Godolphin's 2-year-old champion male and winner of the Southwest Stakes (G3) Essential Quality was made the 7-2 morning-line favorite in the field of 24 betting choices for Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which will open March 5.
Pool 4 of the KDFW runs concurrently with the lone pool of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. In addition to Win and Exacta betting, an Oaks/Derby Future Double is part of the wagering menu. The wagers will open Friday at noon (all times Eastern) and the KDFW will close Sunday at 6 p.m., while the KOFW will close 30 minutes later at 6:30 p.m. Betting on the KDFW and KOFW is available at simulcast centers around the country and ADW's such as www.TwinSpires.com.
Undefeated champion Essential Quality returned Feb. 27 in the Southwest and splashed home to a 4 1/4-length win over Oaklawn Park's sloppy surface. Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality is likely to have one additional prep race prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). The Tapit colt is a perfect 4-for-4 with prior victories in the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) and TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1).
Among the other horses likely to generate wagering interest is WinStar Farm and China Horse Club's Sham Stakes (G3) winner Life Is Good. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Life Is Good is scheduled to run Saturday in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park. In the first three pools of the KDFW, Life Is Good closed as the individual betting favorite at odds of 5-1, 7-1 and 7-1, respectively. He was made the 4-1 second choice on veteran oddsmaker Mike Battaglia's morning line in Pool 4.
Life Is Good is one of five horses in Pool 4 trained by Baffert. The others are Gary and Mary West's undefeated Concert Tour; SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm, and Robert Masterson's San Vicente (G2) runner-up Freedom Fighter; Southwest runner-up Spielberg; and Zedan Racing Stables' Robert B. Lewis (G3) winner and likely fellow San Felipe competitor Medina Spirit.
Another horse of interest in Pool 4 of the KDFW is Courtlandt Farms' Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) victor Greatest Honour. Conditioned by Derby-winning trainer Shug McGaughey, Greatest Honour closed from nearly eight lengths off the early speed in the Fountain of Youth for a 1 1/2-length score. He is likely to take the same path to the first Saturday in May as McGaughey's 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb , who ran in the Curlin Florida Derby Presented by Hill 'n' Dale Farms at Xalapa (G1) as his final prep.
Compared with Pool 3, there are five new wagering interests: Three Chimneys Farm and e Five Racing Thoroughbreds' recent 12 1/2-length maiden winner Collaborate; Joseph P. Morey Revocable Trust's John Battaglia Memorial winner Hush of a Storm; Godolphin's Risen Star runner-up Proxy; John and Diane Fradkin's El Camino Real Derby hero Rombauer; and Spielberg, who was in Pool 2 where he closed at 47-1.
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4
|2.||Candy Man Rocket||30-1|
|10.||Hot Rod Charlie||30-1|
|11.||Hush of a Storm||50-1|
|13.||Life Is Good||4-1|
|23.||The Great One||50-1|
|24.||All Other 3-year-Olds||10-1|
In the Oaks Future Wager, Stonestreet Stables' Rachel Alexandra Stakes Presented by Fasig-Tipton G2) winner Clairiere was tabbed as the 5-1 morning-line favorite in the field of 24 betting interests. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Clairiere was able to get by a determined Travel Column in the Rachel Alexandra. The two-time winner has only one defeat on her résumé when Travel Column bested her in the Golden Rod (G2) as a 2-year-old.
OXO Equine's Travel Column was made the 6-1 co-second choice on the morning line in the KOFW along with Shadwell Stable's undefeated filly Malathaat. Travel Column, trained by Cox, was the even-money favorite in the Rachel Alexandra for her 3-year-old debut. Malathaat, under the care of trainer Todd Pletcher, won the Demoiselle (G2) as a 2-year-old at Aqueduct Racetrack. She is currently preparing for her seasonal bow in South Florida.
Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool 1
|1.||Bow Bow Girl||50-1|
|12.||Pass the Champagne||50-1|
|24.||All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies||8-1|