It’s not the French Open, but so far most of the action on Circa Sports’ Kentucky Derby futures has been on Nadal.
The horse that shares a name with the tennis champion has moved from the +595 co-favorite to the +325 favorite in early betting for the Run for the Roses, now scheduled for Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs.
And if bettors disagree with those odds, they can bet that Nadal will not win the Derby at -450, one of four yes/no props Circa has placed on the top contenders. Tiz the Law is the second choice at +595 (no -990), followed by Charlatan at +685 (no -1,160) and Authentic at +850 (no -1,500).
“We’ve definitely taken some action on Nadal. Not one bet, but a volume of action,” Circa risk supervisor Paul Zilm said.
Unlike normal futures pools, the yes/no props keep prices in line by allowing bettors to take the other side if the “yes” price is too short, Zilm said. Limits on the yes/no props are also higher than the normal futures pool, he said.
Nadal is 4-for-4 in his career, including a victory in one of the divisions of the Arkansas Derby on May 2. Nadal’s Bob Baffert stablemate Charlatan, also undefeated, won the other division. Baffert also trains Authentic.
Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg, won the Florida Derby on March 28.
“I thought Nadal was super-impressive,” Zilm said. “Charlatan is really good as well, but he needs the race to set up in a certain way. Tiz the Law is really, really good, too. It’s tough to separate those three.”
Circa has odds posted on 86 horses and will look to add more upon request or if an unexpected contender arises in a racing season jumbled by the coronavirus pandemic, Zilm said. Circa already added Cezanne at 55-1 after a bettor asked about him, Zilm said.
This is a fixed-odds pool, not pari-mutuel as in normal horse racing betting, meaning that patrons lock in their prices when they make their wagers.
The Triple Crown season has been reshuffled because of the pandemic, with the Belmont now leading off the series June 20, followed by the Derby and finishing with the Preakness on Oct. 3.
William Hill has had a Kentucky Derby pool open for several months. It listed Nadal and Tiz the Law as 4-1 co-favorites on Thursday, followed by Charlatan at +450 and Authentic at 5-1.
William Hill also has props on if the Belmont winner would also win the Kentucky Derby (yes +380/no -475) and if there will be a Triple Crown winner this year (yes +575/no -850).
Kentucky Derby futures
At Circa Sports
Tiz the Law;+595