The Southeast and Southwest will be the scenes for two major preps of the road to the Kentucky Derby this weekend. You can do all of your online betting on the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Southwest in the BetUS racebook.
Derby points are on the line with 50 to the winner of the Fountain of Youth and 10 to the victory in the Southwest.
Fountain of Youth, Gulfstream Park
1. Drain the Clock (5-1 morning-line odds)
Jockey: Edgard Zayas
Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.
Comment: The inside won’t be a benefit but Drain the Clock has everything else going for him. He is 4-for-4 in races he finished with his lone defeat coming when he lost the jockey in a start. DTC was ultra-impressive in winning the Swale Stakes and is positioned as a major player here. He stretches out beyond seven furlongs and that is always the test to see if a horse can go a distance or is a sprinter.
2. Prime Factor (5-1)
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Comment: No match for Greatest Honour in the Holy Bull. He could improve and Irad in the saddle is always a benefit. There would have to be tremendous growth from the last start.
3. Sososubtle (20-1)
Jockey: Paco Lopez
Trainer: Armando De La Cerda
Comment: The test for class is the big question here for Sososubtle. He was meek on the grass and switched to the dirt with a roaring maiden victory. However, this is a far deeper field than against maidens and Sososubtle would have to launch a more-than subtle improvement to be a factor.
4. Fire At Will (7-2)
Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche
Trainer: Mike Maker
Comment: Taking their shot with Fire At Will to see if he is able to handle top company on the dirt. It would be no surprise if he is overmatched here and goes on to be a top stakes quality horse on the turf.
5. Jirafales (20-1)
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
Comment: Way, way, way up the track in the Holy Bull and will be way, way, way up the track here.
6. King’s Ovation (15-1)
Jockey: Corey Lanerie
Trainer: Dale Romans
Comment: Was far behind Drain the Clock in the Swale when sent off at 36-1. That certainly doesn’t bode well here as he switches from a sprint to a tough distance contest.
7. Tarantino (8-1)
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
Trainer: Rodolphe Brisset
Comment: The movies by the horse’s namesake are likely to be remembered far longer than anything this one does on the racetrack. Probably will be shorter odds because hunch players, in this case, known as fools.
8. Greatest Honour (9-5)
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Picks: The trainer should get his third FOY win here. Greatest Honour looked sensational in winning the Holy Bull and figures to get better as the races get longer. All you have to do is watch the Holy Bull see this is a horse with tremendous potential when it comes to the Run for the Roses. He will be sorter than 9-5 and should be the winner.
9. Tiz Tact Toe (30-1)
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
Trainer: Robert B. Hess Jr.
Comment: Has not placed in three-lifetime starts. Moves from the turf to the dirt. Would have to be the mother of all form reversals due to the surface shift.
10. Papetu (15-1)
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
Trainer: Antonio Sano
Comment: Was no match for Greatest Honor and has not shown the ability to compete with horses at this level. Wait for a far softer test.
Southwest Stakes, Oaklawn Park
The Southwest Stakes will be run at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas and has drawn a field of seven horses with the star of the show Essential Quality.
The Southwest was scheduled to be run on Feb. 15. However, the brutal winter conditions shut down Oaklawn, and the 1 1/16 miles race was delayed and rescheduled into this slot.
Essential Quality went undefeated in three starts last season. He capped it with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Trainer Bob Baffert looks for his 16th Kentucky Derby prep victory at Oaklawn alone with Spielberg. The 3-year-old has not shown the ability to compete with the elite sophomores as of yet. A lot of hype but nowhere near the delivery.
The horse to keep an eye on in the Rebel is Jackie’s Warrior, who came into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile highly regarded and was no match for Essential Quality. One factor in the favor of Jackie’s Warrior should be the small field. Jackie’s Warrior succumbed to a hot pace in the Juvenile and wound up fourth, beaten better than three lengths.
Kentucky Derby Futures at BetUS
|ROT||TO WIN THE KENTUCKY DERBY 2021||MONEYLINE|
|6||Hot Rod Charlie||+1400|
|11||Sittin On Go||+6000|
|21||Life Is Good||+600|
|56||Candy Man Rocket||+2500|
|57||Fire at Will||+2500|