2015 Kentucky Derby Futures Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 2/10/2015
It seems hard to believe as we sit here in the middle of what seems like an endless winter, but the Kentucky Derby is now less than three months away. It seems likely that the horses that will be favored by post time are ones that we are hardly talking about now - or at least that is how it works out most years. Still, it's never too early to look at 2015 Kentucky Derby futures odds for any value that is being offered ( all odds are from Sportsbook.ag):
Dortmund (+1000): Bob Baffert will be a frequent trainer on this list, and this is his first and, at this point, most impressive horse. He just won the Robert B Lewis at Santa Anita, and in doing so he showed just how good and how tough he is. He looked to be beaten by Firing LIne, and he seemed out of gas. He found an extra gear, though, and just plain refused to lose. He's huge, and he has plenty of experience around the country already. He's a beast.
American Pharoah (+1000): Another Baffert horse. This horse was poised to be a big threat in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year, but an injury derailed that late in the game. He has yet to make his three year old debut but is expected to by mid-March. At this point this price is pure speculation. By betting this you are hoping that he can deliver on the flashes of freakishness he showed earlier in his career. I love what we have seen from him, but the risk is way too high to justify the price.
Carpe Diem (+1400): Todd Pletcher has nominated about a million horses to the Triple Crown this year, and this may be the best of them. He was a solid second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year. He has yet to race this year, so we have to guess how well he will grow into himself. Because it is a Pletcher horse we also know we aren't going to see much of him before the Derby. Still, on talent and breeding he is one to watch.
Texas Red (+1400): This son on Afleet Alex was the surprising winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year. He did not win his three year old debut, but it was a short race and he had a rough trip, so that is far from a concern. He comes from a smaller stable, so, unlike the Baffert and Pletcher horses, he will get a whole lot of personal attention as the one shot the trainer has. Definitely one to watch.
Far From Over (+1800): This is the Pletcher horse I like a lot more than Carpe Diem - especially at the price. In the Withers he stumbled out of the gate, was way back early on, and then just exploded to the front and made winning look easy It was a gutsy race for such a young horse and a sign of clear talent. His breeding is also almost ridiculously good.
Upstart (+1800): This horse won the Holy Bull to claim the early lead among the Florida-based horses aimed at the Derby. Now he just has to prove that he hasn't peaked too early and that he can back the performance up through Florida's next two big prep races. He was very solid at two, too, so I don't suspect he is a flash in the pan.
Firing Line (+2000): When this horse passed Dortmund in the Lewis it seemed like he had the race won. Jockey Gary Stevens says he moved too early, and that the horse relaxed once it took the lead. I only somewhat believe that explanation/excuse. However, given that he was still more than 20 lengths clear of the field in second place, his talent is clearly immense. I want to see what he does next time out, but if he was a stock I'd be buying some.
Imperia (+2000): This horse is tough to judge. He's trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and has been trained at such a slow pace in works recently that t is hard to know what to expect. He showed a lot as a two year old but still had a long way to go. He is likely to face Texas Red in his three year old debut, so we will quickly get a sense of whether this is a true contender.
Ocean Knight (+2000): This son of Curlin won the Sam F. Davis to make some noise on the Florida scene, and we'll see him next in the Tampa Bay Derby. He hasn't raced much, but he has been versatile and very tough, and he is very even-tempered. I am a huge fan of his father, so I'll be watching this one.
Lord Nelson (+3300): The third Baffert horse on this list provides a shot of value at this price. He gets knocked for being more of a one-turn horse - and that is why the price is this high. He has raced around two turns twice, though, and I am fine with both losses - the first was only his second outing, and he wasn't ready yet, and he had a horrible start in the second. If he gets it together - and he'll have another shot around two turns next time out -- he could be dangerous.
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