
15. Forbidden Secret (99-1)
16. Forte (10-1)
17. Frank’s Honor (99-1)
18. Full Moon Madness (99-1)
19. General Jim (80-1)
20. Giant Mischief (25-1)
21. Gulfport (75-1)
22. Hal (99-1)
23. Hit Show (80-1)
24. Instant Coffee (80-1)
25. Joking Way (99-1)
26. Litigate (99-1)
27. Loggins (40-1)
28. Mr. Ripple (99-1)
29. Navy Man (99-1)
30. Practical Move (99-1)
31. Recruiter (99-1)
32. Rocket Can (99-1)
33. Signator (60-1)
34. Tapit’s Conquest (99-1)
35. Ten Days Later (60-1)
36. Tuskegee Airmen (99-1)
37. Verifying (80-1)
38. Victory Formation (80-1)
39. All Fillies from the 2020 Foal Crop (80-1)
40. All Other Colts and Geldings from the 2020 Foal Crop (3-5)

The only Sire Future Wager for the 2023 Kentucky Derby also is being offered this week. I mentioned earlier that there are three longshots in KDFW Pool 2 that I intend to put a few bucks on. What I might do is also put a few bucks on Justify, the sire of Verifying, and Bolt d’Oro, the sire of Navy Man. That way I would also have money riding on any other offspring of Justify and Bolt d’Oro.

Justify is 40-1 on the morning line, while Bolt d’Oro is 60-1.

I am not inclined to put any money on the sire of Capture the Flag as long as Quality Road is anywhere near his morning-line price of only 20-1. I need a bigger price than that.

Below are the morning-line odds for the 2023 Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager:

No. Sire (Morning Line Odds)

 1. American Pharoah (80-1)
 2. Arrogate (8-1)
 3. Bernardini (50-1)
 4. Bolt d’Oro (60-1)
 5. Cairo Prince (80-1)
 6. Candy Ride (80-1)
 7. City of Light (80-1)
 8. Classic Empire (80-1)
 9. Cloud Computing (80-1)
10. Constitution (80-1)
11. Curlin (60-1)
12. Empire Maker (80-1)
13. Flatter (80-1)
14. Ghostzapper (60-1)
15. Girvin (60-1)
16. Good Magic (60-1)
17. Gun Runner (10-1)
18. Hard Spun (80-1)
19. Into Mischief (8-1)
20. Justify (40-1)
21. Malibu Moon (60-1)
22. Medaglia d’Oro (80-1)
23. Mendelssohn (80-1)
24. More Than Ready (80-1)
25. Not This Time (80-1)
26. Nyquist (80-1)
27. Pioneerof the Nile (99-1)
28. Practical Joke (80-1)
29. Quality Road (20-1)
30. Runhappy (50-1)
31. Sharp Azteca (80-1)
32. Speightstown (60-1)
33. Street Sense (80-1)
34. Tapit (40-1)
35. Uncle Mo (4-1)
36. Union Rags (99-1)
37. Violence (6-1)
38. War Front (80-1)
39. West Coast (80-1)
40. All Other Sires (6-1)

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