Two Derby Points Races Highlight Weekend Betting Action

Honor Code, the early betting favorite for the 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) will be action on Saturday at Aqueduct in the $400,000 Remsen (G2) while Almost Famous will be the heavy favorite in the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs.

Both races are part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, with 10 points awarded to the winner of each race. The 20 runners that accumulate the most points during the series of races will be awarded starting sports in the gate for next spring’s Run for the Roses.

Honor Code has been taking plenty of action at Bovada in Derby Future betting since his game second in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 5. His connections decided to skip a run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and wait for the Remsen.

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The colt made a good late rally to just miss in the Champagne, a neck short of getting to the winner Havana, who came back to run second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) in his next outing. The fourth place finisher Casiguapo came back to run a good second in the Delta Jackpot (G3) in his next start.

Trainer Shug McGaughey elected to skip the Juvenile with the colt, who likely would have gone off as the favorite or second choice. This race looks better at nine furlongs for the late runner and closers have a better shot here than they generally do at Santa Anita. McGaughey has won this race three times, the most recent with Saarland in 2001.

The colt has an appealing pedigree, by A.P. Indy out of the stakes winner Serena's Cat ($131,391) who has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Noble Tune ($493,222). The price is going to be light but this guy is the real deal.

Post time for the Remsen at Aqueduct is 3:49 eastern and is one of four graded stakes on the card.

The 2013 Champagne Stakes

Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out a pair of runners in the Remsen, Master Lightning (15-1) and Intense Holiday (8-1). Pletcher won the Remsen last year with Overanalyze.

The Kiaran McLaughlin trained Cairo Prince (2-1) figures to garner some attention at the betting windows. The colt is perfect in two starts, taking the Nashua (G2) in his last outing.

Ten Go in Saturday’s Kentucky Jockey Club Under Twin Spires

At Churchill Downs on Saturday a field of 10 will line up in the Kentucky Jockey Club, with the Patrick Byrne trained Almost Famous the 6-5 morning line favorite. The colt is one of just two in the field that has beaten winner.

The $500,000 Keeneland purchase took first level option claimers gate to wire last out to win by six lengths.

Culprit (6-1) appears to have the best shot of beating the chalk in this spot. The colt has three starts under his belt, last out a smart maiden win going a mile over the main track at Churchill Downs. The colt tracked the early pace wile down along the inside, slipped through with a furlong to go and got up late, beating a couple of foes he faces again today.

Two back he made up some ground late in a seventh place finish in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland over polytrack. Only the favorite in here earned a higher last out speed figure.

Post time for the Kentucky Jockey Club is 5:35 eastern under the lights at Churchill Downs.