Kentucky Derby Futures: Classic Empire Drifting Upward



The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Classic Empire was a disappointing third in his three-year-old debut last Saturday at Gulfstream Park in the Holy Bull (G2), and the once solid early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1) has seen his price drift upward.

Down as low as 5-2 at some racebooks, he can now be had at Bovada at 7-1.

The colt won four of his five starts in 2016 and was named the Eclipse Award winner for outstanding juvenile, but did not fire his best in the Holy Bull.

The colt was hot in the post parade, balked going into the gate and ended up beaten 8 ¾ lengths for the top spot.

The colt still leads in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings with 32.

The winner of the Holy Bull was Irish War Cry, who took the field gate to wire and paid $10.80 to win. The colt is trained by Graham Motion, who won the 2011 Run for the Roses with Animal Kingdom.

Irish War Cry is now undefeated in three career starts, his first two wins coming at Laurel Park. He is currently the third choice in early Kentucky Derby betting at Bovada at odds of 9-1.

The Bob Baffert trained Mastery is the second choice in early Derby wagering at Bovada at 8-1. The colt is perfect in his three career starts, taking the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) in his last outing on Dec. 10.

We will see McCracken in action on Saturday as one of the betting favorites in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. The colt is the current fourth choice in early Derby betting at 10-1. He is undefeated in three starts, taking the Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26 in his last outing.

El Areeb, winner of last Saturday’s Withers (G3) is now at 12-1 and Royal Mo, who won the Robert B. Lewis (G3) last Saturday at Santa Anita is down to 16-1 in early Derby wagering.

Kentucky Derby futures

Odds as of February 8 at Bovada

  • Classic Empire +700
  • Mastery +800
  • Irish War Cry +900
  • McCraken +1000
  • Unique Bella +1200
  • El Areeb +1200
  • Royal Mo +1600
  • Gormley +1600
  • Mo Town +1600
  • American Anthem +2000
  • Ann Arbor Eddie +2000
  • Battalion Runner +2000
  • Saints Fan +2000
  • Uncontested +2000
  • Gunnevera +2000
  • Guest Suite +2200
  • Fact Finding +2500
  • Hemsworth +2500
  • Practical Joke +2500
  • Beach Bum +2800
  • Faja +3300
  • Good Samaritan +3300



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