Since the debut of Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) in 1999, the overall betting choice in the year’s final future betting pool has in most years inherited the role of the most-likely favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) at the Louisville track on the first Saturday in May.

But that will not be the case in 2014.

For only the third time in the wager’s 16-year history, racing fans across North American were unable to decide on an individual horse as the bettors’ choice in the final Kentucky Derby Future Pool and settled on the Mutuel Field (#24). The “All Others” bet, which included all 3-year-olds other than the pool’s individual horses, was the 5-1 favorite when three days of Derby Future betting concluded at 6 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday, March 29.

San Felipe winner California Chrome (#5) narrowly edged Cairo Prince (#4) as the favored individual horse among the 24 wagering interests in KDFW Pool 4. The Art Sherman-trained California Chrome, who is scheduled to run next week in the Santa Anita Derby (GI), and Cairo Prince, who would finish fourth to fellow KDFW wagering interest Constitution (#8, 19-1) later in the day in Gulfstream Park’s Florida Derby (GI), each closed at 8-1. But California Chrome ended up as the second betting choice and individual favorite as slightly more money was wagered to win on the California-bred colt ($18,433) than on Cairo Prince ($17,793).

The “All Others” wager most recently emerged as the final pool KDFW betting choice in 2010, when the Mutuel Field and eventual Preakness (GI) winner Lookin At Lucky each closed a 9-2 but the former had a slightly-larger betting total. The only other time it occurred was 2004, when “All Others” closed as the 6-1 favorite over Smarty Jones, who was a 10-1 risk at the conclusion of betting. Smarty Jones would win the Derby and carry an unbeaten record through the Preakness before he was upset by Birdstone in the Belmont Stakes (GI), the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia had installed California Chrome as the 5-1 choice in his morning line odds for KDFW Pool 4, just ahead of the 6-1 odds he assigned to Cairo Prince and an 8-1 price on “All Others.”

Other strongly-backed individual horses in Pool 4 betting included unbeaten Social Inclusion (#17) at 11-1; Robert B. Lewis (GII) winner Candy Boy (#6) at 13-1; Hoppertunity (#10) and Tapiture (#19), the 1-2 finishers in Oaklawn Park’s Rebel (GII), both at 15-1; Bayern (#2) at 15-1 and unbeaten Gotham (GIII) winner Samraat (#16) at 17-1.

Vicar’s In Trouble (#21), the winner of the Louisiana Derby (GII) after the close of Pool 4 betting, ended up at 36-1.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager fans bet $336,717 during the three-day Pool 4 that opened at noon on Thursday, March 27. That wagering total included $228,748 in win betting and $107,969 in exacta wagering. Overalll betting in the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager to feature four betting pools, including a November pool that was the first conducted in the autumn before the Run for the Roses, totaled $1,289,371.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager provides racing fans with opportunities to wager on contenders for the famed “Run for the Roses” well in advance of the race at odds that could be substantially more attractive than those available on Kentucky Derby Day.

The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled to be run at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 3.

The Kentucky Derby Future Wager is a $2 minimum win bet, and also offers exacta betting. The minimum exacta wager is $2, but is available in $1 increments in the form of an exacta box or wheel or part-wheel combinations that total at least $2.