The uncertainty of futures betting struck horse racing Thursday with the announcement that Kentucky Derby favorite Nadal’s career was over because of an injury.
Bettors at Circa Sports who wagered that Nadal would not win the Derby can put their feet up, though their tickets won’t be officially graded as winners until the race is run Sept. 5. Bettors who wagered on Nadal to win the Run for the Roses didn’t even get to see him enter the starting gate.
“These are fragile animals, albeit big animals,” Circa risk supervisor Paul Zilm said. “One thing can derail a whole campaign, and in this case, a whole career.”
Nadal had been the favorite in Circa’s futures pool, moving from +595 down to +325 in early betting. Circa also offered yes/no props on each of the top four horses to win the Kentucky Derby, and Nadal was -450 not to claim victory.
Circa will come out a winner on Nadal’s yes/no prop, but it would have been a more significant amount if the injury had happened six weeks from now after more bettors weighed in, Zilm said.
Tiz the Law is the new favorite at +475 (no -725), followed by Charlatan at +555 (no -900). Charlatan tested positive for a banned substance after his last race, according to multiple media reports.
Circa has expanded its yes/no props to eight horses after Nadal’s injury. Authentic and Maxfield are next at 7-1 (no -1,200), followed by Honor A.P. at 10-1 (no -1,800), King Guillermo at 12-1 (no -2,200), Sole Volante at 18-1 (no -3,400) and Cezanne at 25-1 (no -4,800).
Before Nadal’s injury, Tiz the Law was +595, Charlatan +685 and Authentic +850.
Maxfield was a big mover from 18-1 to 7-1 after an impressive victory in the Matt Winn Stakes on May 23 at Churchill Downs, site of the Derby.
“If you can get a horse before he puts on a show, you can get a good number,” Zilm said.
Zilm said he has his eye on Honor A.P. and King Guillermo as horses than could break into the top tier. William Hill, the other Las Vegas sportsbook with Derby futures up, still has King Guillermo at 25-1.
William Hill has Tiz the Law at 4-1, followed by Authentic and Charlatan at 5-1, Maxfield at 8-1 and Honor A.P. and Sole Volante at 10-1.
William Hill also has props on whether the Belmont winner will also win the Derby (yes +450/no -600) and whether there will be a Triple Crown winner this year (yes +650/no -1,000).
Kentucky Derby futures
At Circa Sports
Tiz the Law;+475