It looks like support for the Kiaran McLaughlin trained Mohaymen as Kentucky Derby favorite is growing substantially. At least that’s what we’re left to conclude after the end of the second Kentucky Derby futures wagering pool has been completed at Churchill Downs. Mohaymen is a slight favorite over ‘field’ to win the 2016 Run for the Roses.
First of all, a bit of context is necessary. In addition to futures betting markets at sportsbooks in Nevada and offshore there is an ‘official’ Kentucky Derby futures market run by Churchill Downs. It’s done a little differently, with several ‘betting pools’ of a fixed duration leading up to the race. In other words, if you decide you want to back Mohaymen a week from now you can’t do it in the ‘official’ pool. There are plenty of places where you *can* do it–like the Wynn Las Vegas where Mohaymen is an 8/1 favorite–but you can’t do it in the official pool.
Mohaymen has passed up the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Nyquist (who makes his three year old debut on Monday) and Bob Baffert’s Mor Spirit to be the ‘flavor of the month’ among the horse betting public. Nothing wrong with Mohaymen to be sure–he won the Holy Bull Stakes in his three year old debut and is undefeated in four career starts (three graded). In my opinion, hard to see how he’s distinguished himself from the rest of the horses at the top of the rising three year old class. That notwithstanding, he’s been getting a lot of love from bettors and horse racing journalists.
Keep in mind one thing–this ebb and flow in terms of a horses popularity among the ersatz ‘wise guys’ happens almost every year. The next thing that will happen is that some self proclaimed ‘contrarians’ will start making a case against Mohaymen and suggest that they’ll be looking to bet accordingly in the Triple Crown races. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a contrarian–but for some reason there’s a contingent in horse racing that likes to think they’re smarter than everyone else yet get proven wrong every year. This group was strong against American Pharoah last year, California Chrome the year before last and so forth.