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Horse Racing: Who NOT to Futures Bet for the 2019 Kentucky Derby

Before you pick your Futures horse, Mick McMudder clears the field

Mick McMudder

Mick McMudder

McMudder’s Derby Thoughts and Prognostications . . . The First HAGNoC of 2019

Derby Fever seems to always start between the Breeder’s Cup and New Year’s Day. Not even the Pegasus and the Dubai World Cup take people away from dreaming about the first Saturday in May. To further feed the fever, Mick will be spending some time throwing out every horse that he thinks DOESN’T have a chance. Lots of people have top 10 lists and Derby Dozen lists. Mick is happy to introduce his HE AIN’T GOT NO CHANCE (HAGNoC) list -- the list that will never feature the Baffert trainees before they even bother to start!

GAME WINNER
(c, Candy Ride {Arg}—Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy)
Trainer:
Bob Baffert
Since the start of the Breeders’ Cup, Juvenile winners are a collective 2-for-34 in the Derby (Nyquist and Street Sense). This one may be the best prospect in the Baffert barn or may be the tenth best. What we do know is that he is “made” as a stallion with his BC victory so any setback is likely to result in retirement rather than perseverance. Chances he is not even running come May are similar to his chances of being in the race.

SIGNALMAN
(c, General Quarters–Trip South, by Trippi)
Trainer:
Kenneth G McPeek
McPeek has been very upfront about picking this one at a sale based on conformation without considering pedigree. And he bought him for himself. That’s why he looks like a precocious sprinter. He is lovely -- and will never get 10 furlongs. Want a future book bet on this one? Look for the future book for the King’s Bishop at Saratoga.

IMPROBABLE
(c, City Zip—Rare Event, by A.P. Indy)
Trainer:
Bob Baffert
Not even Baffert is committed to this one going forward at a route. He is small, his sire is a speed influence and he won the Los Al Futurity (Baffert’s annual winner, five straight). None of them have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby and the only two to run, Dortmund (Big Brown) and Mor Spirit (Eskendereya) both had the pedigrees and scope to justify the try.

CODE OF HONOR
(c, Noble Mission {GB}–Reunited, by Dixie Union)
Trainer:
Shug McGaughey
See the pedigree? Long turf on top and speed on the bottom. Dad is Frankel’s lesser little brother and Mom won a Grade 3 at 6F on dirt. Who’s pedigree does this remind me of . . . Barbaro? Not quite. Code of Honor has a very low dosage and has not established a running style yet. The Derby is not the right spot but the Belmont may be. Otherwise, look for all of the great turf races all Summer long.

COLISEUM
(c, Tapit–Game Face, by Menifee)
Trainer:
Bob Baffert
Tapit! Baffert! Godolphin! That’s a lot of fire power. And he showed that he is a little hot-blooded in his maiden breaker (Tapit!) and has been described as difficult (Baffert!). Look for this one to set the pace at Churchill and . . . fade. The question is whether Baffert can get enough professionalism instilled before May. Otherwise, this one looks more like the second coming of Frosted, the talented horse that took a while.

INSTAGRAND
(c, Into Mischief—Assets of War, by Lawyer Ron)
Trainer:
Jerry Hollendorfer.
Wow, a California based horse not trained by Baffert. This one cost a ton as a 2-year-old, blew away fields , and was rested in lieu of the Breeder’s Cup? Say what? Mick’s not buying it. There was an issue, even a minor one, that was never shared or he has already run his best two career races. Either way, not a factor in May. If he is, Friday at the BC will change forever.

VEKOMA
(c, Candy Ride {Arg}—Mona de Momma, by Speightstown)
Trainer:
George Weaver
Vekoma is a May 22 foal. That means he won’t be “really 3” until after the Preakness. Does this matter? Maybe. What it does mean is that there is less room for error since any setbacks push the calendar and the days will pass quickly. This one isn’t Thunder Gulch and will more likely be a contender when 3-year-olds take over at Monmouth and Saratoga.

KNICKS GO
(c, Paynter—Kosmo’s Buddy, by Outflanker)
Trainer:
Ben Colebrook
This is a wonderful feel good story. Maryland bred, first winner for sire, Colebrook’s career year, Angie Moore’s homebred. All good. What’s not good? Nothing on the dam side for this guy says 10 furlongs. NOTHING. He’s as game as they come but the breaks have fallen his way to date. That will not last forever.

MAXIMUS MISCHIEF
(c, Into Mischief—Reina Maria, by Songandaprayer)
Trainer:
Robert E Reid, Jr.
He’s huge. He’s athletic. He’s the big horse for a Parx guy that has been around forever. Gotta love all that. But that pedigree! He has an infinite dosage! That means he has NO stamina influences close up. None. Into Mischief was a 7f specialist, Mom was not much of a runner and her sire has proven most adept at turf and sprinting. And then there is that action -- a little high for Mick’s taste. As good as he has shown he can be on dirt, he may be even better on turf (or all weather). How about fun elsewhere in May? The Curragh on the 25th has a nice race.

So who is still on Mick’s Future Pool chart?

Avie’s Flatter, Cairo Cat, Long Range Toddy, Mucho Gusto, War of Will, Complexity, Gunmetal Gray, Network Effect, Plus Que Parfait and of course, the logical winner -- some unstarted colt standing around Baffert’s barn at this very moment.

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