Can Japanese Horses Forever Young Or T O Password Make Kentucky Derby History?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Kentucky Derby Odds

Although Sierra Leone and Fierceness have garnered much in Kentucky Derby betting, there are other intriguing contenders to hone in on for the 150th Run for the Roses. Let’s assess the two Derby Japanese horses. Forever Young opened with 10-1 morning-line odds. T O Password is a bigger longshot. Could either become the first KY Derby champion for the Land of the Rising Sun?

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Are the Kentucky Derby Japanese Horses Worth A Bet?

No. 11 Forever Young

In 2022, Forever Young was shipped to Northern Horse Park for the Japan Racing Horse Association’s Select Sale. There, he was sold for roughly $780,000 to Susumu Fujita and has been trained internationally by the acclaimed Yoshito Yahagi. The Real Steel colt subsequently dominated as a two-year-old, winning by margins of one and one-half to seven lengths.

The well-traveled colt won the UAE Derby (G2) and Saudi Derby (G3) this year. He also finished first at Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushun (LS), JBC Nisai Yushun (LS), and the Newcomer in 2023.

Forever Young will now break from post 10 after the scratch of Encino but is still No. 11 for betting purposes on the FanDuel Racing app and site. He’ll become the fifth Japan-bred horse to compete in the most exciting two minutes in sports. In the 2023 Derby, Derma Sotogake finished sixth after breaking poorly, while Mandarin Hero placed outside the top 10.

According to many horse-racing analysts, Forever Young is expected to be stationed in mid-pack for the Kentucky Derby, roughly four to six lengths off the pace.

The undefeated Forever Young will seemingly require a career effort to become the first Japan-bred colt to win the Derby. He would also end a long run of international Kentucky Derby horses that have not hit the board. That ties into why FanDuel TV analyst Scott Hazelton is apprehensive about betting on him in any capacity.

“To come out of the Saudi and UAE Derby, I’m not convinced that he’s ready for primetime here today based on the workout I saw (Tuesday) morning,” Hazelton told TheLines.com.

No. 10 T O Password

Hazelton is intrigued by T O Password (30-1), Forever Young’s direct counterpart trained by Daisuke Takayanagi. T O Password received more praise from Tuesday’s workout, posting a bullet four furlongs in 46.8 seconds. He will operate out of post No. 10 in Saturday’s main event.

T O Password also accomplished a feat most American horses never do: galloping 1 1/8-mile in a 16-horse field for his first test, breaking his maiden with a well-earned victory. He may wind up giving the frontrunners an honest pace in the Derby.

Hence, T O Password may be worth pondering underneath in exotics — rather than a win bet.

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