The first of Churchill Downs’ four 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) pools kicks off its four-day run on Thanksgiving Day with a familiar wagering favorite in “All Others” (#24, 7-5 on the morning line), but a strong roster of potential Derby stars are among its individual wagering interests headed by Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) winner Good Magic (#10, 8-1), the impressive Bolt d’Oro (#2, 10-1) and the Bob Baffert-trained Solomini (#19, 15-1).
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager, now in its 19th year, provides fans of Thoroughbred racing with opportunities to place bets on possible entrants in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) at odds that could be far greater and more attractive than those available on the day of the race. The 144th running of Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Churchill Downs.
The opening KDFW pool consists of 23 individual 3-year-old Thoroughbreds and its 24th wagering interest is the Mutuel Field, popularly known as “All Others,” which includes all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 23 horses on the pool’s betting roster. The “All Others” interest has been the wagering favorite in every opening pool since the Kentucky Derby Future Wager was introduced in 1999.
This week’s Derby Futures pool is the first of four that will be conducted in the months leading up to the 2018 running of the famed “Run for the Roses.” Winning mutuel payouts on the $2 minimum bet will be determined by the odds that are in place at the conclusion of Pool 2 wagering on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. (EST). The wager will be available at Churchill Downs and other racetracks and satellite wagering centers across North America and will be offered online by TwinSpires.com, the official online wagering platform of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs, and other online wagering platforms. It will run concurrently with Churchill Downs’ four-day Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager also offers $2 exacta wagering, which requires the bettor to accurately select the 1-2 finishers in the Kentucky Derby. The Derby Futures exacta is also available in $1 increments for boxes and part-wheels, with a minimum total bet of $2.
There are no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the duration of this week’s four-day pool that one of the wagering interests has experienced an injury, illness or other circumstance that would prevent the horse from participating in the Kentucky Derby, betting on the individual horse will be suspended immediately.
While the Mutuel Field provides racing enthusiasts with a long roster of Derby hopefuls at this early stage of preparations for Kentucky Derby 144, the remaining betting interests in the opening KDFW pool are strong on pedigree, accomplishment and potential. A total of four Kentucky Derby-winning trainers are represented by horses in the pool.
Good Magic, a son of Curlin owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Farm, has only one victory in his three races, but it was a big one. Trainer Chad Brown’s colt won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by 4 ¼ lengths to become the first horse in Breeders’ Cup history to score his first career win in that $2 million race.
The son of Curlin, a $1 million yearling purchase, is the current leader in the Road to the Kentucky Derby point series that will determine the maximum field of 20 3-year-olds that will enter the starting gate for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Good Magic had suffered a narrow loss for Brown prior to his Breeders’ Cup triumph in Belmont Park’s Champagne (GI) to fellow KDFW Pool 1 member Firenze Fire (#7, 20-1). Brown trains a trio of Pool 1 wagering interests that also includes Belmont Futurity (GIII) winner Engage (#5, 20-1) and Mask (#13, 30-1).
Ruis Racing LLC’s Bolt d’Oro scored emphatic victories in the first three races of his career, including Santa Anita’s FrontRunner (GI) and the Del Mar Futurity (GI). But the Mick Ruis-trained son of Medaglia d’Oro finished third to Good Magic in their meeting in the Breeders’ Cup.
Solomini, the runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and second to Bolt d’Oro in Santa Anita’s FrontRunner (GI), represents Zayat Stables and four-time Kentucky Derby-winner Baffert, the owner-trainer team that guided eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to victory in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. Baffert also trains three Pool 1 wagering interests that include the promising McKinzie (#14, 20-1) and Talent Scout (#21, 30-1).
Joining Baffert and Brown with three wagering interests in Pool 1 is Dale Romans, the Louisville native who recently became the all-time leader in training victories at Churchill Downs but continues to search for his first winner of the Kentucky Derby. Romans’ Pool 1 hopes are Breeders’ Futurity (GI) winner Free Drop Billy (#8, 20-1), Ellis Park Juvenile winner Dak Attack (#4, 30-1) and Tiz Mischief (#22, 50-1).
Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen and Kiaran McLaughlin each train a pair of Pool 1 horses. The Asmussen trainees are Saratoga Special (GII) winner Copper Bullet (#3, 30-1) and Principe Guilherme (#17, 20-1). McLaughin is represented by Nashua (GII) winner Avery Island (#1, 30-1) and Enticed (#6, 30-1), both of whom are owned and bred by Dubai-based Godolphin.
Along with Baffert, Kentucky Derby winning-trainers with horses in the opening KDFW pool include four-time winner and Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas with Hopeful (GI) winner Sporting Chance (#20, 20-1), two-time winner Todd Pletcher with Montauk (#16, 20-1) and Graham Motion with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) runner-up Untamed Domain (#23, 20-1).
Pool 1’s Kentucky Derby contenders also includes a European star in Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith’s Mendelssohn (#15, 30-1), a son of the late sire Scat Daddy who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) at Del Mar. A $3 million yearling purchase, the Aidan O’Brien trainee is expected to prep for planned run in the Kentucky Derby in races on the new European Road to the Kentucky Derby point series.
The roster of wagering interests for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (with morning line odds): #1 Avery Island (30-1), #2 Bolt d’Oro (10-1), #3 Copper Bullet (30-1), #4 Dak Attack (30-1), #5 Engage (20-1), #6 Enticed (30-1), #7 Firenze Fire (20-1), #8 Free Drop Billy (20-1), #9 Givemeaminit (50-1), #10, Good Magic (8-1), #11 Gotta Go (30-1), #12 Lone Sailor (50-1), #13 Mask (30-1), #14 McKinzie (20-1), #15 Mendelssohn (30-1), #16 Montauk (20-1), #17 Principe Guilherme (20-1), #18 Quip (30-1), #19 Solomini (15-1), #20 Sporting Chance (20-1), #21 Talent Scout (30-1), #22 Tiz Mischief (50-1), #23 Untamed Domain (20-1) and #24 All Others (7-5).
Several of the wagering interests in the opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future wager will be in action over the next three weeks in Saturday’s $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs, the $250,000 Remsen (GII) at Aqueduct on Dec. 2 and the $300,000 Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity (GI) on Dec. 9.
Dates for the remaining three pools of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are: Pool 2 (Feb. 9-11), Pool 3 (March 9-11) and Pool 4 (April 6-8). The lone Kentucky Oaks Future Wager will coincide with Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on March 9-11.
More information, Brisnet.com past performances and real-time odds on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be available before the pool opens Thursday online at https://www.kentuckyderby.com/wager/future-wager.