Champion 2-year-old Lookin At Lucky is the favored individual horse, but Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia is confident that the mutuel field, or ‘all others’, will again be the favored wagering interest in the opening pool of the 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) that opens its three-day run on Friday, Feb. 12.

Battaglia has installed ‘all others’, which consists of all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the pool’s 23 individual betting interests, as the 5-2 morning line favorite for KDFW Pool 1. Champion Lookin at Lucky, America’s Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old of 2009, is the favored individual horse at odds of 8-1. The three-day pool opens at noon (all times EST) on Friday, Feb. 12 and wagering will continue at racetracks, satellite wagering outlets and online through 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14. 

Other individuals likely to attract solid Pool 1 support include Remsen (GII) winner Buddy’s Saint, unbeaten San Rafael (GIII) winner Conveyance, Holy Bull (GIII) runner-up Jackson Bend, and unbeaten Delta Jackpot (GIII) winner Rule.  Those horses are all listed at 12-1.  Next in line at 15-1 come Hopeful (GI) winner Dublin, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) third-place finisher Noble’s Promise, and Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Super Saver.  Members of that trio are listed as 15-1 risks.

The wager provides an opportunity for fans to wager weeks in advance on contenders for the Kentucky Derby – which will be run at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 1 – and often at odds that are more attractive than those they would receive on the day of the event.  Exacta wagering, a popular addition to the Kentucky Derby Future Wager betting menu in 2009, is back for all three pools in 2010.  The Derby Future bet is a $2 minimum “win” wager.  The minimum wager for a straight exacta, which requires the bettor to select the Kentucky Derby’s top two finishers in the exact order of finish, is $2, while the minimum for exacta boxes and wheels is $1.

The ‘all others’ interest has been the strong favorite in all opening pools during the Future Bet’s previous 11 previous years – and that interest has been a winning wager in Pool 1 five times.  It happened again in 2009 when Mine That Bird, a 3-year-old that was not an individual betting interest in any of last year’s three KDFW pools, rolled home at odds of 50-1 in the Kentucky Derby.  Other horses that were members of the mutuel field but went on to win the “Run for the Roses” include Charismatic (1999), War Emblem (2002), Smarty Jones (2004), and Big Brown (2008).

“While setting the mutuel field as the favorite in the opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future wager is pretty much a given, it has gotten more difficult to assign odds to the individual horses,” Battaglia said.  “So many of those horses have raced extensively or exclusively on synthetic tracks, while the Derby is run on traditional dirt.  That’s still a relatively new wrinkle in Derby preparations, but it adds to the fun and the challenge of a making a successful choice in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.”

Lookin At Lucky is one of four Pool 1 wagering interests trained by Bob Baffert, trainer of Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem.  The others are Conveyance, Concord Point and Tiz Chrome.  Todd Pletcher, who has yet to win a Kentucky Derby, also trains four of Pool 1’s individual betting interests.  His horses are Rule, Super Saver, Eskendereya and Aikenite.  Dubai-based Vale of York (IRE), who handed Lookin At Lucky his only loss in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI), is listed as a 30-1 risk in KDFW Pool 1.
The winning payouts in all KDFW wagering pools are determined by the odds in place at the conclusion of each respective pool.  There are no scratches or refunds on any wagers made during the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks future pools.  If it is determined during those pools that one of the individual horses has suffered an illness, injury or other circumstance that will prevent that horse from competing in either race, wagering on that betting interest will be suspended at that point.

The individual horses in each pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager are selected by a three-member panel that includes Mike Watchmaker, national handicapper for Daily Racing Form; Brad Free, the DRF’s Southern California correspondent; and John Asher of Churchill Downs.
Real time odds and other information on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will be available here.  Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager is set for March 5-7, while the final pool is scheduled for March 26-28. 



POOL 1 (Feb. 12-14)

#    Wagering Interest  
1    Aikenite    30-1
2    American Lion    20-1
3    Buddy’s Saint    12-1
4    Concord Point    30-1
5    Conveyance    12-1
6    Dave In Dixie    20-1
7    Drosselmeyer    20-1
8    Dryfly    20-1
9    Dublin    15-1
10    Eskendereya    20-1
11    Jackson Bend    12-1
12    Lookin At Lucky    8-1
13    Make Music For Me    50-1
14    Maximus Ruler    50-1
15    Noble’s Promise    15-1
16    Ron the Greek    30-1
17    Rule    12-1
18    Stay Put    50-1
19    Super Saver    15-1
20    Tiz Chrome    20-1
21    Uptowncharlybrown    50-1
22    Vale of York (IRE)    30-1
23    William’s Kitten    30-1
24    All Other 3 YO’s    5-2

Morning Line by Churchill Downs Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia