While much of the country has frigid weather and is shoveling snow, spring is on the horizon and the Kentucky Derby is now just over three months away.
Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager kicks off on Friday and ends on Sunday. There are 23 separate betting interests along with “All Others” which is the 7-5 morning line favorite.
Horseplayers can bet win futures and exactas with the pools closing Sunday at 6:00 ET.
There are several top three-year-olds missing off the list. Any horses in the Bob Baffert barn are not eligible to earn points or run in the Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs has banned Baffert from the next two runnings of the Kentucky Derby due to the drug positive of Medina Spirit in last year’s Derby.
All of Baffert’s runners fall under the ’All’ Others” category and can only earn points or run in the Kentucky Derby if the owners decide to move the horses to another barn.
Among Baffert’s top three-year-olds is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Corniche, who won all three of his races as a two-year-old last year. He took the Juvenile field gate to wire and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91.
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The runner up in the Juvenile was Pappacap, the 8-5 morning line favorite for the $200,000 Lecomte (G3) on Saturday at Fair Grounds. The Lecomte offers 10-4-2-1 Road to the Kentucky Derby points races.
The colt is trained by Mark Casse, who has saddled two of the last three Lecomte winners—Enforceable in 2020 and War of Will in 2019.
“I think the track there suits him,” Casse said. “He’s a horse that wants to settle a little bit and not have to hustle a whole lot. He gets over the ground really well there.”
Pappacap is listed at 20-1 in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. The colt has earned 12 points and is the early leader in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings.
A field of nine will line up in the Lecomte. The second choice on the morning line at 9-5 is the Steve Asmussen trained Epicenter. The colt was an impressive winner of the Gun Runner at Fair Grounds on Dec. 26, drawing away to win by 6 ½ lengths.
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The colt is 15-1 on the morning line for the KDFW.
“He’s exciting,” Asmussen said. “The (one-turn) mile from the outside draw when he broke his maiden (at Churchill Downs), the racetrack played for how he ran that day. The Gun Runner and two turns, restrained a little bit early, the way he ran through the wire and galloped out was everything we were hoping for.”
The third Lecomte entrant that is a separate betting interest in Pool 2 of the KDFW is Trafalgar. The Al Stall trainee beat first level optional claimers over the Fair Grounds main track in his last start on Dec. 2. He is 5-1 on the morning line for the Lecomte and 50-1 in the KDFW.
There are six stakes on the Saturday card at Fair Grounds. The co-feature is the $150,000 Silverbulletday which is a Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race.
Among the stakes coming up this month is the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29.
(with trainer and morning line odds):
#1 Chasing Time (Steve Asmussen, 20-1)
#2 Classic Causeway (Brian Lynch, 30-1)
#3 Commandperformance (Todd Pletcher, 50-1)
#4 Courvoisier (Kelly Breen, 30-1)
#5 Dash Attack (McPeek, 20-1)
#6 Emmanuel (Pletcher, 50-1)
#7 Epicenter (Asmussen, 15-1)
#8 Giant Game (Dale Romans, 30-1)
#9 High Oak (Bill Mott, 50-1)
#10 Jack Christopher (Chad Brown, 10-1)
#11 Major General (Pletcher, 50-1)
#12 Make It Big (Saffie Joseph Jr., 50-1)
#13 Mo Donegal (Pletcher, 12-1)
#14 Pappacap (Mark Casse, 20-1)
#15 Rattle N Roll (McPeek, 30-1)
#16 Simplification (Antonio Sano, 30-1)
#17 Slow Down Andy (Doug O’Neill, 15-1)
#18 Smile Happy (McPeek, 8-1)
#19 Tiz the Bomb (McPeek, 20-1)
#20 Trafalgar (Al Stall Jr., 50-1)
#21 Varatti (Pletcher, 50-1)
#22 White Abarrio (Joseph, 50-1)
#23 Zandon (Brown, 12-1)
#24 “All Other 3-Year-Olds” (7-5)
Pool 2 of the KDFW opens Friday and closes on Sunday.