June 6, 2023

Essential Quality closes as 4-1 favorite in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5

Essential Quality
Essential Quality wins the Southwest Stakes (Coady Photography)

The fifth and final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager closed 6 p.m. (ET) Sunday with undefeated champion Essential Quality closing as the overall 4-1 favorite. But hot on his heels were the “All Others” option and fellow unbeaten Concert Tour, both finishing at 5-1.

Three key developments influenced the betting: the sidelining of longtime early favorite Life Is Good, the rise of Concert Tour, and the outcome of Saturday’s Florida Derby (G1).

Through the first four pools, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Essential Quality consistently ranked second to Life Is Good among the individual interests. The Godolphin homebred held steady at 8-1 in Pools 1, 2, and 3, then shortened to 5-1 in Pool 4, the weekend after his successful comeback in the Feb. 27 Southwest (G3). With Life Is Good off the trail, Essential Quality has taken over market leadership. Even so, the Brad Cox trainee still inched upward from his 3-1 morning line in Pool 5.

Bettors also latched onto Concert Tour, an unbeaten stablemate of Life Is Good, and now Bob Baffert’s top hope for a record-setting seventh Kentucky Derby (G1) trophy. Not listed as an individual interest in Pool 1, almost two months prior to his debut, Concert Tour was 16-1 in Pool 2 and 17-1 in Pools 3 and 4. But his terrific victory in the March 13 Rebel (G2) boosted his stock. Concert Tour was installed at 9-2 on the Pool 5 morning line and closed at 5-1, with $30,572 in the Win pool (slightly less than the $30,781 bet on “All Others”).

A resurgence of interest in “All Others” caused a plunge from a 20-1 morning line, largely thanks to the Florida Derby romp by Known Agenda with Soup and Sandwich second – both up-and-comers who have not been available in any of the KDFW pools. The same theoretically applies, albeit with lesser force, to the winners of the other two major Saturday preps, Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) scorer Like the King and UAE Derby (G2) hero Rebel’s Romance. “All Others” had closed at 6-5 in Pool 1 and 9-5 in Pool 2 before climbing to 3-1 in Pool 3 and up to 7-1 in Pool 4.

Greatest Honour, a well-beaten third as the Florida Derby favorite, saw his Pool 5 odds drift from a 4-1 morning line to 9-1. That was also up from his closing price in Pool 4 (6-1). The Shug McGaughey pupil was the only other interest in single-digits.

Doug O’Neill’s Hot Rod Charlie had advertised himself by capturing the March 20 Louisiana Derby (G2), but his 6-1 morning line proved too optimistic, and he closed at 12-1. That was still considerably more support than he’d hitherto received, as a 34-1 shot in Pool 1, 40-1 in Pool 2, 35-1 in Pool 3, and 53-1 in Pool 4.

Baffert’s Medina Spirit was bet down from a 20-1 morning line to 13-1. His expected Santa Anita Derby (G1) rival Rock Your World, 2-for-2 on turf for John Sadler, was an eye-catching market mover who opened at 50-1 and ended up a 31-1 chance.

Pool 5 handled a total of $369,695 ($242,140 in the Win pool and $127,555 in exactas). For complete details including will-pays and exacta probables, visit the Kentucky Derby Future Wager page at kentuckyderby.com.

Program Horse Name ODDS
1 Big Lake SCR
2 Caddo River 33-1
3 Collaborate 36-1
4 Concert Tour 5-1
5 Crowded Trade 38-1
6 Dream Shake 45-1
7 Essential Quality 4-1
8 Greatest Honour 9-1
9 Helium 28-1
10 Hidden Stash 53-1
11 Highly Motivated 25-1
12 Hot Rod Charlie 12-1
13 Hozier 44-1
14 Mandaloun 36-1
15 Medina Spirit 13-1
16 Midnight Bourbon 27-1
17 O Besos 50-1
18 Prevalence 21-1
19 Proxy 51-1
20 Risk Taking 30-1
21 Rock Your World 31-1
22 Spielberg 46-1
23 Weyburn 35-1
24 All Other Three Year Olds 5-1