The first pool of the Kentucky Derby Futures Wager closed over the weekend, with Classic Empire leading the charge as the prohibitive 6/1 favorite. Coming off a win at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile has certainly kept this son of Pioneer the Nile at the head of the class. It also helps that his biggest challenge retired two weeks ago, making the 2017 KDFW much harder to sort out.
Not This Time, who was runner-up at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, was expected to be a big player in the 2017 KDFW after showing tremendous closing speed at the world championships. Dale Romans, who noted that the juvenile was perhaps the best he had seen in 30 years added, “it’s a real shame to see him leave the barn before we got to see him fulfill his enormous potential, because there’s no doubt in my mind he was as good of a Kentucky Derby contender as there is out there.”
The second choice on the board actually ended up being Bob Hope Stakes winner Mastery, who will run in the Los Alamitos Futurity on December 10th. The Bob Baffert trainee will hope to continue his buildup on the road to the Kentucky Derby and keep his stock high. Mastery received $11,617 in action as the second most interesting contender on the board.
A pair of 12/1 third choices combined for just over $19,951 after big performances this past Saturday. The first was McCraken, who won the Street Sense and the Kentucky Jockey Club Gold. The second is Mo Town, a two-year-old son of Uncle Mo who delivered a win in the Remsen over the weekend as well. The half-brother of Nyquist will certainly have a lot of eyes on him given how well Uncle Mo’s offspring have done in recent outings.
Interestingly enough the largest draw in the first pool of the 2017 KDFW was the field, which had a 6/5 listing attached. Bettors put down a total of $60,335 on a yet-to-be-named contender emerging over the next few months. This might be a smart play given that there’s no clear cut front runner out there.
The full 2017 KDFW board for Pool 1 can be seen by clicking this link.