War of Will Kentucky Derby Odds Plummet After Louisiana Stumble, Longshot Takes Prep Race

Posted on: March 25, 2019, 05:56h. 

Last updated on: March 25, 2019, 05:56h.

War of Will and his status as an emerging contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby has been all the talk coming out of the Fair Grounds Race Course these past few weeks.

A late charge down the stretch allowed By My Standards, who went off at 22-1, to take the Louisiana Derby on Saturday over Spinoff. War of Will — the favorite — stumbled early and finished ninth.(Image: Lou Hodges, Jr./Hodges Photography)

Now, though, all that is up in the air after a ninth-place finish in Saturday’s Louisiana Derby. Replays showed the Mark Casse-trained colt taking a bad step on his hind legs just a couple strides into the Fair Grounds stakes race. As a result, the 4-5 favorite never fully recovered.

On Sunday, Casse said his colt looked better.

“I just feel fortunate that he’s okay first and foremost,” Casse told reporters. “We’re fairly certain that he probably caught his patella a little bit right at the start. So, what we’ll do is we’ll do some exercising and probably laser treatment to strengthen the patella muscle. But we feel optimistic that we can still make the Derby.”

Thanks to his earlier wins in the Lecomte and the Risen Star, War of Will earned enough points previously for a spot in the May 4 race. Casse said he’ll ship the colt later this week to Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., to get him right for the Kentucky Derby.

War of Will started off as a 100-1 shot on William Hill’s Derby futures board, but the colt who transitioned from turf racing, saw those odds drop recently to 7-1 after winning his first three races on dirt.

On Monday, his odds shot back up to 20-1 at William Hill.

Longshot Winner Now in the Derby

By My Standards, a 22-1 shot, ended up winning the Louisiana Derby Saturday thanks to a strong stretch performance where he overtook Spinoff. With the win, the Bret Calhoun-trained colt earned 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby, more than enough to guarantee him a spot in the 20-horse field.

Not bad for a horse who wasn’t even listed on recent futures listings. He’ll also be Calhoun’s first entry in the Run for the Roses.

He’s ready,” Calhoun said on Sunday. “We have to maintain what we’ve got. The Derby is a whole different deal. It’s not just the race, it’s everything that goes into going up there. We’ll do a lot of stuff preparing him for that. He’s got a great mind, we’re lucky in that sense that he’ll handle everything.”

On Monday, William Hill listed By My Standards at 20-1.

Spinoff earned 40 points for his second-place result, and that should put him in Kentucky Derby field as well. Last week on William Hill, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt fetched 20-1 futures odds, but on Monday they rose to 30-1.

With six more major prep races between now and April 13, some Louisiana Derby horses still have time to get in one more race and secure enough points for a spot in the Kentucky Derby. Bill Mott, who trains Country House (who jumped from 25-1 to 40-1), said his colt will likely go to Oaklawn Racing for the April 13 Arkansas Derby.

Favorite Also Falls at Sunland

Pletcher got another horse into the Run for the Roses this weekend as Cutting Humor won Sunday’s Sunland Derby in record time at the New Mexico track.

In the win, he held off a late charge from Anothertwistafate to earn 50 qualifying points. Race favorite Mucho Gusto finished third.

Like By My Standards, Cutting Humor was not on the William Hill futures list last week. His odds now stand at 40-1. Mucho Gusto went from 12-1 to 26-1, while Anothertwistafate dropped from 40-1 last week to 22-1.

Game Winner remains the favorite on Derby futures board with 4-1 odds.