Trio of Preps Can Change Kentucky Derby Landscape

While betting favorites Nyquist and Mohaymen have finished their prep races for the Run for the Roses, three key prep races on Saturday could produce a couple of new contenders.

There are three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on tap, with 100-40-20-10 points up for grabs toward entry into this year’s Kentucky Derby field. All three will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network during a two-hour telecast that gets underway at 5:00 ET.

In New York, a field of eight will line up in the $1 million Wood Memorial (G1). Gotham Stakes (G3) winner Shagaf may end up going off as the betting favorite. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is currently listed at betting odds of 16-1 for the Kentucky Derby.

His main foes will be the speedy Matt King Coal and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) runner up Outwork.

Last year’s Wood winner was Frosted, who ran fourth in the Kentucky Derby and second in the Belmont Stakes (G1).

The $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) is the marquee event of the spring meeting at Keeneland and the race this year drew a full field of 14.

Pletcher will send out the likely favorite Zulu, who ran second in the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park in his last outing behind Mohaymen, who was the Kentucky Derby favorite at the time but is now the second choice after a disappointing fourth in the Florida Derby (G1).

Zulu is currently listed at 25-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering.

Brody’s Cause has taken action in early Kentucky Derby betting but saw his price drift up to 35-1 after his dull effort in a seventh place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby. He won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) over the Keeneland main track last fall.

Four exited the Blue Grass last year to run in the Kentucky Derby but they finished 5th, 10th, 11th and 14th.

A field of 10 will line up in the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) led by Mor Spirit, who has spent most of the winter and early spring as the third choice in early Kentucky Derby betting, currently listed as the co-third choice along with Danzing Candy at 12-1.

They will meet up in the Santa Anita Derby and the duo figure to take plenty of the betting. Danzing Candy got the best of Mor Spirit when they finished one-two in the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita last time out.

Last year’s winner Dortmund returned to finish third in the Run for the Roses.

Mother Nature could show her hand on Saturday. There is rain in the forecast at both Aqueduct and Santa Anita.

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