There is no surprising information in the news that reigning American 2-year-old champion Lookin At Lucky and runaway Fountain of Youth (Grade II) winner Eskendereya were the favored individual horses in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs’ 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) when the bet concluded it’s three-day run early Sunday evening.  But an eyebrow or two will surely be raised by word that the overall bettor’s choice in this early search for the winner of the 136th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 1, was the Mutuel Field, which included all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the pool’s 23 individual horses.

The “all others” bet has been the favorite in the opening pool of the Derby Future Bet every year since the wager was launched in 1999, but 2010 marks the first time that it has been the fan’s choice in the year’s third and final pool.   The margin that separated “All Others” from Lookin At Lucky was razor-thin, as both were 9-2 risks when wagering on the three-day pool concluded across North America at 6 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, March 28.. But actual closing odds for the Mutuel Field were $4.50-to-1, while the Bob Baffert-trained Lookin At Lucky stood at $4.90-to-$1.  Eskendereya, one of trainer Todd Pletcher’s record seven individual horses in Pool 3, was close behind at 5-1.

Wagering in the three-day pool totaled $310,154, which included $85,796 in exacta bets.  Combined wagering for the three 2010 pools was $1,132,055.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager provides fans with an opportunity to bet weeks in advance on contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at odds that could be more attractive than those they would receive on the day of the race.  All KDFW pools include exacta wagering.  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 also $2, while the minimum for exacta boxes and wheels is $1.  There are no scratches and no refunds in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.  If Churchill Downs determines that injury, illness or other circumstance will prevent the participation of any individual betting interest in the Kentucky Derby, wagering on that interest will be suspended.

Historically, the Kentucky Derby picture becomes much clearer and there is a strong list of what are considered serious individual contenders for the race by the time each year’s third and final Derby Futures pool is conducted.  Lookin At Lucky and Eskendereya have established themselves as the likely betting favorites for the famed “Run for the Roses” on May 1 at Churchill Downs, but each has a prep race remaining and a loss by either could throw the entire Derby landscape into disarray.  And this year’s series of Kentucky Derby prep races continues to yield new contenders, such as the Pletcher-trained Louisiana Derby (GII) winner Mission Impazible and Lane’s End (GII) winner Dean’s Kitten during Pool 3.  Neither horse was an individual betting interests in KDFW Pool 3, which made the Mutuel Field even more attractive.

Individual horses that received solid support during the just-concluded final Derby Futures Pool of 2010 included Awesome Act (13-1), Dublin (18-1), Odysseus (18-1), Noble’s Promise (19-1), Ice Box (19-1), Conveyance (19-1) and Sidney’s Candy (22-1).

Closing odds and exacta payouts for Pool 3 of the 2010 Kentucky Derby Future Wager are available online under “Contenders” and “News” links at www.kentuckyderby.com, the official Web site for the 136th running of America’s greatest race and the definitive online resource for the Kentucky Derby experience.