The first of three pools of Churchill Downs’ 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) begins its three-day run on Friday, Feb 10, and the bet’s opening scenario is very similar to each of its opening pools since the wager was created in 1999: the Mutuel Field, or “All Others”, looms as a very strong favorite.
Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has installed “All Others” as the 9-5 morning line choice for KDFW Pool 1, but the favored individual horse among the 24 wagering interests in this week’s Friday-Sunday pool is an exciting newcomer. Starlight Racing’s unbeaten Algorithms (#1), is the favored individual horse at 8-1 and the overall second choice in Battaglia’s early odds for the Pool. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt burst onto the road to the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) with an emphatic five-length victory over previously unbeaten 2-year-old champion Hansen (#12) in the Holy Bull (GIII) at Gulfstream Park.
Not far behind Algorithms in Battaglia’s Pool 1 morning line odds is Chadds Ford Stable’s once-beaten Union Rags (#23, 10-1), winner of the Grade I Champagne, and Dr. Kendall Hansen and Sky Chai Racing’s Hansen (12-1), who won the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) to earn the Eclipse Award that honored him as America’s champion 2-year-old of 2011.
The popular Kentucky Derby Future Wager offers fans the opportunity to bet on candidates for the famed Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and one of the world’s premier sports events, well in advance of this year’s running of the famed 1 ¼-mile race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 5. Fans will receive the odds on their respective horse or horses that are place at the conclusion of wagering in each 2012 pool, and those odds could be significantly higher than those available on Kentucky Derby Day.
Wagering on 2012’s KDFW Pool 1 is scheduled to open on Friday at noon (all times Eastern) and will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. The remaining pools are scheduled for March 2-4 and March 30-April 1, and all KDFW pools feature both win and exacta wagering.
All Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools include 24 betting interests that consist of 23 individual horses and the mutuel field, or “all others” interest. That latter (#24) includes all 3-year-olds other than the pool’s 23 individual horses.
All bets in the Kentucky Derby are $2 minimum wagers, and there are no refunds on any wager placed during a Kentucky Derby future pool. If it is determined during any pool that an individual betting interest has suffered an illness, injury or other circumstance that would prevent that horse from competing in the Derby, wagering on that betting interest will be suspended immediately.
Wagering on KDFW Pool 1 is available through TwinSpires.com and other advance deposit wagering platforms and at racetracks and simulcast centers throughout North America.
Here’s the complete field: #1 Algorithms (8-1); #2 Alpha (20-1); #3 Battle Hardended (30-1); #4 Creative Cause (#20-1); #5 Discreet Dancer (15-1); #6 Dullahan (15-1); #7 El Padrino (20-1); #8 Empire Way (50-1); #9 Ever So Lucky (20-1); #10 Fed Biz (20-1); #11 Gemologist (20-1); #12 Hansen (12-1); #13 I’ll Have Another (20-1); #14 Junebugred (50-1); #15 Liaison (20-1); #16 Longview Drive (50-1); #17 Midnight Transfer (50-1); #18 Mr. Bowling (50-1); #19 Out of Bounds (20-1); #20 Rousing Sermon (30-1); #21 Sabercat (30-1); #22 Take Charge Indy (30-1); #23 Union Rags (10-1); and #24 mutuel field (“All Others”, 8-5).
“The mutuel field has been a solid favorite in every opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager and, given the loss by 2-year-old champion Hansen in his first start as a 3-year-old, there is every reason to think the ‘all others’ bet will be a strong-to-heavy favorite in what appears to be a wide-open crop of Kentucky Derby candidates,” said Battaglia. “The ‘now’ horse is Algorithms, who is unbeaten, comes from the Pletcher barn, has a strong pedigree and easily handled the reigning 2-year-old champ in the Holy Bull. The speed figures assigned to that win were impressive, so you can expect a lot of bettors to move in his direction. But every pool has interesting Derby prospects at attractive odds, and we should remember that last year’s Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, did not even appear as an individual wagering interest until Pool 3. So much can happen on the road to the Kentucky Derby.”
Algorithms is one of four KDFW Pool 1 horses trained by Pletcher, who saddled Super Saver to win the 2010 Kentucky Derby. Other Pletcher trainees include unbeaten Discreet Dancer (#5 and the overall fifth choice at 15-1), unbeaten Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Gemologist (#11, 20-1) and recent Gulfstream Park allowance winner El Padrino (20-1). Hall of Famer and three-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert trains a pair of Pool 1 horses in Liaison (#15, 20-1) and Fed Biz (#10, 20-1). Others with a pair of Pool 1 trainees include Hall of Famer trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains Rousing Sermon (#20, 30-1) and Longview Drive (#16, 50-1), and Mike Harrington, who trains Norfolk (GI) winner Creative Cause (#4, 20-1) and Empire Way (#8, 50-1).
Team Valor’s Animal Kingdom, who went off at odds of 20-1 and paid $43.80 for a $2 win wager in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, was listed as an individual betting interest only during Pool 3 of last year’s Derby Future Wager. He closed at odds of 31-1 in that pool and a $2 future wager on trainer Graham Motion’s colt returned $64.40 on Derby Day. As a member of the “all others” mutuel field in the first two pools of 2011, he returned $6.20 for a Pool 1 bet and $9.40 for a Pool 2 wager. Both Animal Kingdom and Derby runner-up Nehro were part of the “all others” interest (#24), so the KDFW $2 exacta payouts for the three pools were:
The Derby Day $2 exacta payout for Animal Kingdom over Nehro (16-19) was $329.80.
Real-time odds and other information on the KDFW will be available at the official event Web site at www.KentuckyDerby.com. Wagering interests for the 2012 Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools are chosen by a four-member committee that includes Mike Watchmaker, National Handicapper for Daily Racing Form (“DRF”); Brad Free, DRF West Coast correspondent; Ed DeRosa, Brisnet director of Marketing; and John Asher, vice president of racing communications for Churchill Downs.