Kentucky Derby fans saw much to like during the three days of betting in the fourth and final pool of Churchill Downs Racetrack’s (“CDRT”)’ 2015 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (“KDFW”) but they were most attracted to three-time Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert’s “dynamic duo” of Zayat Stables’ reigning 2-year-old champion American Pharoah (#1) and Kaleem Shah Inc.’s unbeaten Dortmund (#7), who were the pool’s 1-2 betting choices when wagering concluded Sunday evening.
American Pharoah, who made the recent Rebel (Grade II) at Oaklawn Park his third victory in four races, was the 5-1 fans’ choice among 24 betting interests to win the 141st Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 2. Stablemate Dortmund, the likely favorite in next week’s Santa Anita Derby (GI), was next at 6-1 when betting in KDFW Pool 4 concluded Sunday at 6 p.m. (all times EDT).
Also closing at a single-digit betting price was Mubtaahij (#20), whose odds plummeted after his emphatic eight-length victory in Saturday’s $2 million UAE Derby (GII) at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse. Mubtaahi opened at 30-1 in the Pool 4 morning line and was a 69-1 shot prior to Saturday’s heroics, but his odds tumbled over the pool’s final two days and he closed as the 9-1 third choice. He was followed by Tampa Bay Derby (GII) winner Carpe Diem (#5, 10-1), Florida Derby (GI) winner Materiality (#18, 12-1), Sunland Derby (GIII) winner Firing Line (#12, 13-1) and Louisiana Derby (GII) winner International Star (#14, 17-1). The always-popular Mutuel Field (#24), the “All Others” interest which included all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 23 individuals in the pool, closed at odds of 11-1 after being favored in the three previous 2015 pools.
Wagering at racetracks, satellite wagering centers, TwinSpires.com and other online wagering platforms totaled $417,473 in Pool 4, which opened at noon on Friday. The Pool 4 included $273,016 in $2-minimum win wagering and $144,456 in exacta wagers. Pool 4 increased by 24% from the 2014 total of $336,717.
Enthusiastic betting in the final KDFW pool provided a strong finish to the 17th annual Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which concluded with total betting across four pools of $1,522,976. The overall total was second-highest in the history of the bet, which debuted in 1999, and was an increase of 15 percent over total betting of $1,324,466 in 2014. The Kentucky Derby Future Wager was conducted in a three-pool format until it expanded last year to include a fourth pool, scheduled in November of the previous year.
The Kentucky Derby Future Wager enables fans to wager on America’s greatest race well in advance of the famed Run for the Roses at odds that could be much more attractive than those offered on the day of the race. Winning payouts on all KDFW pools are determined by the odds that are in place at the end of the respective betting pool. Those winning mutuel payouts for the $2 minimum win and exacta wagers placed in each Kentucky Derby Future pool will be made following the running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2 at Churchill Downs.
No scratches or refunds are permitted during a KDFW pool. If Churchill Downs officials confirm that an individual horse will not participate in the Derby because of injury or other circumstance, wagering on that interest will be suspended immediately.
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 4 featured seven individual horses that had not been part of Pool 3, including six newcomers that were not part of any of 2015’s three previous pools. Mubtaahij and Materiality attracted the strongest support among Pool 4’s new faces. The others were Spiral (GIII) winner Dubai Sky (#8, 23-1), Ami’s Flatter (#2, 91-1), Bold Conquest (#3, 91-1) and Madefromlucky (#17, 92-1). Returnee Frosted (#13, 40-1) appeared as a wagering interest in Pools 1 and 2, but was not among the 23 individuals listed in Pool 3.
Wagering interests for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools were selected by a committee that included CDRT Racing Secretary Ben Huffman, Senior Director of Communications Darren Rogers, Director of On-Air Racing Communications Jill Byrne, Pari-Mutuel Marking Manager Gary Palmisano and Vice President of Communications John Asher.