Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s Grade I-winning duo of Game Winner and Improbable along with last weekend’s Fountain of Youth (Grade II) winner Code of Honor are the individual morning line favorites in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager but “All Other 3-Year-Olds” is once again expected to be the overall preference when betting concludes Sunday.
Veteran odds maker Mike Battaglia has installed “All Other 3-Year-Olds” as the 4-1 early choice in the field of 24 betting interests for the three-day pool, which opens Friday at noon (all times EDT) and concludes Sunday at 6 p.m. The advance betting will be staged concurrently with the year’s only Kentucky Oaks Future Wager. In addition to Win and Exacta betting, an Oaks/Derby Future Double is part of the Future Wager betting menu. The Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which includes the Oaks/Derby Future Double, will close a half-hour later than the KDFW at 6:30 p.m.
Unbeaten 2-year-old champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) winner Game Winner is expected to garner the most support among the 23 individual betting interests with morning line odds of 5-1. Los Alamitos Futurity (GI) hero Improbable was projected as the 8-1 co-third choice along with the Shug McGaughey-trained Code of Honor.
Baffert, the five-time Kentucky Derby winner who swept last year’s Triple Crown with Justify, has stated that both Game Winner and Improbable will face one another in Saturday’s San Felipe (GII) at Santa Anita. Code of Honor is expected to run next in the March 30 Florida Derby (GI).
Here’s the complete Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 field (with trainer and morning line odds): #1 Anothertwistafate (Blaine Wright, 50-1); #2 Bourbon War (Mark Hennig, 12-1); #3 Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey III, 8-1); #4 Country House (50-1, Bill Mott); #5 Dream Maker (Mark Casse, 50-1); #6 Galilean (Jerry Hollendorfer, 50-1); #7 Game Winner (Baffert, 5-1); #8 Gunmetal Gray (Hollendorfer, 30-1); #9 Harvey Wallbanger (Kenny McPeek, 30-1); #10 Hidden Scroll (Mott, 12-1); #11 Improbable (Baffert, 8-1); #12 Instagrand (Hollendorfer, 10-1); #13 Intrepid Heart (Todd Pletcher, 50-1); #14 Mind Control (Gregg Sacco, 30-1); #15 Mucho Gusto (Baffert, 20-1); #16 Roadster (Baffert, 15-1); #17 Signalman (McPeek, 30-1); #18 Spinoff (Pletcher, 50-1); #19 Tax (Danny Gargan, 30-1); #20 Vekoma (George Weaver, 20-1); #21 War of Will (Casse, 10-1); #22 Well Defined (Kathy O’Connell, 50-1); #23 Win Win Win (Mike Trombetta, 50-1); and #24 “All Other 3-Year-Olds” (4-1).
Overall, Baffert trains four KDFW betting interests. In addition to Game Winner and Improbable, he conditions Roadster and Mucho Gusto. Other trainers with multiple betting interests: Mark Casse (War of Will and Dream Maker), Jerry Hollendorfer (Instagrand, Gunmetal Gray and Galilean), Kenny McPeek (Harvey Wallbanger and Signalman), Bill Mott (Hidden Scroll and Country House) and Todd Pletcher (Intrepid Heart and Spinoff).
In the Oaks future wager, five-time graded stakes winner Bellafina was made the 5-1 favorite with four betting interests as 8-1 co-second choices: Chasing Yesterday, 2-year-old filly champion Jaywalk, Restless Rider and “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies.”
Here’s the complete Kentucky Oaks Future Wager field: #1 Bellafina (Simon Callaghan, 5-1); #2 Brill (Hollendorfer, 30-1); #3 Champagne Anyone (Ian Wilkes, 20-1); #4 Chasing Yesterday (Baffert, 8-1); #5 Dunbar Road (Chad Brown, 20-1); #6 Enaya Alrabb (Doug O’Neill, 15-1); #7 Eres Tu (Steve Asmussen, 30-1); #8 Feedback (Brown, 20-1); #9 Graceful Princess (Ralph Nicks, 50-1); #10 Jaywalk (John Servis, 8-1); #11 Jeltrin (Alexis Delgado, 15-1); #12 Liora (Wayne Catalano, 15-1); #13 Marathon Queen (Asmussen, 50-1); #14 Mother Mother (Baffert, 10-1); #15 Motion Emotion (Tom Van Berg, 50-1); #16 Orra Moor (Pletcher, 50-1); #17 Point of Honor (Weaver, 30-1); #18 Power Gal (Jpn) (Casse, 50-1); #19 Queen of Beas (Jorge Abreu, 50-1); #20 Restless Rider (McPeek, 8-1); #21 Serengeti Empress (Tom Amoss, 10-1); #22 Tasting the Stars (Mike Stidham, 50-1); #23 Violencia (Rodolphe Brisset, 50-1); and #24 “All Other 3-Year-Old Fillies” (8-1).
Dunbar Road was not among the early Kentucky Oaks nominees, but trainer Chad Brown told Churchill Downs officials that she was likely to become eligible via a $1,500 late payment, which is due by April 13.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wagers, which feature $2 Win and Exacta wagering, provide fans of Thoroughbred racing with opportunities to place bets on possible entrants in the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) at odds that could be far greater than those available on the day of the race. The 145th running of Kentucky Derby, America’s greatest race and the first leg of the Triple Crown, is set for Saturday, May 4 at Churchill Downs. The $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) will be run the day before on Friday, May 3.
Bets can be placed at Churchill Downs Racetrack, TwinSpires.com and other online wagering outlets and satellite wagering centers across North America. There are no refunds in the future wagers. Should Churchill Downs officials determine during the duration of the three-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 or Kentucky Oaks, betting on the individual horse will be suspended immediately.
Total handle for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Nov. 22-25 was $258,389. “All Other 3-Year-Old Colts and Geldings” closed as the 6-5 favorite with Game Winner at 5-1. The Pool 2 betting on Feb. 8-10 reached $533,977. Again, “All Other 3-Year-Olds” was the 5-2 favorite with Game Winner at 5-1.
“All Other 3-Year-Olds” has closed as the Pool 3 favorite in 13 of the last 16 years. The lone exceptions were Pyro (4-1 in 2008), Uncle Mo (3-1 in 2011) and Mohaymen (7-2 in 2016). Justify was the 6-1 individual favorite in Pool 3 last year and paid $14.40 to win compared to the $7.80 bettors were paid on Derby Day. Last year’s Pool 3 exacta of Justify and Good Magic returned $245.80 as opposed to $69.60 on the day of the race. The inaugural Oaks/Derby Future Double, which included Monomoy Girl, came back $71 versus $33.20 on May 4-5.
This is the 21st consecutive year that future wagering has been offered at Churchill Downs. Additional information and real-time odds are available online at https://www.kentuckyderby.com/wager/future-wager.