The third pool of action in the 2017 KDFW (Kentucky Derby Futures Wager) closed the window over the weekend, and there are some very drastic changes at the top of the heap. It’s a very telling glimpse in to the minds of handicappers and horse players who are trying to get an inside track on the Triple Crown crop. But there is no clear cut front runner just yet, which has sparked further confusion and intrigue in the derby trail.
Classic Empire has dropped from 8/1 to 11/1 after losing the Holy Bull Stakes just one month ago. His rival, Irish War Cry, saw the most dramatic improvement in the 2017 KDFW odds, going from 12/1 to 7/1 as the second option.
Meanwhile, McCraken held improved from 8/1 to 6/1 after a sterling performance at the Sam F. Davis Stakes a few weeks ago. That win maintained his undefeated streak at 4-0-0 in as many starts. There is a strong argument that McCraken is the horse to beat, despite being pursued closely by Irish War Cry in the 2017 KDFW.
Of course, that all depends on how you rate Mastery, who is due to make his season debut at the 2017 San Felipe in two weeks, and must perform well to maintain the momentum he generated from a strong juvenile campaign. The Bob Baffert trainee is undefeated in three starts with wins at the Los Alamitos Futirity and Bob Hope Stakes under his saddle. He is expected to battle fellow 2017 KDFW top choice Classic Empire at the San Felipe.
There are no other truly notable improvements in the futures market. Interestingly enough, the field held strong after opening at 4/1 and is now 5/1. Petrov, who was considered a sneaky dark horse, has ballooned from 15/1 all the way to 73/1. A win at the recent renewal of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes did nothing to help the case for Royal Mo, who saw his 2017 KDFW odds grow from 15/1 to 36/1 this past weekend. His half-brother Mo Town is also now a longshot after suffering a heavy defeat at the Risen Star.
The full results of the 2017 KDFW are available here at the official site, but they fail to offer the clarity that the best renditions of the third pool did when American Pharoah and Nyquist were both such strong candidates by this time in their respective years.