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A New Name Tops The Kentucky Derby Leaderboard For 2018
Kentucky Derby 2018 Leaderboard
With the number of points available starting to go up and some subsequent movement on the Derby qualifying leaderboard since we last checked in, it's time to take another look at Bovada's future odds for the race and take a closer look at some of the top contenders.
Coming from out of nowhere to now claim the favorite spot on the Bovada future odds at 8-1 is Audible, who made a big statement when he blew away the field in the (G2) Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on February 3 by 5 1/2 lengths. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Audible is following the typical Pletcher path to the Triple Crown in that he prepped for the Holy Bull by winning an allowance-level race before stepping up to the graded-stakes level.
Now a winner of three in a row, he topped a field at Gulfstream that included other Derby contenders such as Grade 1 stakes winner Free Drop Billy and Tiz Mischief. The Holy Bull win gave Audible 10 points and put him in 17th place on the Derby rankings, so he's as of yet not assured of a spot in the Churchill Downs starting gate. Look for him next in the (G1) Florida Derby on March 31.
A New Name Tops the Current Leaderboard
By virtue of grabbing the win in the first 50-point race of the season in the (G3) Risen Star Stakes last Saturday at Fair Grounds, Bravazo vaults to the top of the qualifying lead, and most likely already has enough points to claim a spot in the Derby.
The Risen Star was a legitimate race, as Bravazo pushed a fairly honest pace sitting most of the way in second place before grabbing the lead at the wire to win by a nose, beating much more highly regarded rivals such as Instilled Regard and Noble Indy. He was 21-1 in that race and currently sits at 33-1 in the future bets, so if you like him, now might be the time to grab him. He'll likely make his final Derby prep in the (G1) Louisiana Derby on March 24.
Running second in the Risen Star and now holding 22 points and fourth place on the leaderboard is Snapper Sinclair, who set the pace in the Risen Star and then battled gamely right to the wire to only lose by inches. He was a 42-1 long shot and can be had at Bovada today at 40-1 for the Derby. With the 20-horse qualifying cut off expected to be around 40 points, he needs more points to make the field and will probably get a rematch against Bravazo in the Louisiana Derby.
Although not as big of a long shot as those two, another surprise winner on the weekend was My Boy Jack, who won the (G3) Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park with relative ease by 4 1/2 lengths at odds of 9-1. He was sitting in eighth place by about 5 lengths after 3/4 miles of the 1 1/16 miles race, but he had made up that ground to take over the lead by the top of the stretch and then pulled away from a field that included a previous stakes winner in Mourinho.
The Southwest win was only good for 10 points, so My Boy Jack still has some work to do as well, and could run next in the Rebel Stakes on March 17 or more likely the Arkansas Derby on April 14. He's not currently even listed on the Bovada future odds board but can be bet upon request.
It should be noted here that one horse has already guaranteed himself a spot in the Derby, as Japan bred-and- raced Sumahama topped the three-race qualifying series on his home soil by winning the final qualifier. While he has won the spot, he has not yet been nominated to the Derby and the owners have not given any indication that they intend to do so. If they decline, his spot will go to the #2 Japanese horse, Ruggero who has been nominated and is more likely to make the trip to Churchill on the first Saturday in May.
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