It was no surprise when the Mutuel Field (#24), or “All Others,” ended up as the overall favorite in the third of four pools in Churchill Downs Racetrack’s 2014 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW), but the small edge that Cairo Prince (#3), the favored individual horse, held over several KDFW rivals underscored the narrow margins that separate major players now working their way toward the famed “Run for the Roses” on the first Saturday in May.
The ‘All Others’ wagering interest, installed as the 6-1 favorite for KDFW Pool 3 in Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds, was the solid 3-1 favorite when wagering in the Feb. 27-March 1 pool concluded at approximately 4:15 p.m. (all times Eastern) on Saturday. Betting was halted just before post time for the $500,000 Gotham Stakes (Grade III) at Belmont Park, Saturday’s stop on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” point series that determines the eligibility of 3-year-old Thoroughbreds to be part of the maximum field of 20 horses for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 3.
But there were close quarters behind the favored Mutuel Field, and Holy Bull (GII) winner Cairo Prince emerged as 9-1 overall second choice and edged several rivals to be the favored horse among 23 individuals in the pool’s 24 wagering interests. Close behind the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Cairo Prince at 11-1 was the Shug McGaughey-trained duo of Top Billing (#20) and Honor Code (#9), with the former being the actual third choice.
Next in line at 12-1 was Candy Boy (#5), the John Sadler-trained winner of the Robert B. Lewis (GII) at Santa Anita; unbeaten 2-year-old champion Shared Belief (#16, 15-1), who has yet to make his 2014 debut for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer; Bayern (#2, 17-1), who romped by 15 lengths in a recent allowance race for three-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert; and the Steve Asmussen-trained Tapiture (#19, 17-1), an impressive winner of the Southwest Stakes (GIII) at Oaklawn Park. Gotham winner Samraat (#15) closed at odds of 30-1.
A total of $334,326 was wagered during three days of KDFW Pool 3 betting that opened on Thursday, Feb. 27 at noon. Win wagering totaled $239,389 and there was $94,937 in the exacta pool.
Combined betting in the first three pools of the KDFW 2014 stands at $952,654. The year’s fourth and final pool is set for March 27-29.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, introduced by Churchill Downs in 1999, offers racing fans the opportunity to bet on contenders for America’s greatest race at odds that could be significantly more attractive than those available on the day of the race. The wager is a $2 minimum win bet and exacta betting is also offered. The minimum exacta wager is $2, but is available in $1 increments in the form of an exacta box or wheel or part-wheel combinations that total at least $2.
There are no refunds or scratches in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. If Churchill Downs determines during a pool that injury, illness or some other circumstance would prevent one of its wagering interests from competing in the Kentucky Derby, wagering on that horse would be suspended immediately.