Saturday, March 3, 2012

Early Odds for Kentucky Derby Pool 2

There are some real head scratchers as of early Saturday morning in Churchill Down's second Kentucky Derby Future Pool. (Full disclosure: Please read post below about playing such a crazy bet as the Derby Future Pool, take with grain of salt and then keep future bets small enough to be fun.) Back to a bit of betting confusion...

  • El Padrino at 16-1 is an absolute underlay. He's a monster, hard worker and is coming into his own at the right time. If he wins his next prep before making it to the first Saturday in May, he won't be anywhere near 16-1.
  • Mark Valeski finished just one nose behind El Padrino and like the former, he's getting right at the right time. With odds at 53-1, I'll probably take a small shot with him. 
  • Castaway doesn't look to have distance limitations, finished first in a division of Southwest Stakes and may be returning to Oaklawn for a repeat performance in the Rebel. 43-1 is far too high for any of Baffert's horses.
  • Hansen is the only single betting interest that will be running before the end of the pool at 6 pm on Sunday. Somebody please help me understand how Churchill Downs Inc. decides the timing of their future pools? I don't work for Churchill, but I would think waiting for next weekend when there are three potential prep races run (Tampa Bay Derby, Swale and San Felipe) would have been a better time to generate excitement and wagering in this pool? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?  
  • Gemologist, Dullahan and Sabercat are all still sitting on the bench awaiting their first start of their 3-year-old seasons, yet they've showed up in the Future Pool 2. This proves graded stakes earnings rule over performance and Churchill's reliance on such earnings provides the adverse incentive (at least for fans like me) of keeping three-year-olds away from the races. There needs to be a sliding point scale  system - more points for higher grades and greater emphasis on three-year-old races vs. two-year-old races. If Dullahan, Sabercat or Gemologist were somewhere towards the middle or bottom of a point system, I'm guessing we would have seen them race at least once apiece by now, who knows maybe twice? (A man can dream can't he?)
  • The betting public - meaning us - aren't exactly suiting up for this pool with less than $50,000 in the pool by the time my almost 3-year-old daughter woke up on Saturday morning, 5:15. 

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