Futures Odds in Vegas Give Forte Top Favorite: With the 2023 Kentucky Derby less than two months away, horseracing oddsmakers in Las Vegas have settled on Forte to be their top favorite in the prestigious race that is the first of the three jewels of the United States’ Triple Crown. Before the amazing run at the Fountain of Youth Stakes where he won his fourth consecutive race and fifth in six starts overall, Forte is given a 7-1 odds of winning the Derby by two of the most famous booking institutions for Derby futures. But days after winning the Grade 2 event, the son of Violence and Queen Caroline was given a 4-1 odds of winning by one booker and 7-2 at the other. The three-year-old colt was given this heavy odds to win the race as he has won his last four starts that were all graded-stakes races.
Transfer of Bob Baffert-trained Horses to Other Stables
Another factor that visibly increased Forte’s status as the top Kentucky Derby prospect is the news of Derby-bound horses trained by Bob Baffert were mostly transferred to former assistant Tim Yakteen to make them eligible for the prestigious race that is scheduled on May 6. Baffert remains suspended by Churchill Downs, so horses under his watch are not allowed to take part in the Derby. Experts noted that the development did not figure as a monumental move that could affect the race. Among the horses affected by the transfer was Hejazi, who ended fourth at the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes Race in Santa Anita on Saturday. The so-so performance dropped him to be between 65-1 and 75-1 from a previous range of between 30-1 and 35-1. The next race is the Tampa Bay Derby on March 11 and this could again change the betting landscape as it offers a whopping 50 points for the winner and points of 20, 15, 10 and 5 will go to horses that placed second to fifth place.
Futures Odds in Vegas Give Forte Top Favorite: Arabian Knight, 3 Others Knocking on Oddsmakers’ Doors
Other than Forte, four other horses are in striking distance and have the possible chance of outseating Forte as the top favorite in the Kentucky Derby. These are Arabian Knight, Instant Coffee, Tapit Trice and Practical Move. Southwest G3 winner Arabian Knight is tabbed at a range of 5-1 to 9-1 by various sports punters in terms of odds while Tapit Trice is pegged between 12-1 and 15-1. Lecomte topnotcher Instant Coffee is a constant 15-1 while Practical Move, the San Felipe G2 winner, is given a cautious 15-1 to 18-1 odds. Other horses that figured in the list were Red Route One, Geaux Rocket Ride, Reincarnate, Verifying, Confidence Game and National Treasure. Speaking of Tampa Bay Derby, Tapit Trice is among the list of probable entries for the race and is the highest-rated horse in the field. He could become as the top favorite days before the race, depending on the final list of horses entered in the event.