Horse Racing

Baffert’s Hoppertunity Worth Derby Look

With California Chrome now bet down to 7/4 on the latest Kentucky Derby odds released by Sportsbook it might be time to start looking for value, and that could be with the Bob Baffert trained Hoppertunity.

The colt is currently listed at 14/1 in Kentucky Derby betting at Sportsbook, good for fifth choice on those odds. The other three at lower odds are Danza and Wicked Strong at 8/1 and Vicar’s in Trouble at 10/1.

The Hall of Fame trainer Baffert is no stranger to the Sportsbook’s circle at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday of May. He won the Run for the Roses with Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998 and War Emblem in 2002. Baffert also lost by the slimmest of noses in 1996 with Cavonnier.

The colt is up against the juvenile jinx, as every Derby Sportsbook since Apollo in 1882 raced as a two-year-old. The colt made his debut on Jan. 4.

After breaking his maiden in his second career outing he checked in fourth in the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds in his stakes debut. The colt then shipped to Oaklawn Park where he won the Rebel Stakes (G2) which earned him enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby field.

Instead of shipping back to Oaklawn Park for the Arkansas Derby (G1), Baffert elected to keep him in Southern California where he would make his final prep in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The colt stalked the early pace, had to wait briefly for some running room nearing the quarterpole and was no match for California Chrome in the stretch, the difference 5¼ lengths.

That effort should set him up for a top effort on Derby Day. Sure, he has to make up over five lengths, but being able to lock in betting odds of 14/1 over the short odds of 7/4 for the betting favorite is certainly worth a look.

Pedigree wise the colt has enough stamina to get 1¼ miles. The colt is by Any Given Saturday, who was on the Derby Trail in 2007, winning the Sam F. Davis (G3). The mare is Refugee, a graded stakes placed runner. Among her other foals is Executiveprivilege, a multiple Grade 1 Sportsbook.

For complete betting odds for the 2014 Kentucky Derby click here.