An upset loss in Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (Grade I) did not prevent Chadds Ford Stable’s Union Rags (#22) from being the favorite in Churchill Downs’ final Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) pool of 2012, but that result clearly narrowed the gap in odds between the fan’s choice and the popular “All Others’ (#24) wagering interest and other individual contenders being pointed toward the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 5.
Union Rags, tabbed as the 3-1 favorite in Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds for KDFW Pool 3, closed as the 9-2 betting choice after his third-place finish behind Take Charge Indy (#21) and Reveron at Gulfstream Park. Close behind in the Derby Future betting finale was the Mutuel Field, which includes all 3-year-olds other than the 23 individual horses in Pool 3, and a pair of 8-1 shots in reigning 2-year-old champion and Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Hansen (#8) and San Felipe (GII) winner Creative Cause (#3).
Total wagering in the three 2012 KDFW pools stood at $1,470,019 when Pool 3 betting closed at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 1. The total is the fourth largest in the history of the bet that was first offered in 1999 and reflected an increase of 7.9% over 2011’s three-pool total of $1,362,101. This year’s total is the largest since the current three-day, Friday-through-Sunday format for Kentucky Derby Future pools was adopted in 2010.
Betting in the just-concluded Pool 3 totaled $427,347, an increase of 8.8% over the $392,910 wagered in last year’s final pool. The Pool 3 total included $303,043 in win wagers and $124,304 in exacta bets. Wagering in the pool was extended 30 minutes beyond its regular closing time of 6 p.m. to accommodate the running of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (GII) at Fair Grounds, which had a scheduled post time of 5:55 p.m.
The 2005 KDFW betting total of $1,665,990 remains the largest in the bet’s history, followed by $1,503,806 in 2002 and $1,471,606 in 2006. All three totals were recorded when the wager was conducted in a four-day format.
While his defeat in the Florida Derby did not knock Union Rags out of the top spot on the Kentucky Derby Future Wager odds board, prices on several horses tumbled after trainer Michael Matz’s son of Dixie Union suffered his second career setback on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Odds on the “All Others” interest – which received boosts from weekend victories by Daddy Long Legs in the UAE Derby (Group II) at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse and Hero of Order, who provided a 109-1 shocker in the Louisiana Derby – closed at 6-1, the price that had been pegged by Battaglia in his morning line odds. Hansen, briefly favored during Friday’s opening day of betting, edged Creative Cause to be the overall third choice despite a late flurry of betting on the latter during the pool’s final hour.
Odds on Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy, a 73-1 risk early Saturday, had dropped to 15-1 when wagering concluded Sunday evening. Other individual horses with final odds well below their morning line prices included the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Optimizer (#17), a 50-1 morning line risk who closed at 22-1, and Vinery Racing Spiral (GIII) winner Went the Day Well (#23), who closed at 19-1 after opening Pool 3 at 30-1. Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) winner Gemologist (#7), 20-1 in the morning line, was the overall fifth choice at 12-1.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager allows fans of the famed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) the opportunity to wager on Derby contenders weeks in advance of the race. Derby Future bettors receive odds that are in place at the conclusion of each pool’s betting – prices that could be more attractive than odds available at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. The Kentucky Derby Future Wager offers $2 minimum win and exacta wagers. Exactas, introduced in 2009, are also available in $1 boxes and part-wheels.