When the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby suddenly finished third in a prep race, alarm bells go off and the odds get longer on that horse.
Or that’s what is supposed to happen, when a horse like Union Rags loses the Florida Derby.
But Union Rags clearly is a superior talent and even though he was beaten as a huge 2/5 favorite by Take Charge Indy last weekend, racebook linesmakers didn’t knock Union Rags out of the No. 1 spot.
“He was 4/1 Kentucky Derby odds at most racebooks before the Florida Derby and he was actually shorter odds this week at 7/2,” said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.
“It could be great news for bettors because his odds should be better on Derby Day. Had he won last weekend, he might not have had much value at all.”
It shook the aura of invincibility that has surrounded the Michael Matz-trained 3-year-old. And it shoved some other Derby contenders into prime betting positions on the Derby futures list.
Take Charge Indy won at Gulfstream and is now at 12/1 at the Bovada racebook. A trio of horses behind Union Rags – Hansen, El Padrino and Creative Cause – all sat at 8/1 with a month to go before horse racing’s showcase event at Churchill Downs.
“If bettors expected the racebooks to suddenly hike the odds on Union Rags because of this questionable result, they thought wrong,” said Randall.
“The horse has been dominant and he finished well in Florida – he just got stuck and his jockey probably learned a lesson that will pay off handsomely later this spring.”
The Kentucky Derby futures list contains 50 + horses, some wild longshots at 200/1 odds. But Derby bettors have huge upsets fresh in their minds from Mine That Bird in 2009 (50/1) and Giacomo in 2005 (also 50/1).
Reveron, second in the Florida Derby ahead of Union Rags, is currently 40/1.
Current Kentucky Derby odds:
UNION RAGS 7/2
CREATIVE CAUSE 8/1
EL PADRINO 8/1
TAKE CHARGE INDY 12/1
SECRET CIRCLE 15/1
DADDY NOSE BEST 20/1
MARK VALESKI 20/1
WENT THE DAY WELL 20/1
I'LL HAVE ANOTHER 24/1
EVER SO LUCKY 30/1
MIDNIGHT TRANSFER 40/1
MY ADONIS 40/1