June 24, 2024

Sierra Leone rises to individual favoritism in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4

Sierra Leone passes Track Phantom in deep stretch to win the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds (Photo by Hodges Photography / Credit to Lou Hodges, Jr.)

An eye-catching rally carried Sierra Leone to victory in Saturday’s Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds and to individual favoritism in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4.

The pool opened on Friday and closed on Sunday, one day after Sierra Leone kicked off his three-year-old campaign with victory over a strong field in the Risen Star. That convincing performance stamped Sierra Leone as a 6-1 chance to win the May 4 Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs. The 5-1 overall favorite remained the mutuel field of “All Other Three-Year-Olds.” The latter option, in one variation or another, closed as the favorite in the first three pools.

Sierra Leone’s ascent came at the expense of Fierceness, the shortest-priced individual horse in Pools 2 and 3. Last year’s champion two-year-old male suffered a season-opening third-place finish in the Holy Bull (G3), leaving him as the 16-1 sixth choice in Pool 4.

Dornoch, conqueror of Sierra Leone in the Remsen (G2) late last year, settled as the 9-1 third choice over Champagne (G1) winner Timberlake (15-1) and Breeders’ Futurity (G1) hero Locked (16-1). Those three have yet to run in 2024, with Locked missing a scheduled start in last week’s Sam F. Davis (G3) because of a temperature.

Track Phantom, runner-up behind Sierra Leone in the Risen Star, closed at 20-1. Japan’s Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun winner Forever Young, who runs in next week’s Saudi Derby (G3) in Saudi Arabia, and Mystik Dan both settled at 21-1. Next came Knightsbridge (23-1), Just a Touch (27-1), Conquest Warrior (29-1), Catching Freedom (31-1), Tuscan Sky (31-1), Hades (32-1), Hall of Fame (33-1), Honor Marie (36-1), Agate Road (37-1), Speak Easy (41-1), Liberal Arts (57-1), Imperial Gun (57-1), Nash (69-1), Uncle Heavy (72-1), Born Noble (79-1), Just Steel (79-1), Domestic Product (80-1), Resilience (83-1), Tuscan Gold (92-1), and Deterministic (93-1).

No More Time, Epic Ride, Capital Idea, Dimatic, El Grande O, Amante Bianco, Lat Long, Lucky Jeremy, Real Men Violin, Stronghold, and West Saratoga rounded out the betting interests, all closing at over 99-1.

Two more Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools remain on the agenda. Pool 5, which runs alongside the lone 2024 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager Pool, opens March 15 and closes March 17. Pool 6 spans April 4 through April 6.