By now, everyone that even peripherally follows horse racing is aware that the Doug O’Neill trained colt Nyquist is the likely morning line favorite in the Kentucky Derby. What isn’t as well known is that the Kentucky Oaks–the race for three year old fillies run the day before the Derby–has an even more dominating favorite. Songbird is undefeated in her career and will race again in the Kentucky Oaks after winning three races to start her three year old career. She’s also been installed as the favorite in the Wynn Las Vegas’ futures betting market for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
The Wynn Las Vegas is among the first sportsbooks in the world to open futures betting for the Kentucky Derby and they’ve also started in the past few years to open early futures for Breeders’ Cup betting. Typically, the Breeders’ Cup Classic goes up first with the Distaff not long after. This year they posted the odds for the BC Classic on January 24 with the Distaff going up on February 21. Songbird opened as a 5/2 favorite in the first Distaff odds and she’s attracted a good deal of betting interest since then–not surprising given the way she’s dominated her three year old campaign. She’s now a 9/5 favorite and would likely be an even more prohibitive favorite were it not for the chance that she’ll take on the boys in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (more about that in a moment).
Also among the top choices for the Breeders Cup Distaff Futures are second choice Rachel’s Valentina at 8/1. Rachel’s Valentina finished second in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies which was won by Songbird. Her first shot at a rematch will likely come in the Kentucky Oaks and bettors would love to see that rivalry continue throughout the summer. Beholder is the third choice at 12/1 but linesmakers and bettors think that the 6 year old mare is more likely to try for the big purse in the Breeders’ Cup Classic instead. Beholder is 12/1 to win the BC Distaff but the 5/1 second choice in the BC Classic behind favorite California Chrome. Beholder hasn’t raced in the Breeders’ Cup since 2013 when she won the Distaff.
Songbird won all four races at age two including the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies and has looked dominant in her three Kentucky Oaks prep races. In her last outing, she won the Santa Anita Oaks. Earlier this year she won the Grade 2 San Ysabel Stakes and started the year off with a victory in the Grade 3 Las Virgenes. Next up for Songbird is the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.