Latest Derby Future Book Updates

2023 is on the horizon, and winter will soon give way to spring amid the frenzied build-up to the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. In the latest of our Derby overviews, we note that the one-two in the 2022 Derby had met in a stakes at the Fair Grounds in late December, and examine the credentials of this year’s principals in that race. Here our Derby Future Book Odds & Preview.

Derby dreams in the dead of winter

With ten races behind us on the ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’ it might be tempting to consider this early stage in the build-up a phoney war, a slightly irrelevant skirmish before the major preps kick in next spring, but that would be a mistake.

Twelve months ago the ungraded Gun Runner at the Fair Grounds was won by subsequent Derby runner-up Epicenter, with future shock Derby winner Rich Strike a well-beaten fifth, so it’s unwise to underestimate the strength of these early preps.

On Monday, Jace’s Road was an impressive wire-to-wire winner of the Gun Runner, hauling off to win by five and a half lengths from the longshot Raise Cain. Neither made much impact in the future book, possibly because Jace’s Road is already zero-for-two at Graded level and his trainer Brad Cox has any number of potential Derby horses, including the better-fancied Loggins and Instant Coffee, not to mention Monday’s sprint stakes winner Corona Bolt, who edged forward in the future book after his all-the-way, wide-margin score at the Fair Grounds.

Another winner worth watching from that Fair Grounds card is Banishing, a Godolphin homebred who also led all the way to win a mile-sixteenth maiden by eight and a half lengths; giving trainer Brendan Walsh legitimate belief that he may be a Derby contender.

The prospects of Giant Mischief – yet another Cox horse – and Echo Again took a knock when they ran second and third in the ungraded Springboard Mile at Remington Park behind upset winner Wildatlanticstorm. It was Giant Mischief’s stakes debut so all is not lost, but better was expected and he needs to rebound.

Biggest moves in Derby Future Book until now

Predictably, the biggest mover in the future book was a Bob Baffert horse who – as everyone knows by now – isn’t even eligible for the Derby until he switches trainer. Faustin made a successful debut over six furlongs at Santa Anita, doing his best work late to get there by two and three-quarter lengths, and his pedigree is glossy enough to provoke Derby dreams.

He’s currently Baffert’s third-string on the future book, taking the place of Arabian Lion, who ran an absolute stinker when last of five in the mile-sixteenth G2 Los Alamitos Futurity before Christmas. That race went to Practical Move, who won with ease by three and a quarter lengths and deserves his prominent position in the Derby betting market. There’s more to come from this colt.

With no other major moves at the head of the list, the eye is drawn further down to the likes of Point Proven and Litigate, both maiden winners trained by Todd Pletcher. Who also has charge of G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and RTKD points leader Forte. Point Proven looked the more promising of the two when getting it done by five lengths at Churchill Downs in November and will be an interesting candidate when moved up in class.

The next RTKD points prep is the ungraded Smarty Jones over a mile at Oaklawn Park on Sunday, although the recent dreadful weather will impact on the likely field.

2023 Kentucky Derby Future Book Odds

Cave Rock+1200
Arabian Knight+1500
Echo Again+2500
Giant Mischief+3500
Practical Move+3500
Arabian Lion+4000
National Treasure+4750
Cyclone Mischief+5000
Extra Anejo+5000
Hoosier Philly+5000

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